CLEAN sheets and towels might be something many hotel guests take for granted but for Hew Kuei Lai, assistant laundry manager of the First World Genting laundry plant, they are where his dedication lies.
The plant is the largest of its kind in South-East Asia, fittingly serving the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands – the 2015 Guinness World Record title holder for the largest hotel in the world. That means a whole tonne – thirty tonnes a day, to be exact – of laundry each day.
Measuring at about 26,000 square feet (equivalent to 86 football fields), 80 employees work side by side with the most advanced technology available in Malaysia to deliver fresh, new linens each day to the hotel.
According to Hew, such technology is the first in Malaysia. The 60 to 70 machines catering to Genting’s tourists include Continuous Batch Washers (CBWs), a futurail bag system, as well as sophisticated finisher machines.
The futurail bag system mechanically transfers dirty linens via a system of bags hung overhead by stainless steel rails before dropping them into the CBWs for washing. This is followed by controlled drying, ironing and folding processes, carried out meticulously by the employees and finishing machines.
All this technology combined allows a typical 50kg load of laundry to be automatically washed in 2.5 minutes.
“Ideally, you can clean 2.4 tonnes each hour,” says Hew.
Of humble origins, the laundry plant gradually increased its capacity to meet the demands of Genting’s increasing number of tourists.
When the industry moves, you need to move.
In addition to routinely conducting open forums with its staff, teams of engineers from the laundry plant visit foreign countries to seek out new technologies.
With the expansion of Genting’s hotels and construction of its new and upcoming 20th Century Fox World theme park, Hew plans to increase the machines both in number and
The 49-year-old has other future projects in mind, but assures that the quality of service will remain the top priority.
We have the ISO standard. We have people who do quality checks, we have preventive maintenances, we have checklists, and we have all kinds of monitoring to ensure our operations are of high quality.
An issue Hew has to deal with is customers’ scepticism of the quality of the washing in the plant.
“Most people don’t get to see how it works. To overcome the lack of exposure, Genting – as an establishment – has provided this ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience,” he says.
Through this initiative, people are invited to get a glimpse of a regular day in the laundry plant.
“This is so that they understand what it’s like. They are more at ease after visiting our plant.”
One thing’s for sure: doing the laundry may seem easy, but not when you’re running the largest hotel laundry plant in South-East Asia.
“There are many challenges,” says Hew. “Every day, both minor and major. However, my job is interesting and very satisfying because of the new technology and because there are many new things to learn.”