As the choice in alternative solvents broadens, so co-operation between solvent producers and machine manufacturers is providing the Professional Textile Care (PTC) sector with even greater choices. This year’s Texcare International in Frankfurt will emphasise how the latest solvents now available alongside chlorinated solvents such as perchloroethylene can provide an immense business opportunity.

Innovation is a key ingredient of each Texcare show, and this year is no exception. Digitalisation is a recurring theme in the textile care industry, ranging from new business models to digital solutions for sustainability.

Where the drycleaning industry has done much in terms of energy efficiency, digitalisation also offers further potential: for example, with machine monitoring now processed in real time.

Renzacci of Italy has dedicated time and research to developing interactive technology that allows customers to monitor machines remotely and interact with them.

One innovation is the Smart app for the Renzacci i-Brain. The app allows operators to control their drycleaning machine as if they were standing in front of it – especially helpful for an owner who maybe is out on deliveries or has several shops to manage. It enables shops to work more efficiently while owners are multitasking, which saves time and energy.

The app can carry out all processes from an easy-to-use android tablet. Customers can swipe between screens and will see the same images, buttons and information as available on the machine display. This includes all the information about cycles, running functions, operating parameters and alarms. All the information is provided in real time, is clear and completely intuitive. Warnings and alarms have an independent report generated, but the app can also relay Pop-Up information for dedicated warnings, like filter cleaning alerts for example.

According to Renzacci, there is a clear and irreversible revolution in progress in the textile care sector, a move away from what used to be described as drycleaning towards the concept of Bio Drycleaning. This combines the innovative technology behind Renzacci’s latest Bio Drycleaning machines together with natural solvents, to provide cleaners with excellent results in both garment finish and machine maintenance.

Renzacci has created CleanBio, a brand that reflects all the most important factors in achieving this. The latest Excellence 2.0 and Nebula 2.0 Series have been designed to work with Renzacci’s Combiclean system technology, a natural cleaning system that gives customers the opportunity to choose among the many available alternatives that provide the best combination of dynamic action of cleaning by the solvent on the fibres.

Renzacci’s latest generation of Excellence 2.0 models – ranging from 15 to 90kg loading capacity – is designed to work with solvents such as Sensene, Intense, Solvon K4, GreenEarth and HiGlo. Renzacci’s Nebula 2.0 is the first drycleaning machine to use the company’s patented Combiclean system so users can select from several different cleaning systems as the Nebula can be adapted to work with a wide range of solvents.

In addition, Excellence and Nebula both use the new DSF (Dynamic Saving Flow) systems that significantly reduces installed power and increases the energy saving by around 40% without compromising reduction in cleaning cycles.

Union is an Italian manufacturer of commercial drycleaning machines. The company invests heavily in research and development and produces over 60 different drycleaning machine models, designed for today’s most frequently used solvents.

Union has full range of XL-XP 8000 and L-P 800 machines designed for use with perc, available in 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 32, 40, 60 or 80kg capacities, as well as a complete range of accessories from automatic still cleaning to automatic solvent temperature control for better cleaning of delicate garments.

For alternative solvents to perc, Union has a full range of machines from 10 to 80kg load capacities, including its successful Nova series. The Nova Series is designed for Class IIIA solvents (hydrocarbon and GreenEarth).

Union’s HLM8000 drycleaning machine is designed with a new soft-mount basket to achieve high extract speed extract without the need to bolt the machine on the floor.

Union also presents Cloud, a cleaning system that is suitable for cleaning all types of fabrics in a totally safe and ecological way. Unveiled at Expo Detergo 2014, the Cloud system is described as a true alternative to cleaning with solvents and wetcleaning with water. Cloud is completely eco-compatible, without any unpleasant odours, and without any toxic or combustible substances. Garments are treated inside the drum in a controlled atmosphere environment, with low oxygen content thus avoiding oxidation, leaving colours brilliant. A low temperature steam cloud penetrates the garments in order to obtain the delicate, yet effective, treatment of colours, without compromising the fibres. Cleaning cycles are short, between 30 and 45 minutes depending on the programme selected and the results required. At the end of the cycle the garments come out dry, ready to be hung up or ironed.

All Union models can be fitted with I-Connect, the company’s latest remote controlling system using a PC or tablet, which allows access to the machine for technical monitoring. This reduces in costs in locations where immediate on-site technical intervention is not possible.

Ilsa of Italy has designed and manufactured drycleaning machines since 1978. Together with a wide range of machines, Ilsa has introduced the Ipura washing system. The cleaning process is carried out without immersion or by the centrifuge of the load, thanks to the Jet Clean injection technique. This method allows the efficient cleaning of waterproofed garments, resinated or coated garments and garments with applications through various techniques. A small quantity of solvent guarantees a complete cleaning service, optimal finishing and high operational economy.

Ilsa was represented at last year’s Clean Show in New Orleans on stand of Columbia Ilsa, the American subsidiary of Ilsa. It was demonstrating some of its machines in use with Sensene and also showcased the C2 Vantage Solvent Select series, now available in 16 to 25kg capacity models, all of which are “stand alone” versions.

Italclean has developed the new Drytec hydrocarbon machines, with and without distillation. The Italian manufacturer says that its Drytec soft and hard mounted machines, with and without distillation, are the most requested in the markets today. There is demand not only for hydrocarbon version, but also for the solvents such as Sensene, Intense, Solvon K4 and GreenEarth.

Italclean machines with the suspended basket complete a cycle in less than 50 minutes, while the rigid take a little over an hour. Italclean has also developed its Vision

Touch touchscreen computer, designed to make better use of the inverter and quickly obtain useful operating information.

Firbimatic has many different commercial and industrial drycleaning machine models for use with hydrocarbon, KTex, Sensene, SolvonK4, and GreenEarth such as the EcoGreen, Saver, K Series, Trio, EcoPro, and F Series.

The F Series AS multi-solvent machines are now available in standard versions with 3 tanks or slim line “Space-saving” with 2 tanks in capacities ranging from 10 to 25 kg (22 lbs to 60 lbs). The Hydro-Vac system of two-stage fractional distillation, yields a solvent of higher quality, dividing the first condensed solvent into a primary separator.

Specific probes allow the automatic discharge of any amount of water that may collect during distillation. An amount of solvent mixed with water is then introduced into the prewash next cycle to improve the removal of stains water-soluble to get an excellent cleaning results.

Firbimatic’s Eco Green series, for use with hydrocarbon, GreenEarth, Intense or Gen X, is available in a soft-mount version with high spin extraction.

The Eco Green K Series is for use with Solvon K4, KTex, hydrocarbon, GreenEarth, Intense and Gen X.

The F Series Omnia is a multisolvent machine line that can use any alternative solvent, while the Saver series is recognised for its low operational costs. Finally Hydroflex is described as an “all-in-one” machine able to perform the functions of three different machines. It can dryclean (with alternative solvents), wash (with water), wet clean and dry the garments.

For use with perc, the Firbimatic F series is designed to follow the strictest environmental rules, for best results washing with smaller operating costs, for simplify the routine maintenance. Options include Energy Still, Eco System for decontamination of the distillation sludge; Clean Still; and Coalperc, integrated to reduce emissions of perc at the end of the cycle.

Maestrelli produces machines in a variety of sizes, engineered to take the new solvents from hydrocarbon to silicon alongside traditional perc machines ranging in size from 6kg to 80kg capacity industrial models. Like most manufacturers, it has both perc machines and those for alternative solvents.

With its Dreamclean HS series, Maestrelli has developed a wide range of machines that work with the main hydrocarbon and silicone solvents of the market

The HS series start from 15Kg up to 45Kg loading capacity. They are all soft mounted models that use “shock absorber” technology. The HS models, as all other drycleaning machines produced by Maestrelli, mount the latest I-Touch computer, with new graphics and enhanced resolution. It is equipped with user-friendly information system, integrated with symbology of international understanding for greater accessibility.

Böwe Textile Cleaning Systems of Germany was founded 1945 and has a full range of machines from 12kg-200kg capacity available in every solvent. The Multisolvent range from Böwe can run every alternative solvent without any mechanical change. Böwe can offer a “P2M kit” to change perc machines to multisolvent.

The Böwe Black Forest Edition is a special model of the Böwe Premium-Line series with additional equipment features. The high-quality machines are electric or steam heated, with loading capacities of 12-30 kg/27-66lb and available in perc and multisolvent.

Böwe’s multisolvent M66 Black Forest Edition is made from stainless steel without painting. The stainless steel parts are glass pearl blasted and the stainless steel piping and brass fittings are not painted. The cataphoresis coatings can be found inside and outside the machine, and the coating prevents lint built up.

The cost-effective Böwe iLine series combines and shares the same technology used in the well-known PremiumLine but taking into account the cost effective level these machines fit in without making compromises. The Böwe iLine series features the Mi360 model, which is said to be is ideal for standard drycleaning operations and also features stainless steel piping, brass fittings and the Böwe Drystat volumetric drying controller that can be found on the PremiumLine series.

The latest developments from Böwe include a new Siemens 12” touch PLC control and the new invention Böwe turbidity measurement to measure the clarity of the solvent after the first bath.