This article was contributed to Brandalyzer by Austine D’Souza. Austine is a co-founder of a Lonavala based laundry startup and has successfully run the business for 4 years. He works at IIT Bombay currently, and blogs on machine learning at http://www.zerosnones.net.
As seen in the previous article, the laundry machines that are used for B2C and commercial usage are very different in capacity, specifications and technique. In this article, we will discuss the various machines required to start a commercial laundry service in India.
Usually, five-star hotels as customers are not specific about which brand of machinery is being used. However, they insist in having all the following machines if you want to be their service partner. The list of machines are as follows:
- Washer extractor – This machine is used to wash clothes and to extract more than 90% of water from the linen. The advantage of this machine is it saves time and man power, only one manpower is enough instead of two separate machines. It also reduces the loading and unloading task from one machine to another. This is an efficient machine but it is subject to frequent downtime as the technology is new and not as robust as a washing machine or a hydro-extractor.
- Washing Machine – This is an alternative to washer extractor which only washes clothes and does not extract water out of it, for which a hydro-extractor is required.
- Hydro Extractor – When we only have washer machine we will need a hydro extractor to extract more than 90% of water from it, post which the clothes can go either in the dryer or flatwork ironer.
- Drying Tumbler – This is the second phase i.e. after the water is extracted from the clothes it is being sent to the dryer.
- Calendaring machine or Flatwork ironer – If the linen processed are bedsheets, pillow covers, napkins, etc it is directly passed from the washer extractor to the roll press to get a uniform press.
- Vacuum Finishing Table or Steam press – The clothes which are dried using dryer are then pressed using steam press to maintain the quality of the clothes.
- Steam generating boiler – Most steam boilers in laundries are wood based, wood is used to generate steam. One dedicated manpower is required to heat and run machines. This is a cost-efficient alternative to diesel and electricity and saves a lot of fuel cost.
While we discussed the various types of machines required in a commercial laundry, the average cost of investment required depends on the brand and the categories of machines. Some of the brands are:
- International brands
- National brands
- Private brands
International brands are highly efficient with an overall low cost of maintenance. With the same capacity as that of national brands it can deliver almost twice the output and a better quality of work. However, the cost of international brands is very high because of which these machines are available with only a few and big laundry facilities in the country. Some of the international brands are Jensen, Maestrelli, etc.
Most of the medium to big sized laundries are composed of national brands. They provide excellent return on investment. They come with a good after sales and service and have been tried and tested over a long period of time. Some of the national brands are Fabcare, Ramsons, Stefab, etc.
These are the most widely sold and affordable machines in the market. Majority of the unorganised laundries own these machines. Any local mechanic can come and fix these machines as they are made on simple principles of machinery. However, the downside of these private brands are: they are not very efficient and the quality of processed clothes is not good. Almost all the small laundries that we see around in India consisting of two or three people in staff normally purchase these private labels.
Cheapest way of sourcing these machines
Most of these machines have their own cost bracket and the pricing for machines within each category is almost the same. One way to source cheap machinery would be to purchase second hand machines from those facilities which started with great promise but didn’t work out and are in a dire need to sell the machines. Idle machines do not have any value as a buyer will not purchase an idle machine without testing and it takes an entire setup to test even one machine in the chain. So ideally, these laundries would like to sell off the entire set of machinery in one set to recover as much of the cost as possible or otherwise they will have to sell at scrap value.
How do small players cheat the customers, if they do?
Small players in the market cheat customers by using inferior quality products. During the client visit they show branded chemicals such as Diversey and for regular usage they will be using inferior local chemicals which damages the clothes. Also, some laundry service providers do not wash all the clothes in order to serve at a low cost.. They segregate the clothes based on how clean and dirty they are. They then skip the step 1 of washing the clothes and directly put them in the dryer to take off any smell present in the clothes.
Sourcing cost of various commercial laundry products
|1||International||Drying Tumbler||110 kg||Jensen||24,27,569|
|2||International||Drying Tumbler||60 kg||Jensen||10,93,865|
|3||International||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||800 x 2 x 3300||Jensen||97,63,753|
|4||International||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||800 x 3300||Jensen||77,64,412|
|5||International||Dry cleaning||8-10 kg||Maestrelli||14,14,000|
|6||International||Washer Extractor||40 kg||Jensen||13,04,535|
|7||International||Washer Extractor||60 kg||Jensen||18,63,621|
|8||National||Drying Tumbler||120 kg||Fabcare||4,85,500|
|9||National||Drying Tumbler||60 kg||Fabcare||2,15,000|
|10||National||Drying Tumbler||60 kg||Ramsons||2,35,000|
|11||National||Drying Tumbler||60 kg||Stefab||2,31,625|
|12||National||Hydro Extractor||25 kg||Fabcare||1,14,000|
|13||National||Hydro Extractor||50 kg||Fabcare||2,99,500|
|14||National||Hydro Extractor||30 kg||Ramsons||1,40,000|
|15||National||Hydro Extractor||50 kg||Ramsons||2,89,000|
|16||National||Hydro Extractor||30 kg||Stefab||1,23,675|
|17||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||305 x 1829 mm||Fabcare||4,49,500|
|18||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||508 x 3048 mm||Fabcare||8,25,500|
|19||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||600 x 3000 mm||Fabcare||7,20,000|
|20||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||400 x 1600 mm||Ramsons||3,80,000|
|21||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||600 x 3000 mm||Ramsons||8,75,000|
|22||National||Industrial Flat Work Ironer||380 x 2000 mm||Stefab||5,30,825|
|23||National||Vacuum Finishing Table||Fabcare||31,000|
|24||National||Vacuum Finishing Table||Ramsons||35,000|
|25||National||Vacuum Finishing Table||Stefab||37,825|
|26||National||Washer Extractor||120 kg||Fabcare||17,60,500|
|27||National||Washer Extractor||30 kg||Fabcare||5,12,500|
|28||National||Washer Extractor||60 kg||Fabcare||9,60,500|
|29||National||Washer Extractor||30 kg||Ramsons||4,52,000|
|30||National||Washer Extractor||60 kg||Ramsons||9,70,000|
|31||National||Washer Extractor||30 kg||Stefab||5,38,650|
|32||National||Washing Machine||120 kg||Fabcare||5,40,500|
|33||National||Washing Machine||30 kg||Fabcare||2,65,000|
|34||National||Washing Machine||60 kg||Fabcare||3,93,500|
|35||National||Washing Machine||30 kg||Ramsons||2,81,250|
|36||National||Washing Machine||50 kg||Ramsons||2,79,000|
|37||National||Washing Machine||75 kg||Ramsons||3,65,000|
|38||National||Washing Machine||60 kg||Stefab||3,08,125|
|40||Semi National||Boiler||100 kg||Noetag||2,70,000|
|41||Semi National||Boiler||200 kg||Noetag||3,71,500|
|42||Semi National||Boiler||300 kg||Noetag||4,14,500|
Hope this article has provided a good idea of the various machines required and the costing of the same to start a laundry business in India.