Visitors to the in-house exhibition held by Lavatec, the German laundry equipment manufacturer, were left in no doubt that the company is a very large player in the world market, consistently providing development both in energy efficiency and product range in its efforts to meet the increasing demands of the laundry customers.

The prime reason for the in-house exhibition was to display the latest developments in the Lavatec product range for the world-wide laundry industry. These included a range of feeders and folders for both the high speed high quality finishing markets and also machines for basic flatwork and small pieces.

The three-day exhibition at the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Heilbronn, Germany, began on Friday 29 September. There were more than 150 to 200 visitors each day from around the world, including the USA, Australia, Germany, Russia, France, Asia and the UK, and all enjoyed the company’s hospitality provided during lunch and the evening entertainment.

The UK contingent included key personnel from leading laundry and textile rental companies and several independents. Representatives from Broadbent Laundry Systems, the UK agents for Lavatec, were on hand to ensure UK visitors had the best opportunity of seeing and discussing the equipment in operation with the various technical personnel from Lavatec with their wealth of engineering expertise.

Lavatec had on show its new range of high speed fast cycling continuous extractors, the latest 60 bar high pressure press and a new development in high efficiency gas burners for the system dryer market.

One of the finishing machines that sparked much interest amongst visitors was a prototype version of an edge feeder for the high production sheet feeding market.

Remote feeding stations allow an edge of the sheet to be clipped remotely and then stored on a rail prior to being fed into a high speed edge feeding system that can provide up to between 1,200 and 1,600 operations.

Although this machine is still in its final development, it provided an impressive performance despite the dryness of the demonstration linen.

The finishing equipment included some high quality single- and two-lane feeding systems with combination folding with knives on both folding and cross folding for large pieces, and a special multi-lane small piece folder with internal stacking and transfer conveyors.

Also on show was a basic feeder and folder for single- and two-lane sheets aimed at the economic end of the market, and a high speed remote feeding transfeed system that is capable of producing up to 1,800 pieces an hour of single sheets and duvets and 1,200pieces/hour for double, king size sheets and table linen.

The ergonomically designed remote feeding stations can be integrated into a fully automated sheet picking and delivery system as part of the overall package.

Lavatec’s Heilbronn factory was full with machinery under construction with several tunnel washers, many rows of system dryers, washer-extractors and a host of smaller dryers in the assembly department, together with a variety of membrane presses and continuous extractors which also displayed the new high speed extractor for 60kilo and 100kilo capacity aimed at the dust mat and garment markets.

Visitors also had an opportunity to visit Lavatec’s factory, with a floor space of 12,500m2 with another smaller factory for the finishing equipment assembly nearby.

The factory also boasts a new suite of very modern facilities, so providing the best possible conditions for the continual development and support provided by Lavatec to its customers.

Investment in high tech manufacturing processes at Heilbronn was clearly visible, with laser cutting technologies, as well as CNC stamping and folding systems, facilities for both light and heavy fabricating, a large automated degreasing, painting and baking oven to provide continuous production of painted items for the final assembly development and an even bigger floor space taken up with a large racking system and computerised storage of small components for the manufacturing and spare parts support.