Texcare review

Assuring the future for textile care businesses

1 July 2012

Texcare International presented an overview of the how the textile care industries will develop. In the first of two reports from Frankfurt Tony Vince examines trends for the laundry and textile rental markets

Technology designed to conserve resources while increasing efficiency was the overriding theme at Texcare International 2012.

Kannegiesser dominated the exhibition floor by the sheer size of its stand and the message was clear. Increasing productivity and reducing operating costs while maintaining consistently high quality and service are essential for an industry subject to continued price and competitive pressures.

The stand represented a cross section of the company’s technological achievements and covered all areas of laundry production as well as aspects such as logistics, data management, intelligent sorting, materials handling, and resource management.

Kannegiesser has extended its PowerTrans Jet tunnel washer series with the PowerTrans Plus, a design that makes maximum use of the machine’s volume while minimising consumption of water, energy and chemicals. As well featuring in a standard version, the Plus concept had also been combined with?Kannegiesser’s Jet design, where rinsing takes place within the extraction unit, now in the main body of the machine.

Key to saving resources is the Energy Management System (EMS), which captures unused resources from one section and re-uses them to produce savings in another.

Kannegiesser also set out its Vectura system for managing the whole laundry more efficiently. Each batch of washed linen carries a barcode with specific data. Scanners read and transfer the data to the Central Program Plus, which selects the optimum program parameters for each machine in the finishing line. These parameters could include the infeed spreader speed, ironer speed and temperature and the overlap control on the folder.

The Vectura system extends to the despatch area where the stored details of the type of linen that customers have sent are used to sort and collate linen stacks.

The Jensen Group creates its innovation with a clear vision of increasing the productivity and ecological efficiency of heavy-duty laundries.

Gerda Jank, head of marketing, explained that the group had identified a growing demand for integrated solutions. Its Futurail sorting and handling monorail system now has greater bag capacity and features a stainless-steel rail.

The Senking Universal M tunnel washer has integrated gas heating as well as water and energy recovery systems. Efficiency has been further improved with the introduction of the Eco Safeguard bath-exchange rinse process. Jensen also featured its SEP 50 MD Plus SpeedExtract, extraction press for batch sizes up to 50kg.

A complete flatwork finishing line featured the Jenrail 2000 Automatic feeder, which is now available with a pivoting unloading station, a scanner and the Viking 2000 separator with a capacity of up to 2,200 pieces/hour.

Described as “a major leap in automated garment handling,” the SpeedDress garment delivery system made its debut at the show.

Jesper Andersson, PD & engineering manager said that the laundry delivers the garments to the point of use where the sorting takes place. This can either be on-site, using Jensen’s Metricon system or at the end-user’s premises with SpeedDress. The system is custom-built and consists of two main parts: The interface section with the garment pick-up and the “back-room” section where garments are stored on Metricon rails and from there inserted into the SpeedDress dispenser. Where track and trace is an essential requirement, the system can be used with RFID tags or with barcodes.

Girbau Group president Mercè Girbau said that Texcare allowed the company to consolidate and strengthen its contacts with its growth markets.

The stand was themed around savings and energy efficiency. Toni Rubies sales, marketing and services vice president, said that businesses need to see the maximum return possible on investments.

So what they really want is to achieve energy savings that help profitability and benefit the environment. Quality, reliability and productivity are key parameters but they make no sense without tools for savings and management.

The demonstrations of management software were of great interest and the company was introducing the BMT control and data acquisition program for the TBS-50 tunnel washer system.

The industrial division also presented the Flexitunnel, a tunnel washer where the design of the baths allows a greater range of programming options. Visitors also saw the DR-1 single-station feeder, the FT-MAXI towel folder and the suction loading system for the ST-1300 dryer, which will load up to 63kg.

The group’s commercial division presented the IMTx management software, the Series 6 washer-extractors, the high production compact flatwork ironing system and the PB/PBP wall-type strap ironers.

At Pellerin Milnor, Rick Kelly, vice president marketing Milnor USA, said that Texcare International was important for the company. Most of the visitors were from Europe but this year’s show had also attracted increased numbers from the USA, South America, the Middle East, China and Japan. Feedback had been terrific, he said.

The latest development from the New Orleans-based company is the PulseFlow washing system. Pride of place went to a 10-module PulseFlow CBW tunnel washer capable of processing up to 1,800kg/hour with a fresh water consumption of only 2.5litre/kg.

Also on view were a high-pressure 50kg single-station press, 50kg gas-heated dryers with the patented Energy-Saver-Seal, Milnor’s 48040H7W 120kg open-pocket tilting washer-extractor with Mark Vl controls, a 60kg open-pocket washer-extractor and the 200kg 60044WP2 washer-extractor.

Milnor shared the stand with its finishing equipment partner Chicago Dryer and visitors saw demonstrations of the Edge Maxx high-speed cornerless spreader feeder with two-lane operation.

At the German company Lavatec Laundry Technology CEO Wolf-Peter Graeser said he was optimistic about the company’s future development. It was seeing double digit growth in Asia, increased sales in Australia and signs of recovery in the USA. The global network is now established with the main production site in Germany and subsidiaries in France, Italy and the USA. The Texcare stand was an ideal showcase for presenting developments.

The TT Series Ecodry dryer, which was introduced at the show, had won the international “Red Dot“ award for its distinctive design. Five models cover capacities from 63 – 188kg. Gas, electric, steam and hot oil versions are available and the dryers feature “intuitive” controls with nearly 100 different programs.

Lavatec is collaborating with H J Weir Engineering, the UK-based manufacturer of flatwork handling equipment, to develop a range of feeding and folding machines.

Stahl, the family-owned German manufacturer reported that discussions at Texcare confirmed its belief that there was a strong demand for high quality, high performance machines and this was reflected by the orders taken at the show which included the Master 1210 and 1610 heated-bed ironers and the double-roll Poweroll 800 ironer. The heated-bed ironers are appreciated for their dimensionally stable chests and the ironer’s drive technology with the ability to maintain a 180degree ironing path under pressure. This increases productivity by 20% and saves 15% in energy use. Stahl also showed its Atoll, WS and Divimat barrier washers.

Lapauw International has achieved a great deal since the Belgian captain of industry Philippe D’heygere acquired the family owned company in 2010. This was the first Texcare appearance for the new management team led by D’heygere as president with CEO Anthony Geerinckx and CFO Stefaan Dewulf. Since this team took charge the company has implemented a strategy of radical product innovation and of establishing a strong local presence in the global markets, said sales network manager Wim Demeyer.

The company was introducing visitors to the TurboFan ironer in 1,200 and 1,600mm versions. The TurboFan technology increases the power of the gas burner and results in stable ironing temperatures. Demeyer said that Lapauw is the only manufacturer to integrate the complete gas heating system in the ironer’s framework.

He also drew attention to the company’s microprocessor control system developed jointly with Siemens. The Siemens control, combined with Lapauw’s ELS or Electronic Lapauw System Server Service, gives each customer a user friendly machine that can be updated with the latest software and an efficient maintenance program that can be controlled from the Lapauw offices anywhere in the world.

The Swiss company Biko Engineering produces laundry finishing equipment and systems. Markus Kobel said the company had seen many visitors and made significant contacts with potential customers. He added that the show also provided a good opportunity to meet Biko’s distributors and it had also found distributors for countries where it had not previously been very active.

Biko’s products had attracted much interest. The company was introducing the Carla, a feeder that could handle both large and small pieces, and a re-designed version of the Laura folder for garments, uniforms and overalls. Other exhibits included the Monica universal folder which has a cross-fold centring system for small pieces.

At Olma Laundry Equipment, managing director Jan-Willem van Doornewaard thought that the level of interest in his company’s flatwork feeders, folders and stacking/bundling machines was significantly greater than at the 2008 Texcare. Olma had recently introduced the Obifeed triple feeder, which can handle a wide mix of linen, including duvet covers. It has three modes – feeding from the three stations for high continuous output, directly into the spreader clamps for the highest possible quality and manual feeding directly onto the vacuum table.

Mehmet Karali, international sales and export manager at Turkish manufacturer Tolkar said that the company had an extensive distributor network in Europe. The company was focussed on the introduction of its Smartex Miracle series of gas-heated washer-extractors which achieves significant savings compared with steam-heated washers.

Alex Arrighi, sales director at the manufacturer Krebe Tippo said that although attendance had been lower than at previous shows, the company had seen serious interest from visitors that were interested in doing business. Turkey, Scandinavia, Poland and the Middle Eastern countries were well represented in the stand’s visitors and the German distributor also entertained a large crowd of visitors.

The company showed a wide range of products in particular asceptic barrier washers including the recently introduced 26kg machine. Other introductions included a 17kg open-pocket washer and the PSX high-spin washer. Engineers demonstrated the traceability monitoring software. The company also showed a towel folder from H?J Weir, representing a long-standing relationship with this company.

The Ecolab stand reflected the company’s work in detergents and washing additives, water and energy management, dosing technology, data management and service and consulting.

In conjunction with Spindle Technologies USA, Ecolab had developed “my-laundry.com“ the first real-time process management solution for commercial laundries. This monitors productivity, energy consumption and staff performance from anywhere in the world so that corrective action can be taken quickly when needed.

Ecolab also unveiled Flexfinish 3D, a finishing agent which can apply a softener or fragrance in an industrial dryer so the effect lasts until the textile is used. The company believes this will appeal especially to laundries serving the hotel sector where sensory branding is now being introduced.

Nursing homes must meet the same hygiene standard (RAL992-4) as hospitals so commercial laundries are beginning to take on this work, leading to demand for a delicate disinfection process that can be used in tunnel washers. The solution is Turbo Clean?& Safe, which operates at 30C.

Ipso, the main European brand of the Alliance Laundry group, had several developments to introduce to these markets. The D-Line washer-extractors will be launched later this year. They feature the brand’s advanced Cygnus controls systems which have four levels standard, commercial, premium and professional. Cygnus Assist software allows operators to modify programs via a laptop or other computer.

The SmartWave technology uses cutting-edge sensors to measure the absorption capacity of the type and weight of fabric and then fill the drum to the right level. As well as saving water this also helps to save energy and detergent.

Ipso has also added three models to its DR dryers DR30, DR55S and DR445, (stackable). Features include axial airflow and a suspension system with bearings at the rear and rubber rolls with bearings at front. In the established models, the DR55 and the DR80 have been renamed DR50 and DR75. Most DR dryers include the group’s OptiDry over-dry prevention technology.

Parent company Alliance Laundry Systems, had separate displays for its other brands. The Speed Queen brand was being updated with the slogan “Every day, every cycle Speed Queen performs.” The target markets, vended, multi-housing, on-premise and home are now united under one brand. The display featured the Quantum Gold control with overdry protection.

In the UniMac display, Alliance showed the re-designed UD ironers and the UniLinc Control with OPTidry.

Electrolux Professional’s communications and events manager Antonella Favaro said that the brand is well-known for it strong commitment to sustainability, and with this as given, its stand was focussed on the excellence of its equipment.

The C-Flex Ironing line is seen as a reference machine.

This advanced heavy-duty bed-type ironer, with its patented chest and cylinder designs creates a constant pressure and a maximum ironing surface for outstanding results.

The T5000-series is the latest generation of dryers developed for the hospitality industry. It provides three models with drum capacities from 16 – 37kg. All feature the Compass Pro program interface.

Electrolux says its Lagoon wetcleaning system is the only system that can offer a true “green” alternative to solvent cleaning and is the first wetcleaning system endorsed by Woolmark. It ensures premium quality on all textiles, including most delicates, Lagoon has gained 470 installations worldwide. The company also showed its liquid CO2 cleaning system.

Miele Professional was showing its PM16 and PM18 ironers which are said to be able to process over 200kg/hour. They will be launched later this year and are available with working widths from 2.10 – 3.50m, with roll diameters of 600 and 800mm and in gas, electric and steam-heated versions.

The roll contact pressure can be adjusted to suit each work category, using the touchscreen control. Optional extras include the heat-retaining cover which prevents heat radiation losses.

Eduard Colomer, export manager for the Spanish manufacturer Domus, said that the company was a strong supporter of Texcare. This year’s show had got off to a positive start.

Domus was showing its DLS (Domus Low Spin) washer-extractors, which have been re-designed. The DMS medium-spin washer-extractors, now features the MAX programmable microprocessor and as a result, process options now include wetcleaning.

In line with the environmental influence seen throughout the show, the company’s latest generation of DTA/DTP tumble dryers has been equipped with a heat recovery system to reduce energy use, moisture control and an intelligent drying system.

Domus also introduced its DPG and DPL ironers with 200, 250 and 300mm roll diameters and a stainless steel flatwork ironer of 325mm.

Imesa is a leading Italian-based manufacturer of laundry equipment. It has an extensive network of distributors. The company was featuring its Tandem stacked washers and dryers units, designed as a space-saving solution for the Horeca sector of the food-service industry.

Three models are offered, a 14kg high-spin washer combined with either a 14 or 18kg dryer and an 18kg washer with a same capacity dryer. All three units feature control systems that are built-into the unit.

Denis Begasse, vice president for sales, laundry products, at Metso (Fanafel) said that Texcare was very busy and that there was an air of optimism at this year’s event. The company was presenting its full range of textile clothing for feeders, ironers and folders as well as consumables for finishing machines.

Special emphasis was given to the heavy-duty, high-air permeability needled felts, which equip most of the fast modern big roll ironers made today in the world. Orders had been excellent, said Begasse.

At ironer specialist GMP, Vera Simon said this year’s Texcare had been very positive, with the Italian company’s range of flatwork ironers receiving a great deal of attention. Simon said the show was important for GMP as it allowed the company to reinforce its commitment to customer service and to its worldwide distributor network.

Innovation was equally important and GMP?featured its G-line ironers, which now have smart electronics to assist service engineers with diagnostics. The range also features twin temperature sensors to provide precise control across the ironing surface. A further improvement is the SKS system which makes steam-extraction more efficient and speeds drying.

The E ("evolution") range now features additional electronic control functions for self-service laundries.

Schulthess was showing several developments, including its Spirit proLine WEI 9100 washing machine with automatic detergent dosing system and Spirit topLine TW8340 heat pump dryer equipped with an automatic self-cleaning system. The company also showed the Spirit topLine Swiss?Mop cleaner with rack and lint-trap door.

Danube International managing director Bernard Jomard said that the stand had been busy and in addition to visitors from Europe and there had been many from America and the Middle East. It was also a chance to update distributors with machine developments.

These included the Med 33 barrier washer, which joins the 16 and 22kg barrier machines, and the DII ironer.

Laco Machinery export manager Wim Opsomer said he had been very happy with the show and with the quality of the leads generated.

The Belgian-based manufacturer is expanding its ironer range and the show allowed Laco to demonstrate its machines at work. The Comfort Evolution automated ironer includes feeder, folder, cross-folder and stacker and the company showed a 500mm diameter model with 2m working width.

Also on view were the return-feed M300 and M370 chest heated ironers and 600 and 800 chest ironers, which are available in steam, gas, electric and diesel versions.

The company demonstrated its Magic control module that can be retrofitted to any Laco ironer or can be fitted to any new ironer. Also on view was the Laco Fold folding machine. Available for one- to four-lane operation, the folder can be automatically synchronised with a Laco ironer. “Our aim is to make industrial technology accessible to small- and medium-sized laundries,” said Opsomer.

Lamac Machinery was formed last year and director Sabine Lapauw said it was essential to be at the show. She added that the company is committed to developing and manufacturing high quality, reliable laundry equipment. It specialises in dustmat equipment for service and care sectors, mat makers and laundries. It makes its own equipment but also imports additional machines.

Sabine Lapauw said the company was looking for worldwide distributors.

Podab was also exhibiting for the first time. The Swedish company provides high performance drying cabinets, hydro extractors and dehumidifiers. CEO Jimmy Nilsson said the company is established in several European markets, particularly France and the Scandinavian countries and had gained several useful leads at the show.

The stand featured the T62 drying cabinet and the FC18 Fire dryer , which has been specifically developed for heavy-duty overalls.

Mountville Mills, the USA mat company, has a sales operation based in Belgium and its European general manager Kirk Boster said that mats remain a profitable line for laundries.

The company has developed a Logo Mat program and Boster said that this is fast, simple and easy to use. There are no art charges and the service produces proof sketches in 24 hours. It provides a 100% customer guarantee and once designs are approved, the mats are dispatched in three business days.

UK-based linen supplier Richard Haworth was attending its first Texcare show. Managing director Raj Ruia and Alan Saunders, business development manager, said that visitors had shown strong interest, particularly in the Optima-finish lines.

The Optima finish has been designed to save launderers time and money. It incorporates a stain release system that helps to prevent soiling sticking to the linen. As a result Optima linen is easy care and it also has increased tear resistance so that products last longer. Its ironer-friendly properties reduce pressing time and makes ironing quicker and easier.

Ruia said there was a steady level of enquiries from Europe, and that the company would be looking to build on its sales in the Eurozone generally.

Texfinity is known as a specialist in second-hand laundry equipment but David Wollants and Erwin Vanspauwen explained that this is not its sole business. They demonstrated the Texcontrol Laundry Automation system, which the company has developed to update the controls on reconditioned machines across all areas of the laundry production line. There is one user-friendly interface for all machines and an internet connection for diagnostics.

Goudkuil, based in the Netherlands, reported a good show. The supplier of rebuilt and second-hand equipment said the market is still strong despite recent economic upheavals and the company’s customer base is widening.

The Belgian company CBA Machines has over 40 years experience of trading in second-hand and re-built machinery and can supply separate machines or equip a whole laundry.

It supplies customers throughout the world and CEO Arnold van Dijck reported tremendous interest from businesses in countries such as Angola, Colombia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He said that several contracts had been agreed at Texcare and the company has already delivered many machines.

At WSP Systems, Joanne Vroegindewij said that the Netherlands-based logistics company’s Laundry Dashboard system had generated much interest. This monitors the performance and productivity of machines and employees.

WSP develops and installs complete logistics solutions for industrial laundries all over the world and it demonstrated the Internal Logistics systems on the stand.

The company has also made a significant investment in the development of bag rail systems and conveyors, the WinWash process visualisation and in control, textile management and registration (TMR) and management information systems.

SoCom has developed the Tikos system, a series of software modules that covers most aspects of the laundry operation. Managing director Peter Turek said that he expected to gain contracts and orders as a result of the exhibition. He noted that the industry was becoming optimistic and visitors had been interested in the software’s ability to increase efficiency.

It was introducing several modules at the show including production management, bonus management, mobile consignment and updated modules for workwear and for managing customer service.

Tomer Poliner, vice president marketing at Polytex Technologies of Israel, was pleased with the show. Polytex has developed a system for the dispensing, retrieval, and management of folded textiles, including uniforms, towels and garments and has carried out over 200 installations.

Its dispensing unit for folded uniforms, which provides over 1,000 uniforms in a two square metre footprint, was on view.

At Micross Automation Systems Nick and Janet Nelson said that attendance at Texcare was a worthwhile investment. The company has developed the Tracknet suite of products for monitoring operators, machines and utilities. It was demonstrating enhancements to Tracknet PEM, an integrated management system for reviewing, costs, profitability and productivity.

Tagsys demonstrated its complete workflow management system for textile rental service provider. Based on UFH RFID technology, the modular system includes applications such as soiled-work check in, order preparation and check out, which can be monitored from a single location.

Recent additions included the LINTRAK UHF tag, a discreet woven label, that can withstand pressures up to 60bar and is guaranteed for 200 cycles or up too three years.

Angeline Fraud, marketing communications manager said Tagsys was extremely pleased to see the growing interest in RFID.

Datamars presented its latest innovations in RFID transponders and reading systems. It was introducing the Novo transponder, the latest addition to its range of LaundryChips.

The Novo has been developed for developed for high-volume, bulk-read applications, where reading ranges of over one metre are required. It is said to be ideal for use with pooled linen stock in applications such as hotel and restaurant work or hospital linen. There are two versions, one for workwear and one for linen.

Fritz Ulrich Eckert, who was representing Germany’s Hohenstein Institute spoke to LCNi about his organisation’s ongoing research into linen losses. He said that at a time when laundries were looking to reduce costs by pressing for cheaper detergents, operators were overlooking the fact that the costs of linen replacement were far higher. Hohenstein was preparing a report into prolonging the life of linen.

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