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How to choose the ironer for your laundry room roll-heated or chest-heated Ironer



There are two types of ironers available to laundry operators: roll-heated and chest-heated. Roll-heated ironers are used more in smaller production operations, not laundries that are doing a lot of high-speed production. The difference between roll-heated and chest ironers is that the roll-heated machine doesn’t have a chest. 

If your textiles are going into the ironer, and they’re being held against the roll or the cylinder by a series of belts and pulleys that are holding the linen onto the roll, and sending it through the machine, somewhat adding pressure. 

Then there are chest-heated ironers, which can be either thermal or steam-heated. The chest-heated ironer, rather than having a series of belts and pulleys to pull the linen through the ironer to process, dry and press it, takes the textiles into the machine in between a hot metal chest and a roll, Lobb says. 

The concept of a chest-heated ironer is similar to how you would think about ironing at home. You have an ironing board, and you have a pad on the board, so your iron would be the hot chest, your pad would be the iron itself the padding around it. 

That would signify what you’re trying to do. You’re applying pressure with the iron in your hand against a pad that absorbs the moisture, and you’re pressing and creating finishing and removing wrinkles at the same time. 

On a roll-heated ironer, temperature is distributed through the roll itself, versus a chest-heated ironer, where the temperature source comes on the underside of the chest, she says. It’s a self-contained unit if heat is coming through gas; if by steam, it will be serviced by a boiler. 

Of all the equipment in a laundry, the steam-heated ironer is one of the largest consumers of steam. The primary maintenance a laundry needs to do to maintain temperature of a steam-heated ironer is to be sure of proper steam pressure. 

Even when you purchase the machine, if you are, for example, a hotel OPL laundry and you are looking to purchase a new ironer, it’s important for you to understand how much pressure you’re getting. If you’re only getting 105 psi versus 120 psi, that’s going to impact the amount of throughput and the type of equipment decisions that you’re going to make.” 

A laundry has to make sure the proper amount of steam is consistently getting to the machine. Condensate builds up, and it’s very important to clean steam traps and maintain them on a regular basis. This is where a laundry loses energy, loses heat and ultimately loses throughput in the production on a steam ironer. 

Similarly, laundries need to make sure all steam and condensate lines are insulated to preserve the energy lost. 

There’s a significant amount energy and temperature and heat lost between the boiler itself and the ironer, just depending on the distance of the boiler from the ironer. The longer the distance, the more important it is to make sure that these lines are properly insulated and that the insulation is maintained.

Also, inspect piping on a regular basis, looking for leaks. Although leaks can be small, it can get very expensive across multiple ironers every day in a laundry, Lobb points out.

Ironers are usually either gas-heated or thermal-heated. roll-heated ironers typically use gas. 

A thermal-heated ironer uses thermal-heated oil, and this can be either through a boiler or a steam-style ironer where it’s self-contained, or the laundry is using a thermal-oil boiler to heat the ironer just like a steam ironer. 

A self-contained ironer is going to be less maintenance in terms of parts and components and boiler certification, and so on,” Lobb explains. We call these fully integrated systems. 

A self-contained system is where you’re heating thermal oil in a heat exchanger and that oil is pumping into the chest of the ironer, and going in and out, returning to the burner to be reheated and recirculated through the machine, much like steam and your condensation would go back to the boiler to be reheated and come back to the ironer.

recommending that laundries consult manufacturers about the kind of oil used in a machine, because oils are different. They have different detergents and viscosity, and a laundry can experience clogs in the chest and problems with throughput and heating if the manufacturer-recommended oil isn’t used. Thermal fluid ironers can be heated remotely or be self-contained. 

The key is to use the proper temperature use for all textiles. Choose suitable textiles ironer belts and felts are very important,
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The beauty of all these machines is they have a good temperature range, and it’s really important that when you buy a new textile or you agree to process a new product from a customer that you understand how that product is supposed to perform. 

It’s very important to understand when you’re considering processing a product, what are the temperature parameters both for the wash and for the finishing process to make sure that you not only finish the product well and maintain the product well and hold down your linen replacement costs.