Sustainable power

Textile service providers want to provide their customers with impeccable linen. First and foremost, the linen must not have a single stain and must be hygienically clean. However, it is also important that the laundry is processed in a sustainable way, says Kannegiesser, a leading global laundry solutions provider with the impressive PowerTrans Vario tunnel wsher at the fore of its offering.

As Kannegiesser says, sustainability has become more and more important for laundries due to the effects of the global climate change, constantly rising energy prices and new the EU directives on the conservation of drinking water resources. This is also becoming clear in the marketing of their customers. They are paying more and more attention to the conservation of resources such as water, steam, gas and electricity. Kannegiesser wants to enable its customers to meet these requirements.

The following six features make the washing process of the PowerTrans Vario as sustainable as possible:

1. The highly efficient washing mechanism

The factors needed for a successful washing process are: Mechanical action, Time, Temperature and Chemicals. This is also described as the ‘Sinner Circle’. If one factor is increased, other factors can be reduced. In the case of ActiveDrop, the highly efficient mechanical wash action ensures that the textiles are permanently compressed and rinsed instead of just being rubbed on the textile surface. This means, use of chemicals can be reduced.

2. The energy remains in the system

For thermal or chemo-thermal disinfection, the temperature must be controlled and maintained for a certain time. For this purpose, the PowerTrans Vario has insulated drum walls with granulate filling both at the beginning and at the end of the main wash. They reduce heat transfer from the main wash zone to the colder pre-wash and rinse zone. In combination with the high-quality foam insulation (60 mm for clear wash chambers and 40 mm for heating chambers) this ensures a completely encapsulated main wash area.

3. Water and chemicals – not too much and not too little

Every batch of linen should be processed with exactly the required amount of water and chemicals – no more, no less. With the straight drum wall design of the PowerTrans Vario, Kannegiesser guarantees complete batch separation. This means that every batch is treated individually according to its true batch size and its wash programme. In particular, the ratio metric dosing and the liquor ratio are precisely adjusted. Since liquor mixing between neighbouring batches is avoided, there is no unnecessary dilution.

4. Steam injectors without compressed air

There is potential for savings as soon as the energy is fed into the system. Special steam injectors of the VENTURI type ensure maximum utilisation of the injected heat. This design works without the addition of compressed air during steam injection. The energy required to generate the compressed air can thus be saved.

5. Energy-saving drive system

The motor of the PowerTrans Vario is controlled by a frequency converter. This frequency converter reduces the starting currents and the torque peaks. Kannegiesser also uses drive rollers made of POM (PolyOxyMethylene), an ideal plastic which, in addition to good material properties such as hardness, strength and surface quality, also has a particularly low coefficient of friction so less total energy is required for the drive.

6. Large, insulated cockpit tanks for maximum water recovery

The purpose of the integrated recovery tanks is to recover water from the washing process. But this is not just about the water as a raw material. After all, the process water is loaded with energy and chemicals. Obviously, textile service providers want to recover as much of it as possible for cost reasons. If the recovery tanks are too small, the machine consumes more cold fresh water, which increases the water and heating requirements. Kannegiesser machines have large and fully thermally insulated recovery tanks as standard. Less fresh water needs to be drawn and less heating is required. This reduces the overall resource requirement.

When to tunnel in

The company that brought us the continuous batch washer, or tunnel washer, back in the 1960s was Milnor. Since then, laundry managers have converted their plants from washer-extractors to tunnel systems to accommodate for increased business. If your business scales up to processing more than 500 kg of goods per hour, it might be worthwhile considering a tunnel washer. At higher production volumes, such as 1100-1360 kg per hour, tunnel washers become the most costeffective washing equipment to purchase, says Milnor.

When contemplating the addition of a tunnel, Milnor suggests operators consider these factors to help determine if this purchase is the solution for your laundry.

  1. Tunnels should wash about 90% of the required production volume. The remainder should be items best handled in a small washer-extractor.
  2. It is not necessary to purchase an entire system that includes a shuttle and dryer. Many small tunnel systems consist of a loading device and an extractor. The extracted goods are moved via cart or sling to conventional dryers.
  3. Many additional costs can be saved due to reduced water and fuel consumption attributable to the tunnel, including smaller boilers, water softeners, heat reclaimers, and smaller internal piping for water, steam, condensate and natural gas, plus downsized utility connections.
  4. Tunnel installation costs are often less compared to installing several large washer-extractors, because a tunnel has the same number of water, power, steam and compressed air connections as one washer-extractor.
  5. Redundant equipment is not necessary for backup – tunnels have developed a reliable reputation.
  6. Compact tunnel designs, offered by Milnor’s PBW™ tunnel, help reduce footprint restrictions.

Additionally, Milnor’s CBW® tunnels are engineered with advanced and sustainable technologies that makes the total cost of ownership worth the investment.

In 1979, Milnor introduced the True Top Transfer feature, which leaves the excess dirty water behind in each module and allows for faster washing than bottom transfer designs. Top Transfer tunnels lift the load completely out of the wash bath via a perforated scoop and transfer it over the top of a fixed bulkhead into the next module. Each module is separated, with no wearable seals nor perforated bulkheads in between. The wash liquor counterflows through all such modules back towards the loading end of the machine. Furthermore, all batch washers must have internal cylinder volumes with volumetric loading at least 41.6 litres per kilogram (based on rated batch size) in every module/chamber, sufficient to prevent the linen from packing too tightly and thus allowing proper dispersion of wash fluids.

In 2009, Milnor enhanced the True Top Transfer tunnel concept with PulseFlow® technology, which incorporates standing bath washing with controlled intermittent high velocity counterflow in every process module.

PulseFlow technology begins with the patented RecircONE® pump arrangement feature, producing high-speed water recirculation and allowing for fast and nearly instant wet-down. This saves time and the need for dedicated wet down modules.

The PulseFlow wash method continues with a three-step wash/dilution process in each module. The first step employs standing bath washing, allowing chemical energy to release and suspend soil from the linens. The next step begins dilution – high velocity counterflow rinsing takes place, which dilutes the loosened suspended soil. The last step is the True Top Transfer feature, submerging the goods in progressively cleaner water in just a few seconds.

Milnor’s partner factory, located in Shenzhen, China (Castic SMP), is now producing PulseFlow tunnels to Milnor’s quality standards, helping reduce costs for the international market.

Tough, durable and long lasting

Lavatec tunnel washer systems are durable and reliable equipment that stands the test of time, says the company. Regular maintenance goes a long way and some operators still have their machines performing well after 30 years of operation. When parts wear out, the company has a stockpile ready within hours for simple replacement.

As customers experience water savings of 40,000 gallons per day, reductions in operating time are leading to plant production efficiency improving by 20- 30% and across-the-board savings on utilities costs. Jim Shaw said there are many solid reasons to invest in a Lavatec tunnel washer and os Management system.

“The total cost of ownership is a major consideration and relates to an investment in the maintenance of the equipment,” said Shaw. A 40-year industry veteran, he is Lavatec VP and national accounts sales manager.

“We anticipate Lavatec tunnel system parts to run approximately 1.5-2% of the equipment investment annually. Other systems can experience a much higher cost to maintain, resulting in driving the ‘cost to own’ to match the initial purchase price over the life of the equipment.”

Lavatec currently manufactures two tunnel washer models. Bottom transfers include six models ranging from 80 to 220 pounds, and a new 265 pound capacity system is in the planning stage. Centre/top transfer models offer three variations with 80, 110 and 135 pound capacities.

“The bottom transfer model is the most popular,” says Shaw, “because it achieves the same production requirements and quality of finished product in a much simpler design. Our tunnels range in size from 4 to 20 compartments, with most of the recent designs containing between 14 to 18.”

Shaw said another cost advantage is Lavatec’s chainless friction roller drive system, which provides for lower maintenance and redundancy that geardriven chain and sprocket designs cannot offer. “The Lavatec system is designed to run on three drives without interruption, and as few as two with an adjustment in load sizes,” continues Shaw. “This radically reduces the likelihood of system shut down.”

Shaw says using Lavatec’s os Management software helps a plant’s efficiency. “Simply put, you cannot manage what you do not know. This system monitors and provides production reports, data analysis, and visualisation of your complete laundry operation using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.”

Fast and super hygienic

The Jensen UniQ tunnel washer is based on concepts that have been tried and tested over many years and have been specifically developed further. “Jensen tunnel washers have the shortest transfer times in the industry thanks to the open drum design without paddles with the complete batch is transported to the next chamber in just 4 seconds thanks to the proven Archimedean helix,” says Jensen’s Nicolas Gostony.

“FlexWash and FlexRinse technologies ensure full batch integrity throughout the machine and offer full process control for each batch. Because of the open drum design, the transfer is up to 50% faster than in conventional tunnel washers, each batch remains in its own bath with its own individually programmed quantity of detergent, process water temperature, bath level and other parameters. Jensen was the first manufacturer in the world to develop and launch the FlexWash process,” says Gostony.

In the basic configuration of the Jensen UniQ, washing is done in standing baths in the pre-wash and main wash areas (bath exchange process) and rinsing is in counter-flow. Every batch stays in its own bath until the start of the rinse zone and has its own individually programmed quantity of detergent, process water temperature, bath level and so on. In the basic version, the rinse process uses a counter-flow. For special applications, such as frequent changes in colour during the sequence of batches, the rinse zone can also be made with completely separate baths. With FlexRinse, a bath change process is also used for rinsing.

Jensen’s patented QuickSoak option gives the laundry an extra shower during the prewash. This enables a maximum soaking effect and more active washing performance to be achieved. No additional motors or pumps are required, so no resources are consumed.

Meanwhile, the patented UVClean system for Jensen tunnel washers automatically prevents bacteria growth in double drum areas without having to use any chemicals – it is the most natural, most environmentally friendly, and most efficient way to eliminate germs and bacteria. Bacteria does not become resistant to UV radiation – in contrast to chemical methods. Laundry is usually disinfected in the main washing area of the tunnel washer. Nevertheless, there is the risk in all types of tunnel washers that the laundry will become contaminated with microorganisms in the rinsing zone. The reason for this is the bacterial biofilm in the tunnel washer, which forms a perfect breeding ground in areas with a warm and moist environment that are not continuously rinsed with washing water. Disinfection of surfaces inside a tunnel washer is therefore imperative in order to inhibit the growth of germs and biofilms. UV-C rays are a natural approach among the current methods used for dealing with local biofilms. Microorganisms such as germs, bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are eliminated and/or their growth is prevented. Compared with other methods of disinfection, this has the benefit that no chemicals are used and there are no problems with regard to environmental compatibility and disposal. UVClean is available both for new machines and as a retrofit for existing Jensen systems.

Speedy, clever and strong

One of the standout features of CLM Texfinity’s S.wash t tunnel washer is its exceptional speed, says the company. Thanks to individual wash speed settings for each article or program, this tunnel washer ensures optimal washing times for various textiles. The combination of a CLM Texfinity’s own drum design, sophisticated water management, and high- quality industrial components makes the S.wash t a top performer in terms of both speed and the quality of the washing process. Additionally, generously dimensioned drainpipes and water valves expedite drainage, further reducing cycle times.

The S.wash t’s robust structure boasts a 200mm thick steel frame, ensuring longevity and reliability. The inner drum is crafted from 4mm high-quality stainless steel 304, with a unique design that enhances mechanical acton. High-quality drum seals made of EPDM rubber further contribute to its dependability. Moreover, the water injection is meticulously controlled by a flow meter, guaranteeing accurate water usage control.

S.wash t is designed to easy to understand, use, and maintain. The machine comes with a bottom transfer, minimising the risk of blockages inside the tunnel and reducing linen damage compared to top or centre transfer systems. The 15-inch colour responsive touch screen, with a high-resolution display and intuitive menu structure, simplifies program generation and modification.

It offers capacity for up to 100 ‘recipes’, while the drum drive with a frequency inverter and a robust roller chain ensures efficient operation. Additionally, the drive chain features an automatic lubricating device, and large window panels facilitate easy observation. The electrical cabinet can be easily accessed for chain and motor drive maintenance.

“The S.wash t is a cyber-physical solution that continuously streams data leading to greater automation, machine learning, and real- time information. It stores production data, connects with a Central Database, and allows for operation, service, and productivity monitoring via smartphones or tablets. Making the S.wash t smarter lowers the need for complex adjustments and reduces human errors,” says CLM Texfinity.

Compact and powerful

Girbau is keen that laundries know about its TBS50 citing its reliability, efficiency, and sustainability for all types of puts forward nine reasons why the TBS50 is not just a machine but a companion in a sustainable growth story. According to Girbau the TBs50’S USPs are:

  1. With a loading height of just 2.6 meters, the TBS50 stands out as the most compact solution on the market. Designed for small spaces and low ceilings, it easily integrates into all types of laundries.
  2. It allows for the recovery and filtering of water from pressing and rinsing to be reused in the pre-wash and wash processes. It is also possible to reuse water from the washing process.
  3. From hotels to hospitals, this model offers customised solutions. For example, ithe hospital Hygiene version includes steam inlets in each compartment to ensure maximum disinfection.
  4. Care Touch technology, in all modules, prevents sharp edges on drum perforations that could damage laundry.
  5. Top Transfer technology promotes efficiency in the washing process. It maximises mechanical action thereby reducing time, water, and chemicals.
  6. A TBS50 adjusts the dosing of water and chemicals according to the load.
  7. The possibility of incorporating heat exchangers allows the thermal energy of the wastewater to be harnessed, reducing water heating costs by up to 30%. Additionally, its design allows all its compartments to be insulated, avoiding energy losses and consolidating a sustainable positioning.
  8. To reduce maintenance costs and increase reliability, the TBS50 has two motors directly driven to the tunnel crown wheel to perform the rotation, with an automatic greasing system avoiding chain transmission systems that require greater maintenance and rely on a single motor. inside the tunnel.
  9. The TBS50 allows comprehensive monitoring of every batch. From programs and customers to batch load, wash temperature, water inlet, pH, and chemicals dosed. Additionally, in connection with Girbau presses and dryers, it allows monitoring from washing to pressing and drying.

“The TBS50 is not just a tunnel washer but an integral solution for all types of industrial laundries. Its compact design, operational efficiency, sustainability, and adaptability make it the perfect choice for improvedperformance, reduce costs, and embrace sustainable practices in the laundry process. A smart investment for a cleaner and more efficient future.”