Technology, connectivity and innovation for a more automated future17 December 2019
Clean Show was a platform for global manufacturers and suppliers to showcase the latest developments in textile care and it didn’t disappoint as Kathy Bowry reports
Clean Show 2019 in New Orleans gave operators and distributors the chance to catch up on innovations in both laundry and drycleaning solutions and technology that can help them to push business forward in a highly competitive market.
It was the first Clean Show under the auspices of new owner Messe Frankfurt, proprietor of Texcare International, which finalised a deal last December with the Clean Show Executive Committee (CEC) to purchase the event, the largest trade fair for linen, uniform and facility services in the Western Hemisphere.
Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, senior vice president for Messe Frankfurt technical shows, says: “The acquisition of Clean is a milestone for all of us.
“I am honoured to develop such a wonderful successful product and we at Messe Frankfurt are going to improve and develop it further. Thanks to all who contributed to the transition period.” She paid tribute to John Riddle and explained that he was responsible for organising this year’s event.
As part of the deal, TRSA, the association for the linen, uniform and facility services industry and its four association partners – Association for Linen Management (ALM), Coin Laundry Association (CLA), Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) and Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) – will maintain their close involvement with the biennial Clean Show along with Riddle and Associates.
Alliance Laundry Systems
Alliance Laundry Systems is the global leader in commercial laundry equipment. Visitors to a packed stand were able to see Speed Queen’s latest technology for the vended laundry industry, with the introduction of Speed Queen Insights, and the Speed Queen app. The Huebsch brand exhibited the latest additions to the Huebsch Command platform, while the UniMac brand showed laundry managers how its product range and cutting-edge TotalVue system work together to help laundries uncover process improvements to drive greater efficiency and quality results.
CLM and Texfinity were for the first time present at the Clean Show after their recently launched joint venture. The company can now offer the full range of industrial laundry machines to their customers, from tunnel washers to finishing lines and towel folding solutions. The goal of a presence at Clean was twofold: to show the products to the North and Latin American market and to find a dealer for their products for the North American market. CLM-Texfinity showed its S range of feeders and folders to visitors – a 4 station high quality, high speed automatic feeder; the S.fold sheet folder with excellent folding quality for folding sheets and table cloths; and the S.towel, a small piece folder (towel folder).
According to Erwin Vanspauwen and Reinoud Pijpops visitors were impressed by the high quality of the machines. Pijpops adds: “Most importantly, the quality of the visitors to our booth was very high. The majority showing interest in our products were large and important distributors and laundry owners and managers. We have gained a lot of interest from the US market, and also had our first discussions with potential dealers for our brand in North America and other countries.”
Eduard Colomer, export sales director, says: “We have seen new models at the show making a positive impression here in New Orleans. New to the USA in the Domus range, part of the Ecovolution range, are touch control (Touch II) dryers and heat pump dryers. Recycling tanks can now be found on the washer extractors which, along with Touch II, have a 7” display screen, up from 4”, and feature the Eco-Tank concept that allows water recovery,” says Colomer.
In heavy professional equipment, 8kg and 10kg washer-extractors and corresponding dryers have the latest version of the Touch II microprocessor with the option of programming/exporting and importing unlimited programmes and software updates via the USB port.
Domus also launched its next generation of high (450), medium (300) and low (200) spin washers alongside its tumble dryers with single or double drums and heat pump option up to 23kg. These machines are available for OPL and for coin-op with central pay for the latter. All washers and tumble dryers are wet-clean-ready.
Clean room options from Danube included new EASY TOUCH 2 control, with wide coloured touch screen and USB connection, user friendly and fully programmable. It enables significant savings by adjusting accurate quantity of water and soap according to the load (optimal loading, intelligent loading) or by easily piloting Aquabac water recovery tanks, which reduce operation cost and Aqua Flow system, which improves the care of linen by recirculation of the bath water. Equipped as standard with traceability, wetcleaning functions and video display, it meets the needs of all kind of facilities or laundry businesses. It also enables OPL models to be transformed in coin-operated ones in a simple operation. Connected, it makes for easier maintenance and laundry monitoring thanks to Danube’s IoT solution, which enables the management of OPL or coin operated laundries by remote control (providing data recovery for technicians or creation of discount programmes, for example).
Edro Corporation went to Clean with one goal in mind – to relaunch the long-established brand into the commercial marketplace.
“Since the management restructure earlier in the year, it was our intention to use the Clean Show to remind the industry that Edro not only manufactures military-spec machines but we also manufacture commercial laundry equipment,” said CEO Joe Futcher.
During the course of the four-day event in New Orleans, a large number of interested customers visited the Edro booth and interacted with the management team who were present with a range of the company’s ‘battleship quality’ washer-extractors, tumbler dryers, and ozone systems with lots of updates.
To capitalise on the high levels of interest generated at the show - and to free up space in their East Berlin, Connecticut factory, Edro has announced a sale of laundry equipment, as displayed at the Clean Show, at reduced prices.
Sales and marketing manager David Burnham stated: “This is a one-time-only offer and sales will be on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. The machines are in stock and ready for completion. Delivery would be two to four weeks after receipt of order depending upon the machine.”
Girbau North America (GNA), previously Continental Girbau Inc, showcased its comprehensive offering of commercial and industrial laundry equipment, solutions and innovations at Clean 2019. President Mike Floyd says: “The show was a huge success and allowed us to connect with buyers who were really interested in seeing our equipment and solutions in operation.”
He adds: “In all segments of the business, we introduced new products and solutions to improve laundry production, efficiency and performance.”
Joel Jorgensen, vice president of sales, believes Clean is the perfect venue for GNA to showcase equipment and expertise in the commercial and industrial laundry show segments. “There were vended laundry owners transitioning into the commercial business and drycleaners investing in new vended laundries. Our expert staff – versed in all market segments – worked closely with them to help them out and share their knowledge,” he says.
GNA and Girbau Industrial (GI) commercial and industrial laundry products were on display, including open-pocket E-Series Washers and ProDry2 Dryers, as well as high-volume GI ironing, multi-sort folding and stacking systems. Live demonstrations of the new Compact+ 5-in-One, ST2700 Dryer with vacuum loading, FT Maxi Folder, DRF Feeder and FR+ Folder stole the show, says Jorgensen.
Meanwhile, GNA’s comprehensive line-up of soft-mount washers, in 20- to 255-lb capacities, continued to draw interest, according to Floyd. New capacity additions to this high-performance line included the 70-, 80- and 190-lb capacity machines. The E-Series line offers a soft-mount design for simple installation, high-extract speeds reaching 400 G-force, superior efficiency and the highly flexible Inteli Control.
According to Gerda Jank of Jensen-Group, the company continues to focus on smart digital solutions for heavy-duty laundries. Its booth at this year’s Clean Show in New Orleans reflected its two-tier sales strategy with high-tech products from its American and European factories as well as single machines exported from China under the Alpha by Jensen brand, its second brand to premier in the USA.
The Jensen stand also featured innovative solutions from its partners Inwatec and Gotli Labs, as well as a washroom line-up and new finishing experience.
The Jensen UniQ tunnel washer with integrated ExQ press is based on proven concepts from many years of development and has been revolutionised with many innovations such as the innovative Jensen Operating System (JOS).
Transfer times, says Jank, are 10% faster than in any other tunnel washer thanks to the open drum design, and the FlexWash and FlexRinse Technology guarantee full batch integrity in the entire machine. The new UVClean system prevents bacterial growth in double drum sections automatically and without any chemical supply. The Jensen Operating System (JOS) guarantees a higher usability thanks to the new HMI with a unified look and feel through all Jensen-technologies. JOS is the latest state-of-the-art control with aligned software and hardware architecture and ready for Industry 4.0.
The ErgoVision video monitoring of the loading and unloading process ensures a higher operational safety. The BlueEdition version consumes just 1.6 litres of fresh water per kg of linen. External ‘EcoTanks’ provide additional buffer volume for a higher water recovery and guarantee the lowest utility consumption,” says Jank.
“The new integrated Jensen ExQ water extraction press offers best productivity with the best ease of maintenance. The 2K press cushion with its two components adapts perfectly to the extracted linen and extends the lifetime of the press cushion considerably. The extraction times of the ExQ press is 10% faster than in conventional presses,” says Jank.
“Our new value-engineered brand Alpha by Jensen premiered in the USA, showing a tunnel washer ALPHA TW5 and a towel folder ALPHA T5. Alpha by Jensen is the new brand of the Jensen-Group. It stands for high quality, high value for money solutions for laundry owners all over the world who need dependable laundry machinery that can simply get the job done,” says Jank.
Kannegeisser ETECH believes the way forward is via integrated systems that enable synchronisation of both material and data flow for maximum productivity. This high level of automation is key to controlling labour, energy, water and administration costs, says Kannegeisser ETECH’s Phil Hart and the results of the company’s investment in finding solution to this were evident on the stand.
Live demonstrations, a strong focus on automated intelligent integrated laundry systems and a totally automated system for feeding and folding different sized towels through to dispatch with no human intervention impressed visitors to the Kannegeisser ETECH stand. The RFT robotic towel feeding system has been developed to sync with Kannegeisser’s XFM Speedline towel folder. Also on show was the company’s fully operational monorail linen distribution system controlled by the company’s eVue Control software.
The Universal Washer, a collaboration between Laundrylux and Electrolux was launched at Clean Show 2019. Universal Washers allow laundromat customers to put any size load into a washer and be charged a price that correlates to their precise load. Unveiling the Universal Washer, Neal Milch, executive chairman of Laundrylux said: “For the first time, a truly customer-centric product has been designed. If you win the hearts and minds of customers in the market, then you control the market and are competition-proof.”
Steven Renders, CEO of Belgium-based manufacturer Lapauw, was on hand on the Lapauw stand at Clean 2019 to promote the benefits of Lapauw’s latest aid to commercial and industrial launderers. In line with the company’s avowed intent to offer its customers the lowest cost of ownership, the company now offers a ‘laundry platform service programme’ which, for a small additional cost, offers a five-year parts warranty.
“Fixed costs mean there are no surprises down the line and the charge can be included in financing at time of purchase. Lapauw runs what can be seen as a different business model to other manufacturers as we earn money on our machines sales, not spares,” says Renders. “We are best by guarantee and as such offer operators a headache-free five years.”
He adds that Lapauw is looking for US distributors and is launching machines into the US OPL market.
As well as introducing its service plan, Lapauw showed off its latest innovations in ironing solutions including the IronMAX, the latest generation in self-contained, gas-heated ironers from the company that invented them.
Lavatec Laundry Technology
Lavatec Laundry Technology, can boast that in the United States alone, more than 8,000 Lavatec machines are in place.
Taking centre stage at Clean was the new LP583 Lavaspeed extraction press, which features a unique hydraulics package. The 12-compartment, 220-pound LT100 tunnel washer was also displayed alongside the LX445 washer-extractor, the LavaRail monorail, a TT 756 gas dryer and front-load FL633 gas dryer, and a single lane towel folder.
Lavatec also featured the newest software package for osLaundry control system that can be built into all Lavatec equipment and helps make plant management more efficient.
Keith Ware, vice president of sales for Lavatec, says: “The new update to osLaundry software makes it better than ever for plant management to monitor and control their operation.”
“When I worked in plant management, I would have liked the opportunity to have this program available for my operation,” says Ware. “It produces data and information in real time, so you know what is happening at any given moment. If there is a problem somewhere along the line, you’ll know it sooner rather than later so you can react faster and make more informed decisions. Overall, osLaundry is proving to save operators time and money. That’s an important consideration to be able to leverage in today’s world.”
He explains that the new Lavaspeed press is impressive with faster pressing leading to lower moisture content and faster drying times and pledged that customers can expect to benefit from many other productivity benefits. This is possible due to having separate high and low-pressure systems and an inverter controlled, high-pressure pump. The extraction pressure is measured at the membrane and not at the pump, resulting in improved efficiencies and guaranteed performance. The Lavaspeed press is available in multiple sizes so it can match with any Lavatrac tunnel system. It also offers multiple press program options to meet product needs.
The LT100 tunnel washer and the overhead LavaRail monorail system – with its space saving belt conveyors, sorting carousels and compatibility with all equipment brands – would improve productivity, says Ware.
Meanwhile, the TT 756 450-pound capacity gas dryer incorporates safer ergonomics, sustainable processes and smart technology, all designed into one machine. “Plant managers looking to find every production edge from their equipment should not overlook our TT series of dryers,” explains Ware. “Our dryer technology with its infrared sensors has improved drying times by up to 15%. There are several advantages associated with it, such as higher throughput, reduced gas consumption that saves on energy costs, and linen that isn’t being over-dried. This is the result of a line burner system that covers the entire drum. In turn, it produces superb quality and the shortest drying times possible.”
Maytag Commercial Laundry
Maytag Commercial Laundry lined up the brand’s latest solution for the vended and on-premises laundry markets. Designed to handle heavy loads of laundry turn after turn, the Maytag Multi-Load washers are available now in rigid-mount construction in 20 – 65 lb capacities, with a phased rollout of additional configurations continuing through 2019. This configure-to-order washer allows owners and operators to customise construction options to meet the needs of their business.
The recent acquisition of Fall River manufacturing facility has allowed customised production washer capabilities, with a dedicated line for Maytag rigid and soft mount multi-load washers as well as its range of compatible Multi-Load dryers.
Matt Conn, senior marketing and product development manager at Maytag says: “The $35 million project Fall Rivers facility project includes upgrades to our 300,000-square-foot commercial laundry state-of-the-art facility. This will be our largest plant in the world dedicated to commercial laundry. The advanced production here supports the growth of our premium commercial laundry business, which includes some of the most innovative multi-load washers and dryers, specialty products and industrial dryers offered in the marketplace.”
Hitting the market this summer, the Maytag washer can be configured in hundreds of different ways for different country needs, at no extra cost, allowing customers to choose among different water heating options, electrical connections, control interfaces, water inlets, drain systems and cabinet construction options.
Conn reports that distributors are enthused by having a Maytag branded complete solution to sell to their customers and response from both coin-op and OPL operations to the rollout of the products has been more than positive.
In November 2018 20lb and 30lb machines came on stream and were joined during Clean Show by 40, 55 and 65 lb machines in the USA and around globe. July 2019 saw the launch of SoftLine machines from 25lb up to 65lb. A new control platform with 4.3in LCD colour screen offers large programmability ¬ offline, via USB or by connecting to a computer as well as a Cloud-based solution. Programming on MC360 is standard on all machines but distributors will need to order it with a machine because of country differences so it can be tailored to suit but definitely no extra cost, insists Matt Conn, giving seamless enabling for customers.
Milnor’s latest innovation is the MilRail system which, says Milnor International managing director Thierry Lambermont, is the mechanical MilRail from some years ago resurrected, updated, enhanced with state-of-the-art technology and speeded-up after Milnor bought the software and technology to reinvent it for the digital age. The result is a single loop, complete loading and storage system and it can be supplied to any customer globally and means Milnor has all aspects of laundry equipment manufacture and supply under its own auspices, providing a one-stop shop to its customers.
New additions on the stand included its range of MWF small suspended washer-extractors (60lb (27kg) - to 265lb (120kg), engineered to be vibration-free and equippped with Miltouch controls. plus a touch screen that easily allows operators to select and modify pre-programmed commands, tailoring them to specific needs. Also on show was the eight module 76039 PulseFlow tunnel washer and a new press. The press, says Lambermont, is a major innovation. A new upperplate and simplified technical components can be found on the machine. In addition, he explains: “There is now a single pump for the 56 bar press. Before it was a double hydraulic construction, now it is a mono pump. The advantages? Cheaper, more efficient and fewer parts.” Other innovations from Milnor include a new pass-through gas dryer modulating air flow for better efficiency and performance with the result Lambermont says confidently that will show on the bottom line.
The M series washer-extractors 275lb (125kg), 500lb (225 kg) and 660lb (300kg) tilting both sides drew attention. The largest is equipped with Milnor’s Active Balancing System (which will also be rolled out as an option on the smaller models). Lambermont explains that the system makes the extraction process smooth and not so wearing on parts thereby extending the life of the machine. “Even if there is an uneven load, this is not a problem, the machine will keep working as water is injected into the ribs of the machine. ABS was actually developed in 1993 nd has subsequently been improved with sensors and is now electronic.”
Wrapping up on the Milnor offering, the MWB small barrier washer 58lb - 185lb (26- 84kg) is a new range that Lambermont says is high quality and affordable. “It was developed for the European market but has attracted interest on the stand from US operators. If you underload the machine it automaticaly adjust water and chemicals automatically.”
Vega, which provides commercial laundries with full systems from coathangers,roller towel systems to turnkey operations had in pride of place on its stand an open pocket washer extractor that Vega’s Steve Childs dubs “the Game Changer”.
The standalone machine has a high spin of 680 rpm and is a game changer in that even at that speed there is no vibration says Childs. “Use it for mats, heavy soil items - anything. It is a really useful piece of kit. You don’t have to fill it to capacity it will still balance whether full or half full and will calculate chemicals and water needed for the size of load.” Also new from Vega is the Multifold towel folder, which is described by Childs as “a cost effective product that an take a full range of towels, sorting by size...and ideal for large or small laundries and spas and hotels”.
ROUND THE STANDS
British manufacturer of flatwork handling systems HJ Weir has a working partnership with Laco Machinery enabling H J Weir to commit to offering customers a complete ironer line. Ross Weir, managing director of HJ Weir, who was on the lookout for distributor partners for the company’s product, says: “It was great to be speaking with commercial laundry owners and distributors from across the globe. As part of our continued international expansion, opportunities like these are great for meeting new contacts and reconnecting with old. The show didn’t disappoint and continues to be at the centre of the laundry and cleaning industry. It is a must-visit for those serious about building and growing their business internationally.”
Hydro Systems, supplier and developer of chemical dispensing and dosing solutions, introduced its Hydro Connect Real-Time Module. When paired with a Real-Time Module, Hydro Connect offers instant data streaming to further improve the laundry process. “The Real-Time Module helps laundries operate more efficiently, reduce costs and quickly address any abnormal conditions,” said John Goetz, global product manager, Hydro Systems. “Previously, our customers could view historical reports on productivity, chemical usage, costs and alarms. Now, operational data is available as it occurs, allowing immediate action to drive continuous improvement.” Hydro Connect is a cloud-based ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) platform that populates data generated from the company’s Dositec central dosing systems.
Eduard Colomer, export sales director, reported that Onnera with its two brands Domus – for OPL and coin-op businesses – and Danube – healthcare – had a busy few days at Clean “seeing visitors from Asia, Middle East and local US dealers and some very good potential orders in South America, which we were hoping for”.
A spokesperson for CleanCloud software solution says: “The level of international interest in CleanCloud was phenomenal. We now have a presence in over 70 countries and the conversations we had at the Clean Show suggest that the sky’s the limit. Clearent recently took a stake in CleanCloud, meaning we are part of the same family as SPOT, and that has driven a lot of interest in our software from large US companies.
“One of the most compelling aspects of our offer is convenience, and that appears to be driving the major industry trends. Stores are looking for as many ways as possible to reach their customers remotely, so pick-up and drop-off services are on the rise. It’s all about lockers. We assumed there would be serious demand for lockers in buildings and offices, but in fact operators want to install them in-store, too, so they can take orders outside of working hours.
“Even the smallest businesses - independent drycleaners and chains comprising of a handful of stores - are using technology to increase their capacity. The industry is embracing tech far beyond what we saw at the Clean Show two years ago, and that can only be a good thing.”