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Plant Design Awards—Outstanding Reconstruction: Kona Cleaners

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Located at 821 W. Taft Ave., Kona Cleaners’ proximity to Orange County’s major freeways, other retail storefronts, and the structure’s existing loading dock became selling points in owner Bobby Patel’s decision to purchase and reconstruct the building. (Photo: Kona Cleaners)

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A view of the plant’s cleaning room and its various equipment. (Photo: Kona Cleaners)

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The plant’s floors were sealed with a bright epoxy to take advantage of high-output, low-energy lighting. (Photo: Kona Cleaners)

Bruce Beggs |

ORANGE, Calif. — Kona Cleaners selected the site at 821 W. Taft Ave. because it is a central point with many major freeways and connections to Orange County areas that it services with pickup and delivery, and its other five retail storefronts, according to owner Bobby Patel. Also, the building already had loading docks in place.

The 10,000-square-foot plant was built for efficiency, with the ability to handle Kona’s current work plus capacity to more than double its processing.

Prior to equipment being installed, walls were painted bright white and floors were sealed with a bright epoxy to take advantage of high-output, low-energy lighting. Four swamp coolers and two major exhaust fans keep the plant comfortable for the staff of 20.

Services performed here include dry cleaning, laundry, alterations, fire restoration (CRDN), routes, hotel valet work, and wedding gown preservation.

The production area includes two Firbimatic K4 and one Lindus GreenEarth drycleaning machines; Wascomat wetcleaning washers; moisture control dryers; Leonard Automatics steam tunnel; three Sankosha shirt finishers; pressing equipment from Unipress, Ajax, Hi-Steam and Fujistar; Parker boiler with economizer; and two rotary air compressors. There is a Metalprogetti assembly conveyor with four extract arms and autobagger, and the plant uses SPOT POS with production track at each pressing station.

Ed D’Elicio designed the plant layout. Michael Palmer, MPA Architects, provided architectural services. Wyatt Bennett was the project’s equipment distributor.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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