Chemical dispensing units are a pivotal investment in an industrial laundry. Correctly installed, they deliver efficiencies which can make all the difference to the fine margins that are typical of the industry. Chemical dispensers create balance between the conflicting demands, that – as an operational or facilities manager – you have to deal with every day.
To ensure you make the correct choice it helps to keep three elements in mind. Begin by asking yourself a range of initial questions. Once established, your answers to these form an effective guide as you move on to analysing the specific features and benefits available. The third element involves applying the bigger strategic picture to validate your choices.
Ask yourself the key questions
What’s your top priority? What benefits will you be looking for from your choice of chemical dispenser? A reliable method of dilution that optimises chemical usage, yet has operational safety at the top of its agenda? Improved cleaning performance to deliver an edge in the market? Or is your aim to further enhance your value proposition and reputation with your existing customers?
Maybe you think it of the highest importance that the dispensing unit you choose drives productivity? After all, demonstrable cost savings that impact directly on your ability to remain competitive are the cleanest gains of them all.
Whatever your ambitions, make sure you choose the system that is right for the job and guarantees the correct dilution. This is fundamental to delivering the best cleaning result.
Initially, it might appear that there is a bewildering array of chemical dispensers to negotiate. Each of Hydro Systems units is engineered specifically for the market it is used in and incorporates the latest technology and improvements. This is where asking yourself the right preliminary questions – combined with a bit of research – pays off.
Whether your focus is on achieving an overall balance – or improving one specific aspect of your existing operation that is giving particular concern – you will find that having established your priorities, your choice becomes clearer.
Investing in your future
You have ticked the boxes that you feel respond to your immediate requirements, however, is that going to be sufficient? Your investment in a dispenser should also be an investment in the future. Purchasing a unit that suits your current needs, yet takes no account of any future cleaning demands is short-sighted. It could prove costly as you struggle to continually meet the needs of both your employees and those of the laundry as a whole. Ensure you have a strategy, and that this strategy is taken into account at every turn; as this will also give you a much better sense of which model is the right fit.
Chemicals in balance?
Chemical consideration is more than a simple game of numbers. Start by checking the main chemicals you use. This is something that might have a strong bearing on your choice and, once again, is something that has to reflect any future plans. How many chemicals do you need to dispense from one unit? Some dispensing units are designed to handle only one to two chemicals, while others can handle multiple options.
Are you planning an improvement to your operations where you might need a dispensing unit that holds up to four products in a single cabinet? Or even one with the capacity to increase your load to six or eight?
Dispense with your problems
It is a satisfying outcome when your choice of chemical dispensing unit delivers an efficient and seamless operation. When your employees like using a dispenser, they are increasingly likely to be disposed to clean it more often and, as a matter of pride – more thoroughly. Making sure that dispensers are well-suited for the application therefore helps to avoid malfunction and ongoing issues of efficiency.
Taking the pressure
Water flow and pressure can vary from building to building. As you may have found, it can also vary significantly from one area in your laundry to another. Inconsistent dilution rates result from a lack of pressure regulation. To manage high water pressure, you should look for a dispensing system with a component to regulate this. This will eliminate the chances of dilution variance by controlling the amount of water allowed into the unit.
A clearer flow
The gains in clarity you make from a careful weighing up of the preliminary questions will lead you on to a narrower path. This is where you get into the nitty-gritty of the finer features and applications of specific units and how they apply to your needs: this may include, evaluating maintenance, installation costs, energy savings, alarms and output, or issues of space – the list goes on. These are not necessarily issues where all criteria will apply to everyone; rather you will need to identify the ones that most closely concern you.
The purchase point
It might seem late in the day to mention money. In many cases this will be first question on your list and the one that influences every other aspect of your choice. However, when making a purchase decision there’s more to consider than just the acquisition cost. There are, what could be termed, the ‘practical’ costs: how long will it take to install the system? Do I need to hire specialist help? Does it involve dismantling the dispenser? What are the terms for purchasing installation supplies in addition to the dispenser?
Then, the even harder currency of choice… With my existing margins so tight, can I justify incurring the extra expense? How quickly will the unit recoup my initial outlay?
Consider that balancing the costs and benefits of a unit over its entire life-cycle is the point where its impact on the bottom line is usually felt the most. This is where whatever guides your choice will – by necessity – be the most acute.