Processing plant

The plant layouts of HLS Linen Services Inc. in Toronto and Ottawa employs a standard technique of clean and soiled area separation. The facility is equipped with a physical barrier that effectively separates the clean and soiled departments. This design ensures that airflow is directed from the clean area to the soiled area, preventing any potential cross-contamination between the working zones. The HLS processing plant is ventilated to prevent the dissemination of contaminants through adequate intake, filtration, exchange rate and exhaust in accordance with local, provincial and federal requirements.


State Of the Art Technology

HLS continues to invest in the most technologically advanced processing equipment available.  We use Kannegiesser continuous batch washers and automatic dryers.Our finishing equipment is from world class manufacturers. Computerized systems on the equipment track controls all factors that impact on the quality of products our customers receive. We have sophisticated materials handling systems that move linen through the plant on space saving overhead monorails and conveyor systems. Consultants from a variety of fields including linen products and equipment manufacturers provide expert and timely advice to support our service to you the customer.


HLS soiled linen areas are physically separate from clean linen areas and suitable precautions are taken in processing.


HLS linens are washed in water temperature recommended by the manufacturer and are ironed at 380-degree temperatures.


Equipment And Technology

HLS Linen Services is equipped with seven Kannegiesser 14 and 16 compartment continuous batch washer tunnels, sixteen ironers fully equipped with automated feeders and folders, twenty-three small piece folders and a state-of-the-art overhead rail system. All the equipment is on a preventative maintenance program to remain at optimum levels.


Each HLS facility has a controlled climate space. Ventilation through the interior is provided through 14 separate filtered roof top units with direct expansion cooling and gas heating. In addition, there are twenty-four ventilating fans moving air from outside the building, through the building and eventually exhausting to the outside again. Ventilation of the buildings is done in order of prevailing winds from West to East following the winds, and provides for the removal of air, as well as the carrying away of spent air from the immediate vicinity of the building, an often-overlooked point. The building is arranged similarly, from West to East as OR Pack room, clean side, and finally on the East the Soiled side (working with the prevailing winds). As well, in the interior, HLS uses both fixed blade propeller ventilation, as well a variable vector, variable speed high velocity nozzled fans. These fans serve to mix interior air, cool surfaces, and suspend particles for removal. With this arrangement HLS has the capacity to move approximately 5.9 million cubic feet of air per hour in typical operating mode, and almost double that when operating all fans at times. This arrangement provides an efficient 10 air changes per hour, while ventilating all process equipment to the exterior, and utilizing 100% outside air for dryers. All the ventilation, HVAC, and mechanical systems in each facility (including the chemical feed and control systems) are controlled and operated by a custom DDC automation control system.


A building level network surrounds each facility interlinking all equipment for control purposes. Differential pressure between the clean side and the soiled side is monitored continuously by an ultra-low-pressure transducer, and is sensitized to 1 pascal. When differential pressure approaches neutral between the two building sides, an email alert system that is incorporated into the building controls initiates notifications directly to plant engineering. Many systems within the plant utilize this arrangement to facilitate continuous control. At any time, additional ventilation equipment can be adjusted remotely (from anywhere in the world) to maintain differential pressure or raise or lower building ventilation rates, velocities, or temperatures.


Both HLS plants include the following:

  • 9 soiled receiving docks for offloading and eleven clean linen shipping docks that are separated by a barrier wall to prevent cross contamination of clean and soiled linen.
  • 60 soiled linen sorting hoppers which have productivity of 1200 pounds per operator hour.
  • Soiled side post sort capacity to store 550 bags or 90,750 pounds of soiled linen.
  • Soiled Linen carts are received and put through a dual cart wash that handles up to 200 carts per hour. This system cleans and sanitizes carts, delivering them to the clean linen area.
  • 7 highly automated Kannegiesser 165 pound, 14 and 16 compartment continuous batch washers called “tunnels” which have the ability of calculating variable wash load sizes using “ratio metrics”. We also have capability of adding more tunnels to allow for future growth.
  • Wash cycle times of 120 seconds for linens with wash temperatures averaging 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Emergency storage tank has been built into the foundation of the building in the chemical inventory room in the event of a spill.  This is a significant safety feature.
  • Automated below grade trough systems of chemical delivery which includes over 5 kilometres of flexible tubing.
  • 7 Kannegiesser 45 bar presses that produce up to 3600PSI of pressure used to extract excess water out of washed laundry.
  • ETECH material handling systems and related software management for routing of laundry via four kilometers of monorail which use gravity and lifts. The laundry moves from the soiled linen area automatically through the wash and dry process and then onto the clean side to be distributed to the appropriate department.
  • The capacity of the ETECH monorail system is 550 bags or 90,750 pounds on the soil side and 800 bags or 132,000 pounds   on the clean side.
  • 16 high speed flatwork ironers for processing flat bed sheets, draw sheets, flannel blankets and pillowcases.
  • 23 small piece folders and one blanket folder used for precision folding of bath towels, underpads, patient gowns and other dryfold items.
  • 13 lift tables deployed strategically throughout the facility for dedicated hand folding of various items.
  • 24 skylights are strategically located throughout the production areas of the plant to provide as much natural light for the employees as possible resulting in the reduction of lighting requirements by 35 percent.
  • All trucks are sanitized using a UV (ultraviolet light) disinfection system. The UV-MAX is a rugged mobile surface disinfection unit that uses UV-C light energy to keep surfaces hygienically clean. Avoiding costly chemical usage, it provides consistent repeatable performance in a safe manner.

Transportation + fleet

HLS Linen Services operates with a combination of straight trucks and tractor trailers, consisting of twenty trucks and thirty trailers. The versatility of fleet enables us to deliver to different dock location types and deal with dock and logistical space constraints. Outside of the fleet we also have the availability of trucks from our outsourced trucking contractors.

Every truck and/or trailer used in the handling and delivery of clean and soiled linen is decontaminated and disinfected on a scheduled basis according to HLS Policies and Procedures.

Clean linen and soiled linen are never transported together. Highly detailed procedures are followed to avoid cross contamination of clean and soiled linen. HLS sanitizes both carts and bins before placing clean linen on carts and sanitizes all trailers before placing clean linen in trailers.  All trucks are sanitized using a UV (ultraviolet light) disinfection system. The UV-MAX is a rugged mobile surface disinfection unit that uses UV-C light energy to keep surfaces hygienically clean. Avoiding costly chemical usage, it provides consistent repeatable performance in a safe manner.