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Ziker Cleaners

Boiler Contributes to “100 Years of Excellence” with Uptime and Efficiency





Boiler Contributes to “100 Years of Excellence” with Uptime and Efficiency

Ziker Cleaners on Byrkit Street in Mishawaka, Indiana is the central hub for ten store locations and four home pickup routes from which they serve the greater South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart, Indiana areas.

In 2017, not only was Ziker awarded the American Drycleaner’s (national) Plant Design Award, but they celebrated their 100th anniversary as a continuously owned and operated, fourth-generation family business—something that only 3% of all businesses succeed in doing.

View within Ziker Cleaners' boiler room showing a fully pre-piped VMP-100 boiler system containing a blowdown separator (vertical tank in foreground) as well as condensate return system (white tank), both factory-mounted on a steel base for easy installation.

In acknowledgment of these honors, Ziker Cleaners credits the high caliber of the people they employ and the quality of the equipment they purchase.

Equipment at a dry-cleaning facility greatly determines production uptime and efficiency and has as its core constituent the boiler or, more specifically, the steam that it creates.

Says David Ziker, President of Ziker Cleaners, “We can’t do anything without it [steam]. We do same day service; and if we don’t have steam, we’re going to disappoint a lot of customers. So it’s very important for us.”

Adds Production Manager Shayne Golden, “The boiler is the most important piece of equipment that we have. Without the boiler, I can’t run my dry-cleaning machines because I need to have steam pressure to operate them. And I can’t press the clothing because I don’t have the steam to press the clothes. Basically, I’m down if I don’t have steam. Without that Fulton boiler, we are out of business.”


Why Fulton?

Said owner David Ziker, “We did a lot of research and toured quite a few other facilities that were similar to what we were looking at doing, and everywhere we went we saw Fulton, and so we realized that they had a specific boiler for our industry. Also, the equipment distributor that we use is a big promoter of Fulton.”

Adds Production Manager Shayne Golden, “This is our first experience with Fulton, and it’s been a good one. Previous daily startup time at our old facility was longer and more complex, but things have been simplified greatly with this new Fulton boiler system. It’s been really, really good.”

Praise for Skidded System

Fulton delivered to Ziker a Vertical Multi-Port (VMP-100) boiler that was installed by Michael “Stucky” Szczotla of Eagle Star Equipment as part of a fully-skidded system, with piping system design and installation provided by Dynamic Mechanical Services.

Skidded means that the VMP-100 boiler arrived to the facility with all ancillary equipment already connected to it, including the feedwater tank that collects and reuses condensate, and a blowdown tank that safely discharges the hot blowdown water to the drain.

Says David Ziker, “To install the boiler in the new building we moved into, we first had to modify the building, then find someone to put the steam system in. So I partnered with a local contractor who told me we needed a return system and a blowdown. But he then said it would cost a fortune to hook all that stuff up separately. So we had Fulton do the whole thing. And then when it came, it was ready to go. It’s really nice.”

Adds Shayne, “The fully skidded, pre-piped system helped us immensely with the installation and timeliness of us getting started, not to mention the ease of getting it in the door in one big piece.”

Small Footprint, High Efficiency

Stucky suggested the Fulton VMP-100 for its superior fuel-to-steam efficiencies (up to 85%). But he also recommended the VMP-100 for its compact vertical design, which requires significantly less floor space than competing boilers and includes optimized internal circulation paths that reduce boiler warm-up time.

Comments Shayne, “Compared to our last boiler [a horizontal water tube boiler from another company], the Fulton takes about 15-20 minutes less time to get ready so that I can start my day sooner. Time is money, and that is one big thing that really helps.”

“It [the Fulton VMP] gives much-increased space savings, maybe 200 square feet savings over our old horizontal fire-tube model, and it runs on natural gas.”

Steam shown rising from a pressing station, which is just one of the many pieces of equipment that is connected by piping to the steam generated by Fulton's VMP-100.
Steam shown rising from a pressing station, which is just one of the many pieces of equipment that is connected by piping to the steam generated by Fulton's VMP-100.

Importance of Steam

At Ziker, Fulton boiler steam connects to dryers, pants pressing machines, dry cleaning machines, shirt pressing machines, puffer units (for finishing light fabrics), and all irons, which connect to the boiler though piped steam hookups.

Says Shayne Golden, “A certain amount of steam pressure goes to each individual piece of equipment.”

“For example, my dry cleaning machine needs at least 40-50 PSIG of steam. For my dry cleaning pressers—pants, shirts, puffers—I need around 80 PSIG of steam pressure. And for my laundered shirt presses, I would need at least 110 PSIG of steam pressure to operate.”


Uptime All the Time

Says Shayne, “It’s been great. Basically it’s been the boiler getting used to this new building, and us getting used to a different kind of boiler, and making sure that we dialed it in to exactly what we needed.

“We needed to make sure that we had the correct amount of steam pressure. We needed to ensure that the pump that pumped the water to the water feed tank is working properly. And we needed to calibrate and then learn to maintain the right amount of chemical additives that we had to put in the water.

“Once we got all of that stuff figured out, it’s been running great. We do our best to take care of the boiler, and the boiler takes care of us. We haven’t had any downtime.“

Fulton Steam Solutions Inc.

Fulton Steam Solutions is part of The Fulton Companies, an American multi-national group of companies headquartered in Pulaski, NY. Backed by over 60 years of research, innovation and experience, Fulton designs and manufactures complex heat transfer equipment for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.

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