The National : DRYCLEANER JANFEB2017
PLANT TOUR AT SOUTH PACIFIC LAUNDRY Russell Collard and Patrick conducted a tour of South Pacific Laundry (the old Aaron’s Laundry). Russell welcomed visitors and said “This is an open laundry, we have no secrets, please feel free to ask anything.” Russell said they were in the process (the long, convoluted process) of negotiating with Council to build on out to the side of the building. Currently they are using shipping containers in the carpark to store linen and other things. The plant operates 7 days a week, but on Sundays processes only COG for three hours. “This is a 350 ton a week plant, currently operating at 260-270 per week (February). During October we processed 52 ton a day with 315 tonnes over the Christmas Holiday period. “We had grown a bit too big, and I am happy with the current production size. It is sustainable. You have to consider what that extra 1,000lb or one ton means in terms of extra staff hours, and problems with maintenance if it tips you over the edge of what your plant should be handling. Quite likely the income does not justify the overtime or the hassles which arise from machine overuse. We noted orange and yellow safety vests, and these were clearly visible as we moved around the plant. Russell said this was an absolute necessity. Many of the staff are quite small in stature and they can be missed behind trolleys. Now, Staff all have Hep B shots, and use hand sanitiser, which is freely available around the plant. Hairnets were worn, and correctly. As visitors we were all issued with them. Kerryn noted the workers on the sorting line were not wearing their gloves and Russell said it was policy for them to do so and hard to police. Washing is accomplished through three 15 module x 50kg washing tunnels. “This is an old business with corresponding equipment and it is never going to be pretty. We are in the process of rationalising the equipment. We have reduced the steam ironer lines from 6 ironers to 4. This is a big improvement in terms of the comfort of our staff, and efficiency of the production. A new ironer was one of the few new purchases. We have 4 feeders for the same reason, good for spare parts and training. Small piece ironers keep ticking along. It gets pretty hot here in the summer and every bit of heat producing equipment you can remove helps. Russell was asked about the ‘contract lines’ for ironers, which had been a feature of early SLP plants, and he said this model is being phased out in favour of outright employees. “There used to be a lot of different conveyors running everywhere to transport laundry. They came up from an old Melbourne plant and have gone. “We are fortunate to have the security of two boilers and two compressors. One of the best things we did was close the door to the boiler room. It cut down the radiant heat and hasn’t adversely affected the operation of the equipment. 56 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 Hi Vis wear for all staff and visitors has improved safety. Orange for staff, yellow for leading hands, and visitors.
NOV DEC 2016
DRY CLEANER MAY 2017