Millions of pounds of laundry are moved about the world each day with little notice or fanfare. But to laundry industry professionals who pay attention to the advances in the laundry carts, trucks and containers that make this logistically possible, Meese Orbitron Dunne Co. (MOD) stands out in the laundry industry just as Apple, Amazon and Nike do in their industries. Recognized as a pioneer in both the laundry and the plastics rotational molding industries, MOD spearheaded the move to rotomolded laundry carts for linen collection, transport, processing and storage as a safer, stronger, longer-lasting alternative to carts assembled from aluminum, wood and other materials.
MOD operates as a custom design and rotational molder with manufacturing facilities located in Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey and California. Its services span from product assessment, design and engineering, to tooling production, rotomolding, assembly, and a variety of secondary operations. Its lineup of rotomolding machines features the most sophisticated, automated molding systems in the world and its customer list includes hundreds of the most well-known names in global commerce. Even as a member of the Tingue family of companies, with its more than 110 years of laundry industry knowledge, many of MOD’s most celebrated laundry cart innovations can be traced back to design and manufacturing ideas developed for companies outside of the laundry and textile service industry.
For a global telecommunications giant, for example, MOD engineers designed and manufactured a rotationally molded plastic housing to protect sensitive electronics in permanent, outdoor installations. The engineering team even went so far as to design and build a hurricane simulation test chamber to ensure the housing would withstand the constant exposure to the elements. This experience played directly into the development of the company’s latest laundry cart advance, a tight-fitting, rotomolded roof and door. Opened and closed several times per day, the roof and door take the brunt of the cart’s operation. Over time, the old style, vacuum formed roof and door would become distorted, eventually allowing rain to get inside. The new, more rugged design closes tightly every time to keep the elements outside and the linens dry and secure inside.
With this keen understanding of how to seal out the elements along with the company’s extensive experience in custom designing and molding bulk material handling containers, including hazmat chemical containers, MOD engineers developed a bulk handling solution for the safe handling of biohazard laundry such as infectious healthcare linens, oily shop rags and other contaminated laundry. These P-433 and P-291 containers are certified under U.N. standards and feature a proprietary closure that fastens the cover to the container. This ensures the hazardous cargo stays inside in the event of an accident and workers are kept safe from exposure while allowing laundries to move large loads with the same added efficiency previously afforded to non-hazardous products.
Similarly, the custom design and manufacture of a 360-degree playground slide called for extra emphasis on a smooth ride for maximum child safety. This safety first focus has permeated the thought process of every design concept since the slide’s introduction and is evident today in the company’s latest bulk laundry truck, the Poly-Trux® 72S. The entire inside of the linen cart is as smooth as the child’s playground slide. There are simply no metal fasteners, bars or other protrusions to cause a safety issue, snag loose laundry or tear plastic-wrapped linens and render them undeliverable. This smooth, metal-free interior also eliminates concern for rust and bacterial growth. In addition to its safe, smooth interior, the 72S hides an internal rib design that adds so much load bearing strength to the linen truck that it can be produced at a lighter tare weight for easier handling and potential savings in fuel costs. MOD engineers fixed on this design concept while using 3-D solid modeling to design a custom golf club fitting cart. It needed to hold dozens of clubs yet allow one person to roll it safely and easily. MOD engineers replaced scores of various parts and fasteners with a wholly integrated, rotationally molded plastic design that focused load bearing in key areas and saved weight in other areas, and even earned an award from the Association of Rotational Molders International for excellence in rotational design and molding.
Taking existing products and parts like the golf cart and converting them into integrated designs is a company specialty. Watercraft, point-of-purchase displays, plastic housings and hatches are some of the company’s conversions that yielded greater strength at less weight with fewer parts, shorter lead times and lower costs. This expertise in conversions sparked the introduction of the company’s non-removable, linen cart shelf design. Today a company signature, the 101P, 102P and 103P bulk laundry trucks featuring the non-removable shelf design originally began as a conversion to replace and upgrade failing aluminum carts. The slim, 24-inch width eased movement in tight hallways and fit four across on many trailers while the clever shelf design eliminated the hassle of matching various disassembled shelves to their proper carts.
For point-of-purchase displays installed in major home center chain stores, MOD engineers combined rotationally molded plastic with steel and other materials to meet the requirements of heavy, awkwardly-shaped building products. With its in-house metal fabrication and powder coating services, MOD offers the rare ability to design, mold and integrate multiple materials to deliver the optimum fit, form and functional performance. This ability shines in the latest Poly-Trux® 28P-16 heavy-duty feeder cart, which integrates metal supports and a rotomolded, spring-loaded platform. The latest poly base also integrates metal and plastic for superior performance. The new base holds up heavy cartloads as well as wood and metal bases yet its smooth, rounded design protects workers and facilities from collisions and it lasts longer without rotting or rusting from cart washing or from the rain.
As a custom rotational design and molding company, MOD engineers consider every laundry cart as a complete system. “We’re not just making carts, we’re figuring out the most efficient vehicle for collecting and transporting linens based on each, individual laundry or plant,” says MOD National Sales Manager Jack Smylie. “Our approach is based on designing the laundry cart to fit the system, as opposed to selling a one size fits all product and expecting the customer to alter the system to accommodate the cart.”
Contact MODRoto at 800.829.4535. An excerpt of this article appeared in Laundry Today.