Cleaning up after Covid

21 September 2022

Post-pandemic, everyone is obsessed about cleanliness and that is good news for the laundry industry. This fixation is driving interest in cleanroom technology and visitors to EXPODetergo in Milan in October will be able to see plenty first hand.

With a cleanroom, “we generally think of mad scientists and the space age, but cleanrooms have expanded across a multitude of industries, among them the food industry and even cosmetics,” says Wim Demeyer of Lapauw, a major name in cleanroom equipment. “Given the fact that a cleanroom is designed to keep particulate and microbial contamination away from the manufacturing process, it implies specific and very strict conditions. The best known being controlling the number of particles of different sizes.”

Although it’s basically workwear processing, Demeyer explains that a cleanroom laundry must adhere to the strict rules and specifications of the cleanroom it provides services to, down to the corresponding cleanroom class, which reflects on the machinery that is used.

Dedicated machinery

At Lapauw, the offerings are the Mediwave and Medistream, a dedicated cleanroom washer and cleanroom dryer.

The Mediwave and Medistream are well known in the cleanroom laundry business, as they meet the hygienic standards for cleanrooms, while providing cycle times per batch of under 60 minutes.

But the Mediwave is not just a cleanroom washer, as this barrier washer also offers distinct features that improve hygiene and ergonomics in health care laundries. Lapauw designed the machine from the onset with cleanrooms in mind, with a whole range of cleanroom options that allow you to configure your machine to the appropriate cleanroom class.

The Medistream is a true dedicated cleanroom dryer, designed to prevent any contamination on the garments and cleanroom. The features include a HEPA filter that is mounted behind the heating element and a cantilever drum, which omits drive wheels and, thus, possible particle contamination from those wheels. Like the Mediwave, the Medistream also features a GRP cover, which is mounted on top of the stainless steel front cover of the dryer itself. This double cover also provides maximal thermal insulation, which is important to leave the airflow in the cleanroom as undisturbed as possible.

The dryer also features an air flow of 4000 m3/hr. Combined with the 1400 litre inner drum, the air flow assures up to 2800 air refreshments per hour, allowing drying times of under 25 minutes.

The Lapauw cleanroom range consists of Mediwaves of 600, 800, 1100 and 2000 litre drum contents, and a dryer with a drum contents of 1400 litre, later to be expanded with a dryer with drum contents of 1800 litre and 1000 litre.

A year ago while we we still in thrall to Covid-19 and associated lockdown problems Anja Urinjek sales and marketing mananger at Krebe Tippo, a major player in barrier washer manufacturing told LCNi that things are “looking good with an uptick of barrier washer orders. We have extended the sales of barrier machines to several additional countries in Eastern Europe but also some big Governmental projects in Africa.” So has that uplift continued into 2022? Despite the problems besetting the world at the moment, it seems good times continue to roll for Krebe Tippo.

Uranjek tells LCNi: “This year we have faced new challenges due to all the material sourcing problems that no one expected or could control. All the price increases and materials shortages brought a lot of difficulties and constant worries.

“With hope that the situation will get easier in the future, I must say that in terms of sales we broke all records this year, which we are using to set a new standard for our company. I’m grateful to be working with such an amazing team because my colleagues are very dedicated to their work. It makes me proud to say that each obstacle does make us stronger as a company and nothing is more important than that.

“We are extremely lucky that with each new day more people trust and believe in our work and products and we are here to support their needs. We are preparing to show some new solutions at our stand in EXPODetergo and we would be glad to meet you there,” said Uranjek.

‘A cleanroom is designed to keep particulate and microbial contamination away from the manufacturing process’

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