First Futurail system in Turkey at Yiğitalp Laundry in Istanbul
How do you view the development of the laundry sector in hotels?
“A number of sectors have lost their appeal because of the losses they are currently experiencing and some have even begun to disappear. The rapid advance of technology, the requirements imposed by an urban lifestyle, society's changing needs and economic fluctuations are just some of the reasons for this. Some of the weaker sectors, on the other hand, have developed as a result of these changes and have turned into today’s rising stars. When we look at today’s hospitality sector, the opinion firmly held by all observers is that the number of hotels that will be opened in Istanbul and subsequent investments will continue to increase while hotels will become smarter when it comes to outsourcing issues and their investments will not include a designated laundry room at the hotel. It is not only more economical to outsource this service when compared to building a facility as part of their own enterprise, but they also avoid incurring a number of expenses such as gas, electricity, water, personnel, detergent and amortization costs, not to mention the fact that they can use this space in their buildings for more profitable functions such as SPAs, meeting rooms, cinemas, pools and maybe extra rooms while hospitals can utilize this space for intensive care units, patient rooms and additional outpatient clinics. As a result, hotels in particular will strengthen their competitive edge by increasing their services and quality in accordance with the demands of their customers.
At the same time, hotels looking for ways to minimize their overhead expenses have already tried a number of different avenues. One of these is to eliminate the laundry rooms they would normally build and save themselves the investment cost and even the cost of the linens they would buy. This raises the issue of textile leasing. This approach is already a solution preferred by a number of hotels. Here at Yiğitalp Laundry, we provide leasing services to hotels who request it. In the future, we are thinking about increasing our leasing investments with hotels and making this our preferred approach like the industrial laundry companies in Europe.”
How is Yiğitalp Laundry positioned?
“Our company was founded in 1991 as part of Yiğitalp Turizm ve Ticaret A.Ş., and it has achieved industrial laundry facility quality that meets today’s European standards by adopting an approach to superior service quality and utilizing its experience in hotel management. Our story began under our hotel and continued as we moved to a separate building and increased the number of our machines in order to handle growing capacity. This journey brought us to the modern facility we use today.”
Can you tell us about the products, systems and technologies that Yiğitalp Laundry uses?
“Today, Yiğitalp Laundry is known for its close relations with the companies that serve Istanbul's tourism sector. The technology that we use consists of a tunnel system and the tunnel washers and drying machines developed by JENSEN. What really brings us to the fore is the fact that this system is integrated with the first bag system in Istanbul. The necessary explanations regarding this system will be made later on.
We have a daily capacity of 40 tons thanks to our tunnel system. The chemicals we use in production are manufactured by Diversey Kimya San. A.Ş., which has proven the quality of its products around the world. For an investment of this size, the company has completed an extremely modern investment in the chemical room that it has set up. The products that we launder are distributed to Istanbul's finest hotels with our 10 service vehicles. The services that we provide are not limited solely to textile laundering as we also provide top quality dry-cleaning services. Our company has taken its place among the most successful laundry companies in the sector due to the successful business cooperation and partnerships it has formed and it will be providing the same service to the health sector in the near future with its service quality and constantly growing customer potential.”
What differentiates you from other laundry companies?
“The biggest difference is the fact that we were born in the hospitality sector. It is an indisputable fact that Yiğitalp Hotel continues to be one of the finest hospitality facilities in the tourism sector. Our greatest advantage is the fact that we know what our customers want thanks to our experience in hotel and hospitality management and can conduct this business from their perspective. As a hospitality provider, it is much easier for us to understand what hotels expect from us. As a result, the customers we work with experience peace of mind when entrusting their linens to us.
Of course, this is a huge advantage for us, but the point that must be raised here is that we must have technical superiority in our new facility. I alluded to it briefly a minute ago, but I think I should elaborate on the issue here.
Let’s begin with the most basic element of laundering - water. Many companies do not know the characteristics or values of the water they use. But with the tests we conduct every day we bring water hardness to the level that best activates the detergent, and we are constantly checking conductivity and other chemical compounds. Water, chemicals and the effects that they have on textiles are studied and reported with incredible precision in this laboratory that we established solely for this purpose. Upon request, these reports can be provided to our customers as well.
Our second ingredient, the detergent activated by the water, is important for washing fastness. We have an excellent companion on this journey – Diversey A.Ş. All of the textiles are washed with first class chemicals. The system is completely automated. Both our tunnel system and our conventional machines operate with a dosing system and the chemicals that are provided are loaded automatically according to the weight of the linens being washed. As a result, adding more or less detergent is no longer an issue left to employee discretion. The stains that remain after processing are also analyzed in our laboratory, and special washing programs are being developed to apply to these. Whiteness tests can also be performed after processing in our laboratory with the whiteness measuring device. Upon request, information can be provided to our customers regarding the condition of their linens. By applying standards to the business, we have created a reporting mechanism that is submitted at the end of every month to the housekeeping service of each hotel we work with. Stain control is another of our advantages. Because pre-wash stain removal and stain intervention is performed, the stains on linens can be removed before they become permanent.
What really distinguishes us from the other laundry companies is the Futurail Bag Conveyor Integrated Tunnel System with a Senking Universal Silverline P50 with 12 compartments. The tunnel system is now an indispensable element in industrial laundry operations, but our system takes hygiene to a new level by ensuring that all of the soiled linens are transported via a rail system in the air, and as a result it saves both time and space as well as keeping the soiled linens completely separate from the clean system.”
Can you elaborate a bit on this system you mentioned?
“Tunnel systems must constantly be fed with soiled linens. This can be achieved either with a conveyor or manually as it was in the old systems. However, the latest system is one that sorts and accumulates soiled linens completely in the air with a bag conveyor system and it is then fed into the tunnel from there. The biggest advantage for us is the fact that it saves space. However, if we look at the essence of the system, we see that the soiled linens are never down below. This is a benefit it provides in terms of hygiene. This system is used in Europe and other developed countries but ours is the first application in Istanbul. The benefit it provides in terms of time is a completely separate issue. If necessary, all of the soiled linens can be moved to the bag system at night, and we can feed these automatically in the morning by operating the tunnel. What’s more, the employee that did the feeding can now work at different locations in the system. Our tunnel system integrated with bag transport is a system with 12 compartments and a 50 kg load capacity. There are also different segments in the tunnels. The system that we use is a bottom transfer system. It is state-of-the-art JENSEN technology that allows us to easily change any parameter related to the water and create programs with the flexibility that we require.”
At Yiğitalp Laundry, the first gas-heated commercial laundry in Istanbul with a fully automatic bag loading system, the design and installation of the fully automatic laundry solution was achieved using JENSEN laundry equipment, distributed and serviced by TOLON. TOLON Machinery R&D Director Can Tolon provided information about the systems used in the laundry. He highlighted the fact that the 1-ton automatic JENSEN Futurail bag loading system that was being used provided more flexibility for the user in processing. Can Tolon said, “Prior to starting the washing process, the user can separate hotel linens and if the washed linens are finished or there is a change in the type of linens, it also provides a temporary storage period of 45 minutes until the new linens are loaded.” He told us that one JENSEN tunnel washing machine used in the system was comprised of 12 compartments with a loading capacity of 50 kg and that its hourly washing capacity was between 1.3 tons/hour and 1.5 tons/hour.
“The JENSEN press operates at 37 bars of pressure, and the process takes only 90 seconds. A fully automatic shuttle elevator conveyor transfers the products from the press to the dryers. This system chooses the first dryer which is free in order to perform the drying process, and it also makes it possible to choose the drying program that suits the type of linens. Five JENSEN gas-heated transfer type dryers with a load capacity of 50 kg can dry a total of 750 kg with 3 loads per hour.”
Can Tolon also provided information about ironing and folding equipment: “A JENSEN EXPG 2x1,200x3,000 fully automatic, flexible chest, gas-heated ironing line with a capacity of 1000/1200 pieces/hour is being used. To increase the quality and efficiency of this ironing line, a JENSEN Logic 4 feeding line with pins is located in front of it. Because of the two 1,200 mm gas-heated cylinders, this ironing line can achieve a temperature of 230°C and a speed of 50 meters/minute. This is followed by a JENSEN automatic folding line that can perform 2 folds on the width and 2 or 3 folds on the length depending on the product dimensions. The two TOLON towel-folding machines used in the laundry have a folding capacity of 1,000 pieces/hour/machine and the ability to automatically separate with 3 outputs.”
JENSEN-GROUP would like to thank Mrs İkbal Yiğitalp Atik, Board of Directors Vice Chairman, for sharing this interview with us. The original Turkish version can be viewed here. We would also like to extend our thanks to the great TOLON-team, who has been our distributor for the past few years. Celebrating their 75-years-anniversary this year, TOLON is an industry insider who combines a profound knowledge of the market and the products with outstanding customer-orientation. The reference installation at Yiğitalp Laundry is a proof of the excellent co-operation between TOLON and JENSEN-GROUP.