What’s the Difference Between Chest & Roller Commercial Ironers?

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A commercial ironer can add a high-quality finish, reduce time and labour, and overall generate more income for your laundry. If your laundry processes a lot of flatwork (tablecloths, napkins, pillow cases, bedsheets) and you’ve been considering adding an ironer or upgrading your existing ironer and you’re not sure where to start, here’s a deep dive into the kinds of ironers available and their differences.

Commercial ironers can generally be put into two categories; cylinder or roller ironers and chest ironers. They have a choice of heat sources, including steam, electricity, gas or thermal oil, depending on the ironer. Which type of ironer is best for your laundry will depend on a number of things, including budget, size of the laundry, laundry layout, and amount of laundry processed. For the best advice on ironers, get in touch with Aqualogic and we will work with you to find the best solution for your ironing and laundry needs.

Roller or Cylinder Ironers

Roller ironers are better for saving space and budget. They are sometimes referred to as wall ironers because they can be positioned against a wall due to the fact that the linen goes in and exits on the same side. This means they’re better on space than the chest ironer, and also come in a range of sizes. They’re somewhat more affordable than chest ironer equivalents. They are, however, less efficient because the heated cylinder ironer is exposed to open-air, and therefore some of its heat escapes. Roller ironers are considered 75% efficient compared to chest ironers’ 95% efficiency. While both types of ironers operate at the same heat, because of the heat loss, more time and energy is needed to achieve the same results using a cylinder heated ironer. For this reason, roller ironers are recommended for those laundries processing small to medium amounts.

Another distinguishing mark of the roller ironer is the series of straps that press the linen against the heated roller, absorbing the moisture and smoothing out the fabric. The straps can be divided into several lanes to accommodate multiple small items simultaneously. More lanes equal more options, but it also equals more operators; something to consider when investing in an ironer.

Watch a roller ironer in action here:

Chest Ironers

The most significant difference between roller and chest ironers is the part of the iron that is heated. Roller ironers distribute heat from their roller, whereas chest ironers are heated from the chest on which the roller moves over. Chest ironers are more efficient than roller ironers, because of their ability to contain heat. Not only does this reduce the cost to run the iron, but it significantly increases the linen throughput as it moves much faster than a roller iron. They also produce a better-quality finish. This can be attributed to the smoother surfaces of the chest bed and roller. Plus, many industrial sized chest ironers feature several rollers, providing more heated surface area. Due to their size, cost and speed, chest ironers are most suited to laundries with considerable amount of laundry being processed. There are small chest ironers, such as those manufactured by GMP, however these consist of a single, much shorter and smaller roller, and are not automated. These models are most suited to small laundries.

Watch this video to see a running chest ironer:

Feeding and Folding Systems

If you’re looking to increase productivity and reduce labour costs, then adding a feeding or folding system to your iron can make a huge difference. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are easily fitted to your ironer, becoming part of the machine. Popular machines include one person loading feeders, and blanket folders, eliminating a large amount of manual labour and reducing the number of staff required. These machines also improve the quality of the finish as they produce better consistency. For the right business, these add-ons can pay for themselves within the first couple of years, making them true game-changers.

Are you looking to increase the quality and performance of your laundry? Get in touch with Aqualogic on 1300 222 119 or make an online enquiry to find out more about how an ironer or finishing equipment could improve your business.

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