Earthquake, Pandemic Can’t Slow Lavatec Installation

Posted June 25, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Three months after a pair of life-changing events impacted his business, Rick Taft is nearly ready to turn the switch on new, more efficient Lavatec equipment at Textile Care Services, his healthcare laundry operation in Salt Lake City. Taft, the company’s president and CEO, expects a two-phased installation process to be completed by July 1, according to a news release.

Before Taft could get his project underway, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake rattled the Salt Lake City area on March 18. The epicenter was located about 15 miles west of the facility but didn’t cause any damage to the building. Taft already was dealing with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that began on March 6 when Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT) declared a state of emergency, and reached an unprecedented level three weeks later when the governor issued a “stay-at-home” order on March 27.

Phase one of the installation at Textile Care Services involved the removal of a 30-year-old Lavatec LP571 press. The 30-bar unit was replaced with a new 132-pound, energy-efficient LAVASPEED LP572 40-bar hydraulic extraction press. This was necessary before phase two and installation of the new tunnel system could begin.

In addition to the LAVASPEED LP572 press and new LT60 14-compartment bottom transfer tunnel, Taft ordered other new equipment that is expected to make his facility even more efficient. The tunnel will be connected to six LAVATEC TT745, 292-pound capacity natural gas dryers, a press discharge conveyor and discharge conveyor system, and a two-tiered shuttle system. All of it will be controlled by the osLaundry management system. Reductions in electrical, gas and water usage costs are expected from the decreased energy requirements.

“We looked at equipment from other manufacturers, but we’ve had a great 30-year run and LAVATEC has always taken good care of us … I can’t wait to turn on the new equipment. It sets us up with our healthcare customers in Utah for the next 10 or 20 years,” Taft said.

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