The use of e-drives on service trolleys overcomes heavy loads and thick carpets in luxury hotels, while at sea, coloured castors blend into the fantasy world of Disney’s cruise ships.
Service trolleys in hotels are piled with sheets, towels, cleaning equipment and items for mini-bars to the extent that they can weigh as much as 150kg. So a fully loaded service trolley is hard to move and manoeuvre even on the best of flooring surfaces, and almost impossible on the very thick carpets of luxury hotels. The result is a whole range of workplace health and safety risks for hotel staff.
The Starling Hotel and Conference Centre Geneva is the largest 4-¬star hotel in Switzerland, with 496 bedrooms and suites, 43 conference rooms and 270 employees. Like most luxury hotels, its corridors and rooms have very thick carpets.
Looking to improve working conditions for its service staff, The Starling commissioned service trolley manufacturer Mercura to design and build new trolleys. Mercura Industries Suisse produces lightweight aluminium service trolleys that are used in accommodation, transport and healthcare facilities in more than 45 countries.
Faced with the design brief to lighten the load for the hotel employees, Mercura turned to materials handling specialist Tente and its e-drive system for trolleys. Tente installed the e-drive on each of the 15 new service trolleys.
A control unit on the handle of the Mercura trolley allows easy operation of the e-drive. When the e-drive is activated, an electric drive wheel is lowered to help the operator move the trolley. In combi¬nation with four swivel castors – also chosen by Tente to cater for the specific operational conditions - the system makes it possible to move and manoeuvre the service and bar trolleys almost effortlessly, even on the thickest carpets.
Tente perfected the innovative system during the course of its project partnership with Mercura, while also working closely with the service staff and managers of the Starling Hotel. Together, they optimised the motors’ parameters to correspond to the weight of the individual trolleys and adapted the performance of the rechargeable batteries.
As a result, the e-drive lightens the load for service staff over a full working shift and enables them to concentrate fully on their actual tasks. The results have been increased employee satisfaction, lower sickness and injury rates and significant improvements in productivity.
“The electric drive increases the level of satisfaction of our staff and improves our service,” says Anne Elise Choux, the Operations Manager of Starling Hotels and Conference Centres Geneva.
On the high seas
Half a world away, on the high seas, the service trolleys on the Disney Cruise Line’s cruise ships have somewhat different design criteria. Not only do they need to remain stable in the sometimes unpredictable movements of the ship and negotiate the narrow corridors, but they also need to blend in with the immersive fantasy world of Mickey and his friends.
Disney Cruise Line’s holiday-goers of all ages choose a cruise on the entertainment group’s ships primarily because of their unique fairytale world, so it is essential that every item of equipment on board fits the corporate design and does not break the spell cast by the magical surroundings.
The company uses service trolleys from Sorol Hospitality Equipts for cleaning on board the ships. And when Sorol was designing the trolleys according to the Disney Cruise Line’s operational requirements, it approached Tente in its quest for the perfect castors.
Tente considered the requirements from every perspective, looking at operational factors such as safety, stability, flexibility and easy manoeuvrability, as well as design options. The combination of requirements led the company to recommend its Linea castor.
The broad wheelbase of this double castor ensures high stability and maximum steering flexibility, even in narrow corridors and heavy seas. Crucially, there is also a directional lock that can be used to fix the direction of travel.
The Linea also has great creative scope as it is designed to be manufactured to a customer’s corporate colour scheme and can also be produced with logos and picture motifs. As a result, Sorol’s trolleys with Tente’s castors can be made to blend in with any of Disney’s theme worlds.
“When it comes to individual colour design, Tente leaves nothing to be desired,” says Richie Okorie, the Managing Director of Sorol Hospitality Equipts.
Tente Castors & Wheels
1300 836 831