Ironers can be fitted with feeders and folders to speed laundry production. According to Lapauw, more laundries opt for automated processes for folding and, especially for feeding, to ensure the best finish possible. This is why even small laundries opt for a feeder and folder.

Lapauw sees a steady increase of sales of one-roll ironers that are either already equipped with feeder and folder or that can be retrofitted with a feeder and folder for single-lane operations.

Automation is a major factor and Lapauw believes that laundries want machines that are user-friendly and this is reflected in the design of the controls – the machines should be simple to operate and program. Feeders or feeding aids are proliferating in to all types of laundries.

The FlexPRO is the latest addition to Lapauw’s family of folders – Unifold, Superfold, Starfold and Stack & Fold small piece folder. Its feeder range includes the Unifeed, Starfeed & Starfeed+, Extra and Unix. The Starfeed+, with its one pair of feeding clamps, offers feeding for small operations while at the other end of the scale, the Unix feeder is a high speed, high quality feeder, which is available in one or two lanes and with 2 to 4 feeding clamps.

Cherry Tree Machines, the longestablished UK industrial laundry equipment manufacturer and supplier of Cherry Tree pocket washers and dryers and Lavatec products has agreed terms with Lapauw to distribute Lapauw equipment, including ironing lines (ironers, feeders and folders), as well as tunnel finishers, trolley washers and logistic systems. The agreement also covers Lapauw spare parts and engineering.

The range of Lapauw feeders and folders offered by Cherry Tree are recognised as the best and most economical feeders and folders in the market (UK and globally), says Cherry Tree’s Bob Mills. “They provide superior quality, high productivity, and low total cost of ownership,” he says. “Their long-term reliability and an exceptional 10 year warranty combined with Cherry Tree’s commitment to customer service and an outstanding 24/7 offering, mean they offer a complete solution to your laundry requirements.”

Cherry Tree also offers a range of high quality, fully refurbished and remanufactured folders and feeders.

Mill adds: “At the end of March, we are excited to be announcing the launch of a new comprehensive folder, which will further enhance our product portfolio and offer our clients even more.”

Speed, accuracy and quality

According to Ross Weir, managing director of HJ Weir, feeding and folding equipment requests are greatly dictated by the laundry size and customer book. As client’s customers grow in both calibre and scale, the machinery they use for feeding and folding needs to improve in terms of productivity, speed, accuracy and quality. “The decision on what equipment to buy for feeding and folding can be subjective depending on what linen you are processing and what your goals are, ” he says.

For small pieces a simple vacuum-based feeder, like the HJ Weir VacFeed 37 is the best, better than extended feed bands on an ironer. The vacuum allows accurate placing of linen and time for adjustment before the piece enters the ironer. Coupled with the simple controls and industry leading reliability this machine is a great option.

According to H J Weir managing director Ross Weir: “The Vacfeed 37 is a great addition to an ironer line ensuring that the work is perfectly presented to the ironer. Obviously, this then ensures that the folding equipment can perform optimally.”

Large piece feeding into clamps is an option offered by many suppliers. If you are planning to feed heavy super king-size duvet covers via clamps, it is important to ensure that the feeder has adjustable torque settings and possibly a “shake” function.

The provision of a suction box to collect the hanging linen is also important so that the eventual presentation to the ironer is correct. The HJ Weir Vacfeed 29 Lowline has all these features as standard. “The ability for this machine to cope with bedlinen and table linen makes it a very flexible proposition. These machines operate in all laundry environments and give great quality and efficiency,” says Weir.

When it comes to folding the HJ Weir range is extensive from the Foldmaker 55, an incredibly versatile flatwork folder that can handle everything from super king duvets to pillow cases and napkins, to the Foldmaker 64 which is in operation worldwide giving excellent quality and speed folding multiple lanes of small pieces. Add to this the stacking option and productivity can really take off. Towel folding is also covered from standard fold machines the Foldmaker 56 and Foldmaker 66 to the French folding Airspeed 43 and 53.

All HJ Weir machines have a reporting function. Pieces and classifications are monitored, and reports can be generated. There is also the option to connect the machines to the internet and have the data displayed on the HJ Weir Portal. This internet connectivity also allows remote fault diagnosis and early warnings for maintenance engineers via text or email direct from the machine.

“When it comes to feeding and folding, we have an option for everything,” says Ross Weir. “It’s hardly surprising though as we are the originators of flatwork handling technology.”

Operators using an older Weir folder can now upgrade to the Weir Technik platform, providing advanced, pro active maintenance features, ideal for laundries of all sizes, especially those who don’t have an engineer on site. Weir Technik uses the company’s latest technology based on Evolution MMXV1. Parameters can be stored on a USB memory device for safe keeping or can be transferred to a computer.

Compact solution

Girbau has launched the Compact+ ironing system, which brings together feeding, drying, ironing, folding and stacking in a single machine.

According to the company, Compact+ is ideal for laundries seeking to boost the efficiency and quality of their ironing process without needing large spaces or extending their premises to fit the machines in.

The Compact+ offers a new cross fold section that mimics the technology used in the proven Girbau FRB large-piece folder. It also features a new drop stacker, rather than a flip stacker, to mimic the high production and industrial design of the GI FRB Stacker.

Adding to ease of operation and crosstraining, the Compact+ uses the same PLC system as other Girbau products, including DRF Feeders, PC Ironers, FRB Folders and FT Folders. It harnesses a full-color Inteli Touch-Screen Control with 99 customisable programs, along with complete control over ironing parameters, faults, alarms and alterations in processing and diagnostics.

The Compact+ offers one, two or four working lanes, with one lane for sheets, two for table linens and four for small items, including napkins and pillowcases. Its standard, vacuum-assisted feeding table simplifies linen feeding, maximizes production and processing speeds, and ensures high-quality results.

The Compact+ processes damp goods straight from the washer, without need for dryer preconditioning. As damp items are fed into the Compact+, the optional spreader/ feeder straightens and spreads them. The ironer then automatically adjusts ironing speed and temperature based on the moisture content of the item to ensure a high-quality finish. Once linen is ironed, a built-in folder performs one to two primary folds and one, two or three cross folds to meet specific needs. Finally, an optional stacker collects folded items and delivers them back to the front via an incline conveyor. When the optional small-piece accumulator and stacker are teamed with the Compact+, it feeds, irons, folds, accumulates and stacks while maintaining speeds up to 49-feet-per-minute. All of this requires just one operator.

Combination folders

With the introduction of the first combination folder for large pieces incorporating a lateral fold and a cross fold section in one machine in 1963, JENSEN is a true pioneer within flatwork folding. Several types of combination folders have been introduced since the first introduction.

Jensen presented a completely new finishing line consisting of feeder, ironer and folder at Clean 2019. The new simplified KliQ feeder, designed for both the healthcare and hospitality sectors, offers a high and uniform finishing quality. A transfer beam with a mechanical holding bar replaces the vacuum section. In the receiving position, the holding bar is open while the linen is held between the transfer beam and a fixation tube. During the transfer, the holding bar is closed. Based on the clamp design of the successful Logic 2000 feeder, the new spreading clamp is a masterpiece of operator convenience.

The newly designed super-quick vacuum box gets the trailing edge of the linen into the vacuum box faster, shortening the cycle time. The mechanical holding bar of the KliQ feeder ensures a high and uniform feeding quality and reduces the maintenance requirements over time as it works without vacuum suction.

Jensen’s latest Katana folder is a compact solution with four inline stackers. Laundries can install up to five stackers underneath the folder to sort all existing sizes of large pieces. All crossfold stations are equipped with reversing conveyors and knife, ensuring optimum control of the folding position and a great finish of light and heavy material.

The multiblade technology in both lateral and crossfold section replaces the airblow, which means that laundries can save 50% on compressed air consumption. As an extra bonus, the working environment is much quieter.