Henkel-Ecolab claims to be the first manufacturer to acquire the CE mark for one of its detergents, Eltra, thereby enabling it to be classified as a “medical device” and permitting its use in medical environments.

Eltra is a simple-to-use, one-shot disinfecting detergent that has been universally popular with on-premise laundries for over 10 years. However, since June 1998, a new EC ruling stipulates that any newly manufactured disinfectant that is destined for use on textiles which come into contact with patients during surgical procedures now falls under the classification of a “medical device” and must carry the CE mark.

The CE mark provides assurance that the manufacturer’s Quality Management System conforms to ISO standards throughout the chain—from the sourcing of raw materials, through to manufacture, storage and delivery.

In Germany, all products used for officially ordered textile disinfection must be registered with the Robert Koch Institute (the research arm of the German Ministry of Health) and be clearly marked with the approved process time, temperature and product concentration.

Eltra achieves chemical disinfection to German standards in fifteen minutes at 60°C and odour elimination at 40°C, with consequent savings in water heating costs.

Clax answer to liquid chemical delivery

The Clax DF-1 microprocessor-controlled liquid chemical delivery system has been designed by DiverseyLever for small to medium-sized laundries, typically with washer-extractors processing between 15 and 100kg.

It is a modular system, capable of serving up to six washer-extractors and feeding up to eight products.

Its companion system, the Clax DF-2, is the equivalent for larger plants and will cope with machines of 75kg capacity and over. This version feeds up to 10 products and serves 12-15 washers.

Both machines feature proof of flow and proof of delivery cells. A patented auto-calibration function maintains correct product dosage and a low pressure water flush delivers product safely to the machines in diluted form. After delivery, the supply lines are filled with water and this eliminates the risk of unforeseen leaks or spills. Clax also provides extensive management information on process costs and productivity.

DiverseyLever has also developed a range of complementary treatments. There is Clax Spirit ( 2DL1), a concentrated enzyme-based liquid detergent to cope with heavily stained garments from the meat and fish industries.

Clax Perfect (7LL) is a liquid rice starch which provides a high quality finish on table linen. Clax 2BL is a low-cost non-ionic booster and is especially intended for engineers’ soiling.

A dose of inspiration

After studying detergent developments across Europe three years ago, Powles Hunt has developed its own British-made automatic powder dosing system.

Three years later, this robust and reliable system has been installed on over 70 CBWs and washer-extractors. In the latest version, the company has introduced capturing of processing data, thereby enabling management information to be downloaded.

The Powles Hunt system currently includes PLC technology/electronic queuing and it can handle up to seven batch washers or extractors at the same time.

A full technical back-up and maintenance service is available. Technology that allows proof of dosing, thereby giving greater operator control will be introduced in the near future.

The machine has a powerful gear motor, located on top of a 125kg capacity hopper, and this mills product into a flushing cone. A water vortex then pumps the detergent from the cone into each washer-extractor or CBW compartment in turn.

Powles Hunt recommends the use of its high-performance “Sapphire” powder which has been designed to complement the dosing system, although any blended powder can be used, depending on customers’ preference.

Additionally, the company has introduced a range of complementary lines including: a lemon-scented, hot-towel perfume that is said to perform up to 50% more economically than competitive products; Metalex, a special treatment for use in washer-extractors, that is said to recover a high proportion of items stained by metal oxide or floor marks; and Phlow, a high-quality liquid natural starch, that can be used direct from the drum manual or via automatic dosing equipment.

On-line reference to cleaning chemicals

As a follow-up to the successful launch of its Professional Drycleaners’ Handbook” Seitz Chemicals has developed a web site offering instant on-line reference to the most appropriate chemicals for any specific cleaning or spotting problem.

The advice, in English or German, covers three principal categories: “textile care”, “carpet care” and “leather cleaning”. Options also available include “spotting”, “water repellency”, “drycleaning” and finally “retexturing”.If an instant answer is not available, customers can record their query while on-line, specifying the precise nature of their problem.

The Seitz technical support department, in its commitment to customer service will e-mail a detailed answer within 24 hours. The Seitz web site can be located at www.seitz-gmbh.de

Feeding quality and quantity

Operating from a purpose built production plant in Widnes, Cheshire, Rexodan International has established itself as a leading manufacturer and exporter of high performance laundry detergents and associated ancillary products.

Rexodan is unusual in being one of just a handful of British laundry detergent manufacturers. Nonetheless the company is currently experiencing considerable growth, which Rexodan claims is in part due to the development and launch of its new Rexstream Multi-feed Automatic Powder Dispensing System.

Rexodan says that in its most ambitious installation to date, one standard Rexstream Multi-feed Unit (occupying less than 1 square metre of floor space) supplies detergent to sixteen washing machines. Each machine is assured receipt of its full quota of detergent without interruption to its wash cycle times, and irrespective of whether just one machine or all sixteen are calling for detergent simultaneously.

Rexodan claims that the benefits gained from the Rexstream Multi-feed Unit include increased productivity, space utilisation and labour efficiency. Furthermore, due to the novel design of the system, the quantity of powder dispensed to each machine remains accurate to within ±2%.

To complement this new dispensing system, Rexodan International has also developed a new multi-purpose detergent—Mainstream Powder—which is said to achieve excellent results on all degrees of soiling and is suitable for every classification of work.

After-sales service is supplied by Rexodan’s own-trained technical support team, the majority of whom have, at some stage during their careers, held senior positions in laundry management.

The field support team is complemented by Rexodan’s specialist laboratory staff whose role is to provide solutions to one-off problems which arise in most laundries from time to time, and are not necessarily associated with detergent.