Xeros, the laundry company that uses polymer beads to reduce water consumption and save energy and labour, recently formed the Symphony Project, an
innovative technology collaborative with a mission to improve the
sustainability of the world’s laundry rooms.
As part of the Symphony Project,
Xeros provides any member with ‘open source’ access to Xeros’ technologies
including the designs for a simple pedestal that is compatible with nearly any
size or brand of commercial washer. The pedestal enables a conventional washer
to become a polymer cleaning system that will provide significant operational
and end-user benefits, including water and energy savings, to laundry rooms
“The technology originated at Leeds University, in the U.K., ten or more years ago,” said Andy Hewitt, global enterprise sales director. “Since then, we have perfected our craft. With low water usage and low temperatures, we are successful as a back-of-house cost operation. We are able to save 75 to 80 per cent of water compared to the original SKU, 60 to 70 lb. traditional variable load machine.” A typical 150-200 bed hotel would use two mid-size machines and two dryers.
For example, it is
estimated that hotels around the world with on-premise laundries annually use
57 billion gallons of water to process the laundry generated from guest
rooms. Heating the water to clean the guest room laundry generates over
2.6 billion pounds of carbon which is released into the atmosphere.
Tested and proven Xeros polymer science can reduce a hotel’s water usage by up
to 80 per cent and since polymer cleaning requires very little hot water, the carbon
output from laundry rooms can also be reduced by over 83 per cent.
“It's a different way to do laundry, and it should become the industry standard over the coming decade, as hotels drive sustainability in laundry operations as much as possible,” said Hewitt. He added that big brands are coming on board, with Hilton making Xeros an approved supplier in the Americas.
With the Symphony Project, hotels will be able to enjoy the benefits of Xeros technologies with their
favorite brand commercial washing machines.
In addition to the
Symphony Project, last year Xeros introduced a new smaller washing machine,
the Xeros SM35. It is a new 35lb/16kg capacity washer that is
ideal for dry cleaners, smaller hotels (under 100 beds), and spas where size and space is a
consideration. Using the same patented polymer cleaning technology as the
award-winning Xeros SMV90 Commercial Washer, the Xeros SM35 dramatically
reduces water consumption by up to 80 per cent, and reduces energy and detergent usage
by up to 50 per cent, all while delivering a superior clean that is gentler on fabrics.
“We see three consistent
trends in the industry including operational efficiencies, guest experience,
and sustainability,” said Scott Wicker, vice-president, global brand management.
“As a high expense item for hotels, laundry room
operators are always challenged to make their laundry room as efficient as
possible – including utilization of labour, efficient use of natural resources
like water and energy, managing linen expense through longer linen life while
giving the guest a great linen experience, and being respectful to the
environment. Typically, these goals can be in conflict with each
other. One of the reasons we are so proud of our technology is it enables
a laundry room operator to tackle these issues with polymer science.”
Outsourcing vs. In-House Laundry
“We've actually seen a shift away from outsourcing laundry,” said Hewitt. While outsourcing is relevant in large, metropolitan areas, where space is at a premium, he has seen a lot of properties wanting to take back control of their laundry. “Xeros allows them to take back control in a sustainable way, reducing use of natural resources and saving money.”
There's a labour factor involved, Hewitt said, noting that quite often companies bring laundering of towels back in house rather that flatwork such as sheets that require finishing equipment.
Xeros uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help their laundry consultants understand a laundry room’s
characteristics to that they can offer suggestions to improve results. Water use and number of cycles can be monitored, providing accurate and specific information, and remote diagnostics helps keep the machines running well.