OSHKOSH, Wis. — Machine flexibility is critical to how your laundry functions now and into the future. Today, we’re facing a pandemic that’s taken lives and shut down the world’s economy. We never expected to have to shelter in place because of a virus. But, laundry owners with flexible equipment are at an advantage. They have the ability to alter machine locations, programming and vending. Some even have the adaptability to add critical features to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laundering guidelines and/or provide disinfection.

So what do you look for when it comes to machine flexibility? The ability to interface with third-party systems, onboard washer programming that can be easily modified, and installation flexibility. I’ll address the last two here in my conclusion.

EQUIPMENT PROGRAMMING FLEXIBILITY

Choose machines that offer flexible programming for cycles, maintenance and customer extras. This helps ensure your laundry is prepared for unforeseen adaptations down the road.

Programming flexibility allows the owner to alter wash variables within each cycle, including water levels, temperatures, number of baths and rinses, extract speeds, etc. This can be done on the machine or remotely. It also provides handy maintenance and flush options and the ability to alter vend prices and run specials.

Be aware that it’s possible that water temperature guidelines could be established for vended laundries in the near future. Be certain you have the ability to increase water temperature if needed. Once the requirement is established, parameters are established by the store owner and the simple, customer-forward display gives the consumer easy-to-follow choices.

Choose a machine with a control offering multiple customer options in addition to the standard hot, cold, “superwash” and delicate cycles. More options are appealing to customers.

Consider whether the manufacturer of the equipment you plan to purchase offers programmable control upgrade kits or not. Technology changes so quickly. Be sure you can upgrade or update your control/microprocessor a few years down the line, if needed.

INSTALLATION FLEXIBILITY

A soft-mount, freestanding washer offers ease of relocation, high-speed extract, and no special floor preparation. Unlike hard-mount washers, which must be bolted to a reinforced concrete foundation using compact fill under the concrete, soft-mount machines are easily positioned into place without bolts, and thus, simple to relocate. This allows you to move high-volume, front-of-store machines to the back of the store, and vice versa.

This flexibility is great for reconfiguring stores to accommodate new machines or capacities. This limits downtime thanks to no special floor preparation. Plus, initial installation costs are lower.

Soft-mount washers offer higher extract speeds (up to 405 G-force) than hard-mount washers (up to 200 G-force). Soft-mount washers, as a result, remove more moisture from each load, which shortens dry time and resulting natural gas consumption and energy while increasing customer turnover and store capacity during peak periods. So if natural gas prices spike in the future, you’ll be prepared to weather the storm.

Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.