Classic Cleaners is honored to have won American DryCleaners 56th Annual Best Plant Design Grand Prize for 2017!
We take great pride in our new plant and are humble to have been acknowledged. Although we’ve blogged about the move and the improvement, we’ll provide additional details regarding the planning of our plant design, which earned us this prestigious industry award.
When we announced our move last November, we explained we were more than doubling our plant space but think of it this way: Our plant went from a floor space of two large single family homes to the floor space equal to five large, sprawling homes combined.
Tim Day, Partner and Operations Manager, says in our smaller plant we were “shoe-horned”. “It’s hard to imagine that 90% of the equipment that’s currently in the new 25,000 square foot plant was in the old 8,000 square foot plant”. We knew if we wanted to continue to grow and meet our potential while continuing to give our customers the best quality product, we were going to need more space. “A tremendous amount of planning was put into the schedule and the process of how the move was to be made knowing we may face the challenges of weather and a busy time of the year”.
When we decided to purchase the building at our current corporate and plant location on Knue Road, Tim put together a team to help plan the big move and install the new equipment. We worked with Jeff Dunn with equipment distributor Machinex to assist with the layout, planning, installation and move.
“We spend many days of online CAD collaboration, sharing the proposed layout on Jeff’s computer screen with Sandra Haralson, our dry cleaning consultant; Jay Mills, our engineer; Metalprogetti and many other suppliers. We tweaked and changed the layout over 100 times.” says Day. Even after beginning the install, “we took more time analyzing the placement of every item in a workstation to maximize flow.” Day continues.
The resulting layout and installation maximized workflows and minimized labor wherever possible. Separate laundry and dry cleaning areas flow into their own finishing work aisles where finished goods are taken away by white conveyors. These conveyors deliver the finished garments to separate inspection stations designed to maintain workflow and production rates.
After inspection and touching up, garments are scanned onto the Metalprogetti assembly conveyor – the last time they are touched until loaded onto trucks to deliver back to our retail stores or our customer’s homes via our Free Pick up and Delivery service.
We can process approximately 1,600 garments an hour!
New production equipment includes at 130-HP Fulton boiler, Hamilton Engineering steam water heater, and Metalprogetti distribution conveyor and second bagger. We us a Kaeser air compressor, two new Sankosha double-buck shirt units with ratitng quad collar and cuff, a second White distribution conveyor, a 70-ton Kleen-Rite chiller system (to provide comfortable workstation environments) and a Sankosha double-legger and topper.
Customers are amazed with the presentation of the new location. They say the finished landscaping, the marble entry, and the 24/7 drop-off and pick (locker) service project our “upscale image” very well and this location is more convenient.
Our employees are also pleased with the new work environment. This new location with higher ceilings, proper ventilation and increased individual work-space enhanced by energy-efficient brighter LED lighting, has also greatly improved the work environment for our employees.