BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — An extremely large piece of state-of-the-art technology required a wide berth as it was transported down the main streets of Johnson City and Binghamton to its new home at Bates Troy Inc., a provider of healthcare linen services.
The new batch tunnel washer, the first of its kind ever produced in New York state, was transported about 60 miles from manufacturer G.A. Braun of Syracuse, Bates Troy says.
The equipment — weighing about 40,000 pounds empty and measuring 42 feet long and some 12 feet wide — traveled on an over-length, over-width flatbed truck with joint police escorts.
“We’re pleased to have the cooperation of the leadership of both the Village of Johnson City and Binghamton to get this equipment to our plant,” says Tom Singe, Bates Troy general manager.
Braun engineers were on site to coordinate the move, along with Roger Service Group of Binghamton, which brought in the crane and rigging crew needed to lift the equipment off the truck and ease it through the new soil room loading dock door. The extractor press and feed hopper had been delivered earlier in separate shipments.
The tunnel washer and its peripherals cost approximately $1.2 million, part of a $3.5 million expansion taking place at the Bates Troy facility on Binghamton’s west side.
The new tunnel can process roughly 6,000 pounds of laundry per hour. Its high-tech, on-board computer command center allows the washer to use about half the water and electricity needed by conventional machines to process the same amount of laundry. Given that the unit also reuses the warm water from one compartment to another, it also reduces the natural gas needed to heat the water.
“Not only will this machine reduce costs and use fewer natural resources,” explains Singe, “but it also delivers a better finished product and a lower cost to our institutional clients like hospitals and nursing homes, with less handling of the soiled linen, so it is safer for our employees.”
The tunnel system has made it possible for Bates Troy to take on larger clients, prompting more hiring by the company. The company processes roughly 12 million pounds of laundry per year and employs 105 people in servicing seven hospitals and 12 nursing homes within a 90-mile radius.
“We’re happy to continue investing in the Binghamton area,” says Bates Troy President Brian Kradjian. “We have been in business for over 50 years and we hope to grow. Buying a piece of equipment made in New York state to be run by employees in New York in order to grow our local economy is gratifying.”
The new equipment and plant expansion are expected to be fully operational by the middle of June.