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Located in Chartres, France, Gallia is a third-generation family-owned laundry that has steadily grown in the hospitality market. Well known for its high-quality standards, the laundry specializes in providing linen rental services for hotels in the Parisian region and its surrounding areas. The laundry services its customers every night between 9pm and 4am. Since 2004, Gallia has been able to increase its production from five to 30 tons (66,000 lb) of linen processed per day. The laundry operates 7.5 hours per day, five days per week with one team of 49 dedicated employees. The secret behind this impressive growth is the "quality and responsiveness" to their customers, explains Marc Renous, owner of Gallia.
The consistent quality of service provided to customers has enabled the company to expand its business every year without marketing efforts. "Our best salespeople are our customers," added Marc Renous. In 2017, Gallia opened a new plant combining superior production capacity and premium finishing quality. While designing the new facilities, Marc Renous worked with architect Pierre Bouget of By Architect to develop a laundry solution that would benefit his long-term needs in terms of labor, workflow, production utilities, and overall efficiency.
Backed by more than 20 years of experience in the laundry business, Marc Renous knew exactly what he wanted and therefore decided to design his new laundry on his own, without the help of a consulting company. For this project, Marc Renous was supported by the advice of Daniel Bouvard, president of Polymark Laundry (authorized Milnor dealer), with whom he has been working in confidence for years.
The new laundry was a good opportunity for Gallia to invest in new equipment. In early 2018, Marc Renous once again entrusted Polymark Laundry and Milnor International to replace his old 9-module 76028 CBW with a brand-new PulseFlow batch washer. In order to be able to support the increasing production and get as much energy and water savings as possible, Marc Renous decided to invest in a 12-module 76039 PBW 68 kg (150 lb).
Built to last, this masterpiece of engineering is capable of processing more than 2,200 kg (4,850 lb) per hour on a rated transfer time of 90 seconds and with very low freshwater consumption. As for the press, Marc Renous decided on a new MP1640 40 bar single-stage press. The tunnel installation was completed in April of 2019.
With the new PBW, Gallia now operates three 12-module tunnels, including two Milnor systems. "I still have a 30-year-old 12-module Milnor CBW 50 kg (110 lb) that is still in perfect condition and gives excellent results. Hopefully the new PBW will have the same longevity," says Mr. Renous.
The new PulseFlow tunnel retains the key components of the proven CBW tunnel, including a true top transfer function, the counterflow principle, a design without seals below the water line, and the use of standing baths. The main difference between the conventional Milnor CBW, a proven industry mainstay, and the PulseFlow batch washer, is the way the counterflow interacts with the linen and the stage at which it is introduced into the system.
PulseFlow technology works by beginning with the patented RecircONE pump arrangement feature - producing high-speed water recirculation within the first module at a rate of more than 400 liters (106 gal) per minute. This process allows fast and nearly instant wet-down, causing the water and wash chemistry to instantly penetrate the soiled linen, which saves time and the need for dedicated wet down modules that are utilized in bottom transfer tunnels.
PulseFlow technology then continues with a three-step wash/dilution process in each module. The first step is the was process, employing standing bath washing similarly to a washer-extractor's wash step. This allows the chemical energy to release and suspend the soil from the linens. The next step begins the first part of the dilution process. High velocity counterflow rinsing takes place, which dilutes the loosened suspended soil, similarly to a washer-extractor drain/fill step. The high velocity rinse starts with a rinsing liquor from the clean, de-linted, extraction water, from a press or extractor. Then the rinsing is completed using fresh water so that the last water to see the goods is fresh water. The last step of the dilution process involves Milnor's True Top Transfer feature, where perforated scoops move linen by lifting the goods out of the water, draining the free water, and then sliding the goods into the next compartment. The quick transfer process happens in just a few seconds and the goods are then submerged in progressively cleaner water. Because the goods change baths upon each transfer, the achieve approximately the equivalent of a second dump and fill and nearly twice the dilution of bottom transfer tunnels. This process happens in each module (except the last module, where cleaned goods need post-rinse finishing chemistry only), resulting in clean linen exceeding industry cleanliness standards.
Milnor's PulseFlow technology is a unique solution for faster and more water-efficient washing in a continuous batch washer. PulseFlow has been proven to hygienically clean light soil room linen as fast as 16-18 minutes of total wash time with very low fresh water consumption, less than any other tunnel washer. With PulseFlow technology, Gallia has been able to achieve a fresh water consumption of about 3 to 3.5 L/kg (0.3-0.35 gal/lb) of linen processed without compromising wash or rinse quality.
Since installing the new PulseFlow batch washer, the laundry has gained efficiency in laundry processing by increasing the amount of linen processed, while benefitting from shorter process times and water savings. The result is greater flexibility in production, allowing more comfortable working conditions for the 49 employees to meet the 30 tons of linen processed per day. Additionally the annual turnover is around €6.8m with a profit margin of about 10% and controlled growth of 5% per year.
Gallia's owner Marc Renous says he has been astonished by the high quality, robustness and performance of his new equipment. This new tunnel system is the first large PulseFlow installation in France. We therefore thank Marc Renous for his continued confidence in Milnor equipment.
CBW®, PBW®, PulseFlow® and RecircONE® are Pellerin Milnor's registered trademarks.