The ironer line forms an important part of the commercial laundry process and its performance needs to satisfy both the laundry and the customer. The laundry needs too minimise costs without compromising the standards of quality demanded by the customer.

According to Wim Demeyer at Lapauw there are presently two strong trends in the ironer market for ironers.

“First we see more and more laundries taking an interest in gas and sales of gas heated ironers have been increasing steadily. We have on order more gas heated ironers than steam heated.”

One of the mains reason is that a gas-heated ironer is more efficient than the steam-heated version, says Demayer and he forecasts that this bias to gas will grow.

The second trend is an increased emphasis on quality and operational flexibility. Lapauw sees a growing number of small and medium sized laundries that are operate in a small radius (10 – 20 miles) and are capable of meeting the customer demands in both respects.

“These laundries look on an ironer not solely as a machine that achieves output at an acceptable energy cost, but also as a means to meet the high quality demands of their customers – a glossy surface on the table linen, and no guide tape marks, for example.”

Michael Harre at Kannegiesser says the hospitality market is introducing high quality bed linen, both cotton sheets and king size duvet covers. “Heavy duvet covers, in particular, require machine configurations that can feed, iron and fold the articles at a high efficiency,” says Harre. “This often requires ironers with a working width wider than 3,000mm.”

The move to greater widths. A 4m wide system allows processing of 72inch table linen in 2-lanes and 22inch napkins in a 6-lane operation. This leads to a better use of floor space and better energy efficiency.

Primus also notes a trend towards quality finishing. The company currently offers a range of 15 models, covering the OPL market with machines with a capacity of 40 – 100kg/hour. It produces four different types of cylinder ironers: I, IR, IF and IFF-models. There are two diameters, 350mm and 500mm, with a width varying from 1,400 – 3,200mm. The I-models have return feed and are available in coin-op and OPL versions.

The IR-models are 500mm pass-through with a length of 2,000mm. The IF-models are cylinder ironers with a 500mm diameter and a length of 2,000mm with a length-folding device. The IFF-models are 500mm diameter cylinder ironers with integrated feeder, folder, crossfolder and stacker.The ironers are available in gas-, electric- and steam-heated versions.

Ipso sales director John Balman says there is growing demand for high quality and also notices a greater demand for cylinder ironers rather than chest types. Ipso’s current range of ironers consists of the CI cylinder ironers. The models are CI1650/325 and CI2050/325 with roll diameters of 325mm and working widths of 1,600mm and 2,000mm respectively; and the CI2050/500, CI2650/500 and CI3250/500 with a roll diameter of 500mm and working widths of 2,000, 2,600 and 3,200mm respectively. Ipso recently finished the development of steam heating on its CI-range. The entire range is now available with gas, steam or electric heating. It has also improved the burner for the gas heated models.

Ipso also offers the RI-line of roller ironers with five models, offering 30k – 60kg/h capacity and roller diameters of 250 – 300mm. The RI800/16 semi-commercial ironer is designed for processing small items, with a capacity of 16kg/h and a roller diameter of 160mm.

Girbau of Spain recently introduced its PSN-80 flatwork ironer, an 800mm diameter, bed-cylinder structure, available in two operating widths (3,300mm and 3,500mm) with 1, 2 or 3 cylinders.

The PSN80 has all the advantages of working with gas, says Girbau, and complies with strict gas safety standards. A separate boiler is not required, resulting in further savings.

The boilers on the PSN80 are high output thanks to a twin concentric coil system that doubles the heat surface of the boiler. The boiler is positioned outside the ironer so it is easily accessible and this also makes cleaning the ironer easier. Girbau produces a bed-roll type flatwork ironer with 800mm roll diameter, available in one, two or three roll versions with three operating widths (3,000mm, 3,300mm and 3,500mm) in steam and oil versions. Girbau’s Wall Type flatwork ironer, with strap ironing system, is available with 220mm, 325mm and 510mm cylinder diameters, with widths from 1,200 – 3,165mm, with an integrated primary folder option on the PSP-51 model.

The Kannegiesser HPM ironer has a stainless steel flexible heating band rather than a rigid chest. This design allows for consistent contact pressure on the padded roll, markedly improving heat transfer compared to a that in a conventional chest. A long fully-heated bridge uses the gap between two rolls for additional evaporation. A two-roll 1,200 mm diameter HPM ironer gives the same output as a conventional 3 roll ironer. The HPM is available in one, two or three roll models with working widths from 2,700 – 4,200mm.

Like the HPM, the Kannegiesser HPM Grand uses a stainless-steel flexible heating band. With a diameter of nearly 2,000mm, this single-roll ironer, it has the same output as the conventional two-roll 1,200mm or three-roll 800mm ironer.

All Kannegiesser heating band ironers are designed for efficient energy use. The intelligent line control automatically sets the right temperature based on the program chosen on the feeding machine.

The Kannegiesser Model SHM completes the Kannegiesser ironing product line. The SHM is a traditional chest design available in 800, 1,000, and 1,300mm diameter and working widths of 2,700 – 4,000mm.

Lapauw’s recent developments concentrate on gas-heated models. The gas range has been expanded with the additions of a 1,600mm diameter model and a gas-heated version of the 4000XXL. Gas gives laundries an opportunity for further expansion because output is independent of boiler capacity and also operational flexibility says Lapauw’s Wim Demeyer.

The availability of modulating burners played an important role in the development of the gas heated versions of the 4000XXL and the 1,600mm diameter ironers.

Indeed, Lapauw believes this technology is so promising in terms of improved efficiency and maintaining constant temperatures that it plans to fit it to all gas-heated models.

The Lapauw range can be subdivided into two parts : heavy-duty chest ironers, with roll diameters 800, 900, 1,200 and 1,600mm, available in one-, two- and three-roll variants, and available in steam and gas versions; and the Laco range for the OPL sector with one-roll machines, 300 – 800mm diameter in gas and electric versions.

Stahl produces the PowerRoll, a two-roll, 800mm diameter flatwork ironer, available in working widths from 2,500 to 3,300mm. Heating options are gas, steam, hot-oil circuit heating or electricity.

The PowerRoll offers a remarkable combination of low energy consumption and high output, says Stahl. High performance is achieved by a combination of various construction methods. Energy is transferred directly to each individual roll and there are no energy-wasting drive components. The ironer’s efficiency is also guaranteed by the PTS drive, which ensures that the motor only uses as much energy as is absolutely necessary. A divided heating system, fully insulated chests and metal hoods, all help to prevent energy loss.

Danube International has developed an automatic speed adjustment system that takes into account linen and room humidity, so allowing the linen to go from washer to ironer without any manual adjustment.

Danube’s “smart system” is based upon a stainless-steel tub which measures the residual moisture of the linen at three separate points before it leaves the ironer. A mini vacuum brings the moisture in contact with a sensor, which analyse the residual moisture, room humidity and temperature. A cool down operates while the cylinder continues to rotate. The frequency inverter uses the sensor data to control the roller speed which is automatically adjusted 100 times per second.

According to Danube, this fully automatic system, will provide dry linen with perfect finishing and also save energy and processing time and reduces linen handling.

Danube supplies a full range of flatwork dryer ironers (heated cylinder type), built to meet the needs of hotels, nursing homes, hospitals and OPLs. It produces four ranges, the Micra, Delta, Maxima and Sygma, that cover cylinder diameters of 200mm, 320mm and 500mm, and widths from 1,400m to 3,200m, plus the Ecomina model for the budget market. Electric and gas heating options are available on the Delta, and gas, electric and steam heating on both Maxima and Sygma ironers.

GMP of Italy offers a wide range of ironers with 16 models available in more than 100 versions.

Developed to meet the needs of a modern on-premise laundry, the “E” line of chest-heated ironers comes in 250mm diameter with working widths of 1,000, 1,200and in 300mm with widths of 1,400mm, and 1,400mm, 1,600mm and 2,000mm.

The ironers are microprocessor controlled and the control board records data on machine use to help maintenance engineers.

The range has a patented roll-removal system and features variable speed. Increased demand, particularly from central European markets, for drying ironers that offer a high quality finish, prompted further developments in GMP’s “G” line. The “G” range features six models in total, available both with gas and electric heating, and available in 1,200mm and 1,400mm widths, with 270mm diameter; and in 1,500 1,800, 2,100mm 2,600mm widths with 325mm diameter.

The G26-35 drying ironer model is said to provide high productivity a small footprint. The cylinder can be gas or electrically-heated.

The GMP chest ironers come in widths of 1,000 – 2,000mm, with diameters of 200mm, 250mm and 300mm.

Imesa of Italy supplies equipment to two main sectors, the OPL market and drycleaners that offer a laundry service. It foresees an increase in the convenience laundry and hotel sectors.

Its M range of rotary ironers has 250mm diameter rollers with ironing widths of 1,000mm, 1,250mm and 1,500mm; and 330mm diameter rollers with 1,500mm, 1,750mm and 2,000,mm widths. All models are supplied with a chromium-plated ironing plate. Every ironer is equipped with two emergency switches that will stop the roller and move back the plate. All heated parts are isolated with non-toxic materials.

Ironers with 330mm diameter rollers may be supplied on request and these rollers have a laminated metal mesh that guarantees durability of the machine with uniform wear, avoiding the usual roller deformation due to use. The thick flannel-covered roller may be supplied in Nomex, an option that can resist high temperature and has a long working life.

The MC/A range of drying ironers has a roller with a 330mm diameter; the ironing surface is available in 1,500, 1,800 and 2,100mm sizes.

Imesa drying ironers allow linen accept linen straight from the washer. Operators can change temperature and pressing speed according to the moisture content and type of linen.

Imesa drying ironers are available in electric and gas heated versions; they are equipped with two powerful suction fans for the best removal of moisture.

The MC/T range has a roller with a 500mm diameter, with ironing widths of 1,900, 2,500 and 3200mm. A single operator can work alone thanks to the feeder and the folder installation, so reducing ironing costs.

Greater demand for integrated systems and for online management systems online prompted Jensen to introduce a PLC system to all its feeders, ironers and folders. The Jentrol 266M control system provides information on production status, and gives increased quality, higher capacity and reduced maintenance costs.

Jensen produces steam-heated Express ironers with diameters of 1,000mm, 1,200mm and 2,000mm, and steam or oil-heated Ex ironers with 800mm, 1,000mm and 1,200mm rollers.

One of the latest developments is its oil-gas heated Jenroll EXPG800 ironer for heavy duty laundries.

The Jenroll EXPG800 is similar to its EXPG1200 ironer but with a smaller chest and roll, and a burner adapted to the smaller capacity.

Features include an oil-heated flexible chest, integrated gas-fired burner and heat exchanger. Ironing with carbon steel provides optimum finishing quality thanks to low friction between the iron and the linen.

BMM Weston, the UK manufacturer of deep chested ironers, offers five sizes of roll diameter in itsr range. These start from the Return Feed 500mm roll followed by 600mm, 850mm, 1,050mm and 1,300mm in the pass through ironers. In addition, these models are available in working widths from 1.75m to 4.0m.

The company reports more interest in gas heated ironers as well as more conventional steam heated versions. BMM Weston’s gas ironers still feature a conventional deep chest that is filled with oil which is heated by a gas burner and served by a oil circulation pump that pushes the oil around the bed.

As well as alternative methods of heating the ironers, BMM Weston have also more recently been asked to produce wider working widths than the standard 3.0m or 3.3m machines. The company recently installed 2 x 3.6m ironers into one of the UK’s leading restaurant launderers that enabled the customer to have far greater flexibility on processing requirements for the various combinations of linen including five lanes of table napkins.