This article explains why scheduled preventive maintenance and inspections programs as part of a CMMS software solution are critical to fighting the effects of corrosion in laundry operations.

How Corrosion Affects Laundry Operations

Washing laundry operations relies on good water quality and the proper mix of chemicals as the cleaner the water and fresher the chemicals the cleaner the laundry is. For large laundry operations in hotels, prisons and hospitals, maintenance on laundry assets that use or handle water and chemicals is an absolute must.

Laundry Chemicals

The reason preventive maintenance is important is that almost all water has impurities. When these impurities are combined with chemicals they leave a particulate matter that can build up and block water flow as well as start the corrosion process in pipes.

“Physical effects are damages to water equipment and reduced effectiveness of treatment for other contaminants that may present added costs to operations…Among other things, corrosion of distribution system pipes can produce sediment or loose deposits that block water flow.”

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Corrosion can cause joints and valves to leak or fail. Undetected water leaks can easily add can add 5-10% to annual water utility costs. In addition, a valve failure can cause severe water damage and unplanned downtime both of which idle staff in a labor intensive laundry operation.

How a CMMS System Helps

Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS), gives laundry maintenance managers the tools they need to schedule inspections and preventive maintenance on all laundry assets.

Scheduling regular inspections on valves, joints, connectors and the laundry machines helps to identify problems before they either cause a break in service or more expensive repairs. Preventive maintenance and/or repairs can then be scheduled based upon the inspections results.

Laundry corrosion example

For example, maintaining a vigilant inspection schedule can identify the onset of galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion starts at the contact point between different types of metals or alloys that come in contact with impurities. The chemical used in laundry operations accelerate this process.

The most likely place for corrosion to occur is at T-junctions, where changes in direction or changes pipe diameters change the flow rate. They are one of the leading causes of valve failures. Catching corrosion early is crucial to minimizing laundry MRO costs.

CMMS programs will also keep track of all work requested, scheduled and performed. This information becomes part of the asset records and can be utilized by laundry maintenance managers for long-term capital planning.

A final point is that corrosion is not always visible until a pipe or asset fails. This is because corrosion can start inside pipes through pitting. All laundry operations should regularly monitor water pressures and other signs of corrosion such as discolored water.

CMMS gives maintenance teams the ability to monitor flow meters and pressure changes by setting up scheduled rounds. Rounds ensure that everything is where it should be and working properly.

In today’s world, laundry operations need to squeeze out every part of profitability that they can. Doesn’t it make sense to start proactive maintenance today?