Intelligent ironing

17 December 2019

When it comes to ironing, the demands for efficiency, improved quality and flexibility remain high priority. Tony Vince examines some of latest developments

Development of the Lapauw ironer range has taken note of the main trends including the emphasis on low costs, high productivity and energy efficiency. The Belgium-based company is a leader in ironer technology, introducing the flexible chest over 60 years and is also a leader in gas-heated chest ironers, introducing its first model in 1994.

Visitors to the Lapauw stand at this year’s Clean Show in New Orleans were able to see the company’s latest update to its range of steam ironers with Lapauw’s proven IronMAX concept. Identical to the gas heated ironers, the steam version is designed with ease of maintenance and maximal accessibility in mind, assuring significant reductions in the total cost of ownership.

With the launch of its optional Platinum Service Plan, Lapauw now makes a firm commitment – a five-year parts warranty on new Lapauw equipment.

When selecting the Platinum Service Plan, the customer pays a small fixed premium at the time of purchase, with no additional parts invoices (except for wear & tear parts) in the first five years of operation. This way, he is in full control of his costs of running the equipment, as there will not be any unexpected part invoices in that period.

Lapauw explains that is a clear tendency that laundry managers – when acquiring new equipment – are not only looking at the initial purchase price, but also the expected maintenance costs in the years after the purchase, to make a well-informed decision. They want to avoid a low purchase price that is accompanied by very high priced spare parts. In this scenario, they win once at the initial purchase, but they risk paying considerably more over the lifetime of the machine.

Lapauw has a long-standing reputation as a supplier of high quality machines with a long lifetime and a low maintenance cost. For this reason, it is often said that Lapauw provides equipment with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in the market. Philippe D’heygere, president of Lapauw says: “In contrast to some of our main competitors, service and spare part business is not a main profit driver for our company. The fewer service calls and OEM parts our customers need, the more we like it as this increases their productivity and lowers their parts costs.”

The Lapauw IronMAX Steam retains the hinged, 2-part thick chest design that has become signature of the Lapauw steam ironer. It is now available in as 2-roll and 3-roll with 1,200mm roll diameter and will be expanded to other sizes and models also.

Like with the gas variant, the chest and bridge respectively have 8 and 4 independent steam channels and adheres the parallel flow principle. This assures fast filling times and maximises the total steam volume without violating the limits set by the steam directives. The steam circuit is also designed in such way that the condensate return is evacuated efficiently.

All Lapauw ironers come as of now with a full colour touch screen and PLC. The new control system gives them space for up to 100 different ironing programs and pre-programmed macro’s, like a chest cleaning program or automated felt baking, keep maintenance and installation costs in check.

Kannegiesser, the German manufacturer of industrial laundry equipment, successfully installed a new ironer line in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne laundry of Fishers and also installed a new 200 bag capacity sorting and storage monorail system at the same time.

Fishers is part of K-Bro Linen Systems Inc., which has invested more than £20m per year building state-of-the-art laundries in Canada and, following its acquisition of Fishers in 2017, is now a major player in the UK commercial laundry and textile rental market.

Kannegiesser supplied and installed its HPM 3-Roll Gas Heated Ironer together with its EMR Synchro Remote 4-Station Feeder and SFM Folder capable of handling 800 mixed duvet covers, from single to super-king, per hour.

Kannegiesser’s HPM ironers feature stainless steel heating band technology that provide a high heat transfer and a high-quality finish. The operator programs in what is to be ironed and the temperature automatically adjusts, extending the life of the linen. They can be adapted for use with either steam or gas.

The Girbau Group supplies both the industrial laundry sector and the OPL/commercial markets, with divisions for each. Its ironer strategy recognises this and with the PB/PBP series, the Compact series and the PC series, Girbau has covered the varying needs of each sector in terms of production and technical advances.

The PB Series of flatwork ironers is suitable for commercial and hotel laundry applications. The PB series offers OPL laundries a range of ironing widths from 1.5 metres up to 3.2 metres.

At Clean Show in New Orlean in June, Girbau North America (formerly Continental Girbau) exhibited its latest commercial and industrial laundry products, including high-volume GI ironing, multi-sort folding and stacking systems. Live demonstrations of the new Compact+ 5-in-One, ST2700 Dryer with vacuum loading, FT Maxi Folder, DRF Feeder and FR+ Folder stole the show, said Joel Jorgensen, vice president of sales. “The new Compact+ showcased an automatic feeder, feeding clips and vacuum table, in addition to an exclusive, small-piece accumulator on the backside,” said Jorgensen. “We had a full-blown ironing system in one compact area and it ran flawlessly and produced beautiful work.”

Girbau has seen consistent growth across all the ironer models it offers. Its Compact+ 5-in-One – which brings together feeding, drying, ironing, folding and stacking in a single machine –  is capable of handling cross folds in items up to 900mm wide, making it possible to work with items in all measurements up to king size.

Compact+ can make 2 or 3 cross folds on 1 lane or else 1 or 2 cross folds on 2 lanes. Girbau’s GHelp allows the machine to be monitored and controlled remotely.

The Jensen Group offers a comprehensive range of ironers to provide for all applications within the heavy-duty industrial laundry sector. The company is committed to sustainable laundry automation and to supporting laundries in increasing their performance with equipment and solutions that guarantee more output with fewer resources used.

Its latest Katana folder – launched at this year’s Clean Show in New Orleans as part of a flatwork finishing line on the stand – was snapped up by a long-standing customer in Italy, says Jensen. Chi-ma, whose laundry processes high quality hotel and restaurant linen for the hotels and restaurants in and around Florence, was so impressed about the quality of the machine that a Katana folder with five inline stackers and two crossfold sections was installed as part of a complete finishing line with a Logic feeder and a two-roll Jensen EXPG ironer. This compact solution has a fast ROI thanks to the sorting that is done by the stackers, saving labour costs in the sorting area. In addition, laundries can produce 350 sheets more per day on the existing ironer line for free thanks to the full and easy access to the crossfold section.

The higher capacity of a two-roll Jensen EXPG ironer means that it can replace a conventional fixed chest ironer using more rolls, so reducing heat radiation, while there is minimum heat escape thanks to thorough insulation of chests, pipes and steam components.

The heavy-duty flatwork ironers from Stahl, the German laundry systems company have been joined by the Master range with roll diameters of 121cm – 201cm available in gas, thermal oil electric and steam based options. The Stahl Master ironers use a heated band design, which is said to increase the contact area by up to 20%. The “super trough” design optimises heat retention and allows even distribution.

Stahl has developed the Boulevard ironing line for a complete high-performance finish. The line consists of the Servant automatic feeder, a Stahl flatwork ironer and the Domestic or Starfold folder. Together, these components provide the perfect finishing line, says Stahl.

The Servant provides automated feeding, quickly and conveniently and it can be paired with a rotary ironer, Stahl’s mid-sized MC 400 - 800 flatwork ironers, the large Master flatwork ironers and all the multiple-roll ironers.

H J Weir has formed a working partnership with Laco Machinery, which enables H J Weir to commit to offering customers a complete ironer line combining H J Weir flatwork feeding and folding working with Laco ironers. The King Ironer by H J Weir and Laco Machinery is available globally.

HJ Weir offer the full Laco range from roll diameters of 370mm right up to 1,200mm. The larger diameters are offered as 1,2 or even 3 roll systems.

The smaller range of ironers start with the return feed M370-M500 range but these ironer sizes are also available in pass through with the D370-D500 available in gas, steam, or electrically heated options. The return feed systems can be supplied with feeding and folding options built in, with up to 3 primary and 3 cross folds if desired.

The 500mm – 1200mm diameter gas and electric options are offered with the Air-Stream high capacity ventilated chest. This increases capacity by up to 25% allowing the ironer clothing to lose its moisture faster. The multi-roll gas ironers have 1 gas burner per roll allowing for fine tuning of temperature control.

HJ Weir regards the King 800 with the Air-Stream chest as the “most efficient single roll ironer on the market” and is ideal for the smaller commercial laundry giving them real “industrial” ironing power without any quality sacrifice or high capital outlay.

Domus, part of the Onnera Group, unveiled updated models of its flatwork ironers as part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to developing high-tech features in each of the its Eco-Energy range of washers, dryers and ironers.

It produces wall ironers, Mural front feed and return ironers, and the Cepheus and Cygnet ranges of compact flatwork ironers. The compact Sextans flatwork ironer offers 600, 800 and 1,000mm roll diameters for laundries, hotels and hospitals processing up to nine tons daily. Other features include roll length of 3m30, which allows ironing, and folding of linen 3,300 x 3,300mm.

Electrolux Professional has launched a new steam ironer to complement its popular range of myPRO washing machines and dryers. The myPRO IS185 steam ironer can increase productivity for a range of small businesses, including B&Bs, restaurants, compact laundries, as well as care homes, thanks to its range of flexible program options.

Able to process a variety of fabric types, the myPRO ironer offers five temperature settings, and features a wide 85cm roller and a flexible foot-controlled pedal to determine the roller speed.

GMP serves the OPL market and small-to-medium size industrial /commercial sector. The Italian company has a portfolio of tools specifically designed for its partners: an innovative video tutorial showing installation and use of GMP ironers, covering all the aspects in delivering an excellent ironing finish. GMP has also unveiled maintenance video tutorials to assist service centres in providing customer support.

GMP has developed its next “evolutionary” stage in interactive user interface and remote troubleshooting, and the GMP “G” ironer line is now fitted with the latest generation of electronics, provide vital information to service engineers and operators for the maximum efficiency and safety.

GMP says that its upgraded Tenax professional roller padding, a stainless steel lamellar spring padding, is specifically made for smaller diameters and lower pressures when compared with the multiroller ironers. Unlike traditionally used steelwool, Tenax remains unaltered over time, guaranteeing identical productivity and perfect contact surface along the whole ironer life.


PLATINUM SERVICE: As well as introducing its service plan at Clean Show 2019, Lapauw showed off its ironing solutions including the IronMAX, the latest generation in self-contained, gas-heated ironers

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