The Kannegiesser 2007 in-house show had three themes, the environment, logistics and automation, all seen as routes to a more efficient and profitable laundry operation.

The company has always been determined to maintain its environmental credentials by developing technology that uses natural resources more efficiently.

This has been achieved in the latest transformation of the tunnel washer system, the PowerTrans Jet, which combines tunnel washer and washer-extractor technology. The centrifugal-extractor, normally found at the end of the line, has been taken into the body of the tunnel.

After washing, the linen and its wash water go straight to the centrifuge. Here, as in a washer-extractor, a pre-spin stage gets rid of the main wash water including some of that absorbed by the linen and this is drained to a recovery tank for re-use. The linen is then rinsed in the centrifuge. Parameters, such as G-force, rinse action and time, can be pre-programmed. At the end of the rinse there is a final extraction at up to 800G and the water is drained to a second tank.

The whole system has greatly improved water efficiency. As the pre-spin (at up to 800G) has removed the “loose” main wash water together with its chemical content and also a proportion of the water absorbed by the linen, the rinse stage is only needed to remove the remaining water in the linen. The pre-spin means that the linen enters the rinse in a compressed state and so it absorbs the rinse water more efficiently.

Good rinse results can be obtained with only 3litres/kg fresh water, and the rinse takes just 1minute compared with 8 – 10 minutes previously. The whole centrifuge stage – pre-extraction, rinse and final extraction – takes only 5minutes.

The system also guarantees that the maximum amount of main wash water and chemicals can be recovered during the pre-spin and this water is hot enough to be used in subsequent washes.

The rinse water recovered from the final extraction is cooler than in a conventional system so it can be used for pre-washing, even where there are protein stains.

The efficient use of resources continued into the dryer section of the show where the company demonstrated dryers that incorporated heat recovery systems. Hot air exhausted by the dryer is directed over a heat exchanger where the extracted heat is used to pre-heat the cold fresh air as it goes into the dryer.

Additionally the air circulation round the dryer’s burner is controlled by two flaps to make more efficient use of the heat. The combination of heat recovery and the controlled air circulation results in savings of around 15%.

In designing its 5th generation of tunnel finishers, Kannegiesser has made energy efficiency a priority for the first time.

The finishers operate on the counter-flow principle. Both the infeed and outfeed chamber effectively act as heat exchangers.

When the air has passed through the garments, it is drawn through a lint screen and some of this air is then sent through a transfer box into the heating zone of the next compartment. This creates an air flow in the opposite direction to that of the garments.

This counterflow drying system, which uses pre-heated unsaturated air from the outfeed chamber, avoids the need to use a burner or steam to heat the air in the last compartment. The outfeed chamber does not exhaust the air but instead cools down the garments to set the finish and uses the energy to pre-heat the air drawn in.

Garments entering the system are pre-heated in the counterflow system before the air is finally exhausted.

The system is energy efficient, producing considerable savings. As an example, for workwear garments, the process only consumes about 1.2kWh per 1kg of evaporated water instead of 1.8kWh for conventional finishers.

As well as being efficient, the system is also gentle and prevents overdrying.

The XMT finishers also have features to improve the finish quality and these include redesigned nozzles which increase the volume of circulating air and a redesigned path for the hangers so that they twist slightly as they move to allow the warm air to penetrate the garments more thoroughly.

In the flatwork finishing section of the exhibition, Kannegiesser was showing an addition to its SHM ironer portfolio with a model with integrated gas-thermal-oil heater. The company sees this as the next logical step to provide laundries with more choice.

The self-contained unit allows a high ironing capacity, in conditions where steam capacity/or steam generation is limited.

At a later date, gas-thermal-oil heating will be introduced as an option in other ironer ranges.

Automation is a continuing trend, and here Kannegiesser was showing its ability to cater for all sizes of laundry by extending the use of some of its innovations.

It has introduced a smaller, 1,670litre version of its PowerSwing washer-extractor. The design of the PowerSwing allows the whole cylinder, both inner and outer drum, to be rotated so that the machine can be loaded from the top. During loading the drum revolves ensuring even distribution and maximising the drum’s capacity. The cylinder unit also rotates downwards so that it can be unloaded easily.

The company has also extended the benefits of its Simplex Plus sorting technology by introducing the Loop, aimed at medium size operations. The system allows garments to be sorted by a variety of parameters.

They can be classified by a single parameter, such as garment type or colour, or by customer, or by several. They can even be classified according to wearer, so that garments can be returned already sorted into complete sets for individual employees.

The garments are arranged in a loop system and as they move round they pass by a reader that organises the appropriate type of sort. Capacity ranges from 500 garments per hour for a complex sort using several criteria to 2,500/hour for a simple sort by one parameter.

The company also demonstrated a way to improve the logistics of finished flatwork sorting, making it more efficient while reducing the labour needed to do so.

It had set up a layout where several different lines were feeding onto a conveyor with a single operator and view screen at the end. As each item reached the conveyor it was identified on the view screen, so the operator could unload it into the appropriate cage according to customer. This allows items to be finished in any order and still sorted accurately.

The equipment was linked into a management system that performs three functions.

It tracks the linen as it passes through the laundry, it monitors productivity and provides reports. The reports can give historic data based on different criteria, machines, customers, employees, and machine events – such as breakdowns or empty running.

The reports can be very detailed bringing management up to date on targets, on types of programs used and the kind of articles processed.

Teleservice is a further option, linking customers to Kannegiesser’s maintenance department.

If there is a problem, the engineer can then connect to the machine concerned and give technical support to the customer directly over an ISDN Line.

A showcase for solutions

Martin Kannegiesser gives his view of the exhibition

These shows are a place to find solutions, says Martin Kannegiesser.
Most laundries today are very busy, he explains. Their markets are growing but there is pressure on prices, and margins, and so our customers need to keep abreast with developments. Everybody feels that they need to modernise, to restructure and to reduce costs to keep up with the competition.
Those who come to the company shows can expect to find solutions and to see technical evolutions, if not revolutions. They can see all aspects of the laundry process in a relatively short time. For many they are more important than the big exhibitions.
These shows have an international audience, but the core business is still Europe and North America. “ New markets” are emerging to provide and additional business. Russia is an example although Kannegiesser has been there some time.
The core markets will also change, there have been areas where consolidation has been a problem. But the question for the textile care sector is: “who can respond best to the needs of the customer?”
Some end-user customers have very specific requirements for their laundries. For example, restaurants need a linen service that can respond to their need for flexibility. It’s not necessarily a question of the laundry’s size but of its willingness and ability to respond quickly to changes in the customer’s needs and that’s where Kannegiesser aims to help them provide solutions.

Horst Lofflet, MD Kannnegiesser Italy

We brought 102 visitors to this show, compared with 70 to the last one, so it was nice to see this increase,” said Horst Löffler, adding that the party included three big laundry groups.
Reaction had been very positive. The PowerTrans Jet attracted a strong interest, particularly from those handling garments. Most of the business in Italy is from the hotel/restaurant section, so feeding and folding and the high power ironer also drew attention. The Revolution towel processing machine was another point of interest. Often laundries want to offer a towel service but have had to subcontract to do so. Now they can see a way to take such business in-house as the machine has a relatively small footprint.
The show was well organised from all viewpoints. First-time visitors were impressed to see all aspects of the laundry in one building.

Patrick Girvan, distributor, New Zealand

Six visitors had made the effort to travel the long distance to the show. The market is relatively small said Patrick Girvan, so he was quite satisfied. There was also a separate party from Australia.
 He feels that customers worldwide have a common interest in saving money on utilities so it costs people more to stay away and to come.
He felt that launderers had to be aware of production throughout the laundry, so although they might have one particular area in mind when they came, they could easily get drawn to another.

Hans Amlund, distributor, Sweden and Denmark

We had a very good response to our invite, with 114 acceptances in all”, said Hans Amlund, of T-Tech, the distributor for Sweden and Denmark
The guests represented laundries involved in hospitals, hotels, mats and workwear. In the main, they were from small and medium size businesses, but the party also included representatives from groups, and also some detergent companies. Visitors found the whole exhibition interesting, but particularly the Jet tunnel washer. This attracted attention from businesses serving hotels and restaurants. While tunnels are the norm for hotel work, restaurant linen tends to be handled in washer-extractors, so the combination of the two technologies would be useful.
Monorail systems are selling well in Sweden and three big sorting systems were due to be installed 2007/2008.