Services that go beyond laundry

19 November 2020

Girbau’s commitment to its clients is paramount and part of its DNA as it strives to provide the most excellent tailor made service to its clients

Laundry Beyond Laundry’, Girbau’s new motto, is much more than a simple slogan, as it perfectly encapsulates the mindset that has always been present in the company’s DNA: working to add value in a fully transversal way and with a global view of laundry in mind.

Proof of this is the complete renovation of the laundry of Hospital Clínico Universitario in Zaragoza, Spain, for which Girbau carried out a turnkey project thanks to its ‘as-a-service’ business model centred on providing a quality service so that the hospital would not have to worry about a thing and thus guarantee the optimal performance of the service. After the refurbishment, the results spoke for themselves: the laundry capacity per shift increased from 5,500 kg of clothes to 6,300 kg. The operators benefited from improved ergonomics and working conditions, and energy efficiency and water consumption were also improved.

Girbau is a global leader in comprehensive professional laundry solutions aimed at the industrial, commercial and vended sectors. The company’s headquarters is in Vic (Barcelona) and it operates in more than 100 different countries. It has 16 subsidiary companies in Europe, North America, Latin America, Oceania and Asia. It also comprises more than 1,000 employees who are the powerhouse behind the group and who devote all their efforts to providing their clients with innovative, efficient, reliable and high-quality services.

The laundry at Zaragoza’s Hospital Clínico is used by all the centres in sector III which includes 5,200 workers and 980 hospital beds, as well as consultations, emergency areas, a day hospital and out patient treatments. The new laundry with its technological and technical improvements have also contributed to improving the operators’ working conditions by reducing risks and providing increased wellbeing and ergonomics.

Girbau’s latest turnkey model: Pay Per Use

The laundry, inaugurated in December 2019, was fully renovated by Girbau thanks to its new results-oriented ‘Pay Per Use’ model. This was the first project of this type undertaken by the company. With this model, which has a validity of 12 years, the hospital pays per kilo of washed laundry and covers the water, electricity and gas expenses, as long as these do not exceed the consumption limits established in the tender. Girbau, on the other hand, bears the costs of the chemical products and of maintenance, for which it has a technical team permanently at the ready.

The renovation was also combined with a turnkey project, as the civil construction works and machinery installations were also arranged by Girbau. These costs were included into the price per kilo. This way, Girbau managed the entirety of the process, from the prior analysis to the execution of the civil works, the refurbishment and adaptation of spaces, air conditioning, machinery installations, launch and the training in laundry processes and management.

José Luis Sancho, assistant manager of Hospital Clínico, said: “With our latest innovative public procurement we have successfully secured an essential service for the proper functioning of our hospital facilities, sharing the importance of the management and the improvements with the contractors. This new model has already been applied to other services with positive results and both Hospital Clínico Universitario Lozano Blesa and Girbau identified it as an opportunity for development.

“Working day by day with the specialist company that provides a given service is the best way to make progress in our daily work. Together we can find the best working conditions for the staff, improve the effectiveness of the performance of our own activities, and increase our energy, consumption and job performance. Now, in view of the first months of operations, we can confidently expect project SIGLA to be a complete success.”

Innovation, ergonomics and sustainability: the three pillars of the project

Improving the equipment and the space was key to increasing laundry capacity, improving the worker’s conditions and finding solutions for improving sustainability as much as possible. To that end, washers that were more than 26 years old were removed and replaced by a Hygien batch washer comprising eight modules and a Drain Intercooler – a water-water heat exchanger that uses the thermal energy from the drain water to pre-heat the water from the external mains supply, a process that consumes up to 30% less energy. Two batch ironing systems, a tunnel, a uniform folder and a towel folder were also set up.

The new batch washer guarantees operators work in a correct ergonomic position, avoiding the heavy lifting involved in loading and unloading washers and dryers. Girbau also installed a water extraction press that increases water extraction, resulting in shorter drying cycles and lower energy consumption.

As for power generation and management, Girbau designed and installed a redundant boiler system to guarantee a minimum supply should there be a technical failure, allowing the hospital to continue offering its laundry service. This way, the laundry’s transformation considerably reduces the hospital’s environmental impact, minimising its water consumption. As well as reducing the laundry’s water footprint, the equipment Girbau installed can operate without exceeding the gas and electricity consumption limits set by the hospital, reducing the use of natural resources to a minimum.

Tailor made advice is key

Managing a project of these proportions is a clear example of Girbau’s professionalism. The company works to provide innovative laundry solutions adapted to the project and client that are not only efficient and effective but also environmentally responsible.

The specific case of Hospital Clínico in Zaragoza was a real challenge for Girbau, due to the complexity of managing the entire civil construction works and the fact that it was the first Pay Per Use project performed by the company.

In this respect, Toni Domínguez, Girbau’s sales engineering manager, pointed out: “Launching a project this size is never easy, but the joint work with Hospital Clínico has made it possible for the centre to today have a completely refurbished laundry with an improved service. What’s more, thanks to the innovative public procurement system used for the tender, the hospital has been able to improve the quality it offers its patients and reduce its environmental impact without having to make an investment.”

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