Cages unlocked20 May 2021
How to transport laundry from pillar to post safely and efficiently? A well-designed cage or trolley fleet is the key. Kathy Bowry takes a look at what’s out there
Jackie Smith, quality and improvement manager at Bryant Plastics tells LCN: “This year has been very difficult for everyone and our friends in the laundry industry have been hit particularly badly. We are very proud that we have continued to supply the NHS with laundry cages throughout the pandemic both directly to NHS Trusts and to our customers who service the NHS. Our linen exchange trolleys were used to kit out the emergency Nightingale hospitals around the country.”
What Covid-19 has done is to concentrate minds on the importance of hygiene throughout the laundry process– even more than before. This means that every aspect of laundry production is scrutinised down to the smallest detail. Bryant manufactures its cages from 100% virgin plastic, carefully designed to ensure there are no awkward sharp angles on the bodies; they are moulded with soft curves so there are no dirt traps.
Smith explains: “We are principally rotational moulders, a process that involves plastic powder being heated within a metal tool as it is rotated. As the plastic heats up, it fuses to the shape of the tool gradually building up the wall thickness. Most of our products are made from quality virgin medium density polyethylene.
“Our finishing department takes the raw moulded body, trims off the excess plastic and completes the product to customers’ specifications. For example, baseboards and castors may be fitted, perforations drilled into the body, hand-holes cut or self-levelling platforms installed. All our waste product is recycled.
“The cages can be washed and disinfected easily. Because they are plastic, they have a major advantage over metal wire cages in that operators won’t snag their hands or clothing on sharp edges and they do not suffer from rusting when left outside for collection, for example.” Smith adds that they don’t dent when handled roughly, either.
Health and safety
Bryant helps to allay H&S concerns by producing self-levelling items that reduce the risk of employee back problems. Self-levelling units are ideally located in situations that require a worker to be bending and lifting in their work place.By using a self-levelling unit the possibilities of a worker injuring their back are greatly reduced.The pantograph works by a scissor and spring system that is set at a pre-calculated rate.Each time an object is placed on the table top it lowers a little, leaving the item at a reachable height. The reverse happens when removing objects from the unit, each time an object is removed the table top rises, ensuring the items are always at the top of the unit to reduce the risk of back problems in the work place. “All of our units are true self levelling which means they will not jam even when loaded unevenly,” says Smith.
Meanwhile, JFC, headquartered at Tuam, County Galway in the Republic of Ireland, offers a complete range of trolley solutions for laundries. “Our fully customisable range can be produced in various colours allowing customers to implement a colour scheme to ensure soiled linen including linen from Covid hospital wards is kept separate. Our trolleys can be fitted with curtains that include screen printing to further highlight the type on linen contained,” says Mark Burke, marketing executive at JFL
He says the trolleys are ideal for use with a fogging system which JFC can supply to disinfect trollies following use. The benefits of using fog over spray, explains Burke, is that the disinfectant fog effectively gets into all areas and it does not wet the surfaces.
JFC will also recycle trolleys at the end of their life cycle, giving customers an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint. “Our production factory located in Stratford-Upon-Avon in the UK receives the trolleys which are then cut up and ground down, the results to be used in the manufacturing of surface water drainage pipe which is used throughout the UK and Ireland on road projects,” says Burke.