Fully automatic sorting of Soiled Workwear

Inwatec's sorting lines are build to fulfill each customers' needs. Thanks to modular design, the single machines can be added to a whole system according to specific wishes. In this case, the requested line consists of a Robot Separator, an X-ray machine and a vision based sorting system. 

The robot is fed by a conveyor and performs a separation of the garments. These separated garments are directly transferred to the X-ray machine, which detects foreign items like pens and scissors in the garment and automatically rejects these clothing items.

Accepted garments are forwarded to a vision based sorting, which, in this special case, sorts into either bright or dark.


Watch the full setup here:

The system's main components:

The Robot Separator has a high efficiency in separating textiles. It works fully automatic and therefore reduces the risk of cuts and needle injuries for your staff. We use modern 3D cameras and advanced software to find the best gripping points on the garments. 

All details about the Robot Separator. 

Inwatec's X-ray machine automatically detects foreign items such as pens, needles, lipsticks and more. It can handle up to 2,200 items per hour and rejects garments which contain foreign items. These rejected garments are forwarded to a special bin, where the detected foreign items can be removed from the garment's pockets.

Find more information on the X-ray Machine here.


You would like to automate soiled side sorting processes in your laundry as well? Contact us!

Easy and efficient management of stacked linen

Storage of clean linen between machinery and logistical areas has to be planned and thought-out well. Folded linen have to be parked before getting transported to the logistical areas. Using space efficiently while having a high input and output of stacks are highly demanded features for an innovative solution.

Inwatec aims to drive forward the automation of processes within laundries. Finding an efficient way to store linen was a challenge to be solved.

Inwatec’s linen stack storage meets the requirements to buffer cleaned linen after folding the textiles and before shipping them back to the customer. Time-consuming manual trolley handling can be replaced.


Check out the product details of the Stack Storage System.


The system consists of multiple conveyors that transport clean, stacked laundry items to the linen stack storage. The system handles about 225 stacks per hour. According to individual needs the input and output can be adjusted.

The stacks are automatically buffered and distributed on the integrated conveyors and shelves. The Stack Storage System offers a fully automatic storage and transportation of stacked laundry items. In total, it provides an easy and efficient management of clean, stacked laundry items.


Watch our Stack Storage System in action:


You would like to know more about our Stack Storage System? Contact us!

Two student interns support our project department

Mads Vestergaard Jensen, 23, and Anders Foldager Bay Jensen, 22, are our two new full-time interns from University of Southern Denmark in Odense (SDU). They are both in their sixth semester of their Bachelor studies and will work together on a big project at Inwatec for one semester.

Anders (left) and Mads (right) look forward to an exciting and challenging semester at Inwatec.

 

Anders – Student in Mechanical Engineering

Originally coming from Køge, a city close to Copenhagen, Anders Foldager Bay Jensen moved to Odense to study the Bachelor programme in Mechanical Engineering at SDU. In his spare time, Anders enjoys running and watching American Football.

“Here at Inwatec, I really enjoy the hands-on experience in the development process. I also like the approach that Inwatec is following: using standard components with specialized parts”, Anders describes. “Most interesting for my internship is first, the mechanical design of all the products which are produced at Inwatec and also the development of new products.”

 

Mads – Student in Integrated Design

Mads Vestergaard Jensen grew up in Brønderslev in the very north of Denmark, but moved to Odense two and a half years ago for his studies. He is taking his Bachelor of Engineering in Integrated Design at University of Southern Denmark in Odense and already gathered practical experience in a workshop where he assembled hydraulic machines for one year. However now at Inwatec, he will be focussing on the mechanical engineering field.

“I like working at Inwatec. It is very nice as everybody is friendly and also the task I am working on is interesting. Doing an internship during my studies is especially great, because I am allowed to try out new things and I am already looking forward to getting a lot of experience”, tells Mads.

Mads likes football, and loves to spend his free time on smaller building projects. So far, Mads restored two small mopeds of the model Puch Maxi, built his own clothes rack, made table legs, and more. However, his biggest passion is Lego Technic.

 

Strong cooperation

Both students found out about Inwatec at various job fairs on the Odense campus of University of Southern Denmark, and especially the PP-dag, which is a special fair for engineering students who are searching for internships and projects during their studies. We at Inwatec believe that innovative ideas should be brought to life – and therefore always look out for skilled people who are enthusiastic about witnessing smart inventions to be implemented in the real world.

The main project, Mads and Anders will be jointly working on during their internships, is to find a solution to combine the foundations of our mat rollers HURRICANE and TORNADO. The goal is to create an improved common foundation for our bigger mat roll machines. By that, we wish to simplify to the construction processes in future. We are already looking forward to the coming months and are curious about the solution Mads and Anders will develop.

 

Welcome to the team, Anders and Mads!


Are you a talented student looking for an internship or a project? Find our open positions here.

Team extension in the workshop: Meet Dannie

Dannie Riis is our newest team member and supports our workshop as an electrician. He is 44 years old and lives in a small town called Assens on the island of Funen with his wife Rikke.

Dannie finished his training as an industrial electrician in 1994. After being in the army for a couple of years, he worked for Maersk line and has been drilling for 15 years all around the world. Two years ago, the oil crisis forced him change to his job. Since then, he worked for an engineering company in Odense.

“In the end of January I got the opportunity to join Inwatec’s Laundrynerds as a electrician”, Dannie explains.

“So far, I love to work here. The way people are talking to each other is so different from what I am used to. Here, people talk nicely to each other, and if there is a suggestion, for example about changing the layout of the machine, people will actually listen to your suggestions.”

Looking forward to future installation jobs

Dannie is especially looking forward to expand his knowledge of Inwatec’s machines to be eventually able to get ‘outside’ on installation jobs around the world. Currently, he is working on two different project: One is about two HURRICANE mat rolling machines and on the other, Dannie works on a new prototype of our X-ray machine.

In his free time, Dannie cooks, reads a good book to relax, and twice a week, he dances line dance. He and his wife very much like garden work and they have two greenhouses in their garden where they grow everything from tomatoes to chili. They also have a passion for Switzerland and use every opportunity to either hike or ski there. Besides, Dannie builds remote control scale model ships and large scale petrol driven cars in the scale of 1:5. “Then, in sommer, we are playing with our ‘baby’, a Buick Wildcat from 1968, in short – 2 tons of American muscle with a 7 L V8 engine with apx 400+ hp.”

Welcome to the team, Dannie!


Would like to work at Inwatec as well? Find information about our open positions here.

New year and new Laundrynerds

We are welcoming Kasper, Mads Emil and Claus to Inwatec this year. We are glad to have the three of you in our team!

Whenever a new employee starts at Inwatec, we shortly introduce them in an article like this. However, two of the three newest Laundrynerds are pretty familiar faces to most of the team. Read all about it below:


Kasper Simonsen, 31 years old, is Inwatec’s new project manager and started mid of December 2017. We met him on different job fairs and he talked to CEO Mads and HR Manager Sophie about possible positions for him at Inwatec. Then, in his summer holidays 2017, he worked in the workshop for a couple of weeks and already learned about Inwatec’s machines and met most of the team.

Kasper worked as an electrician for seven years and then did his Bachelor in Technology Management and Marine Engineering (BtecMan & MarEng). On the 12th of January, he officially finished this full-time degree and was graded with a 12, the highest grade in the Danish system!

“I have done a lot of projects in my time as an electrician. I mainly installed intruder alarms and surveillance cameras, but the contact with the customer and the process from getting the order to install it at the customer is very similar to the process at Inwatec.”

Currently, Kasper is working on a great linen storage with over 2 kilometers of conveyors for a Norwegian laundry. “It has been great to start working here, first of all because of the nice people at Inwatec but also because I already knew a lot of the co-workers before a started at the office”, Kasper explains. He further describes what he finds most interesting so far: “I think the technical part of the machines is very fascinating. It has always been great fun for me to look into things and see how things works. Also the process where you follow a project from the beginning to the end is really cool.”

Kasper lives in Odense with his girlfriend and his two kids. In his free time, Kasper spends much time with his family and likes to visit the Zoo or Legoland. In addition, he likes to run and to ride his mountain bike. When there is time, he also does spearfishing.

“I am looking forward to doing bigger projects. I hope, the customers will be happy about the machines and then see that they need more machines from Inwatec.”


Mads Emil Nielsen is 21 years old and started as an employee at Inwatec in the beginning of January 2018. Mads Emil lives from a small town called Tommerup St and took his education at ‘Schmidt & Øhrnstedt El- installation’.

“During my apprenticeship, I was primarily working on new and renewed electrical installations in houses and offices. I took the school semesters at DJH, ‘Den Jyske Håndværkerskole’ and finished my education in December 2017.” Mads Emil passed his education with the highest possible result, a 12.

In February 2017, already during his education, Mads Emil started to help out at Inwatec’s workshop as an external electrician. Very soon, it was his wish to work in an industrial electric environment. After Mads Emil finished his apprenticeship, we were glad to offer him a full-time position at Inwatecs workshop.

“I am very happy to be at Inwatec. Especially, because there is so much development going on. I am already looking forward to exciting new projects.”

Since January 2018, Mads Emil is fully employed as an electrician at Inwatec. Currently, Mads Emil is working on a series of five Hurricanes mat rollers which will be shipped to the USA.

“It is very nice to be part of the full development process of the machines: We start by having the blueprints, then we build it, make our own electrical cabinet and place it inside the machine, test the machine and finally install it at the customer’s plant. It is great to be part of all those steps!”

In Mads Emil’s spare time, he is a scout leader and spends much time in the nature, preferably with his girlfriend and friends.


Claus Klit Munksgaard is 49 years old and lives with his wife Mette and their 3 children in Ryslinge, a small town on the island of Funen. In the beginning of January 2018, Claus started in the Inwatec workshop as an Electrician.

Claus did a professional education as an electronic technician and worked with electronics for 10 years. He gathered experiences at RISØ National Laboratory (DTU), especially on DR3, which is an atomic test reactor. Further, he worked with emergency power plants and power electronics before he started switching into the field of automation.

“I have always been very interested in computer technology and building machines from scratch. I like the possibilities and challenges when working with automation technology – everything has to function together if we want to start the machine”, Claus says.

Within automation, he has plenty of experiences building electrical panels, assembling and servicing machines and servicing CNC-machines and robots. All this experience makes Claus a perfect candidate to support our workshop team. Additionally, he has done much of the electric work for Inwatec already in his latest job and therefore knew much about Inwatec’s machines even before he joined our team in the beginning of 2018.

After work, Claus spends much of his time on his small farm, which he owns together with his wife and her parents. There, they breed organic rabbits, own geese, pigs and a few calves. In his spare time, Claus especially loves to spend time with his family and also their dog Oline. Oline is a 4-year-old Keeshond (Wolfspitz), with which the family is even attending exhibitions and this spring she will have puppies.


Are you currently searching for a challenging and fun job? Find our open positions here.

Inwatec and JENSEN-GROUP in global partnership

On January 1, 2018, JENSEN-GROUP, one of the world’s leading companies in the laundry industry, is acquiring 30% of the ownership of Inwatec ApS.

JENSEN-GROUP’s interest in Inwatec arises from JENSEN-GROUP’s wish to extend the range of automation solutions and artificial intelligence in the laundry industry. An area where Inwatec is playing a prominent role in the market.

With the motto “We Remove the Dirty Work”, Inwatec produces innovative solutions for heavy-duty laundries around the world, and the synergy effects of the new agreement with JENSEN-GROUP are making room for further upgrading of the activities at the Inwatec headquarters at Hvidkærvej 30 in Odense, Denmark.

More focus on innovation and development

“In three years we have grown from 4 to 30 employees, and the opportunity to benefit from JENSENS GROUPS large distribution and service network means we can now focus even more on the innovation and development of new products and less on the distribution,” says Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen.

“Inwatec is a development house, and the arrangement with the JENSEN-GROUP does not change the fact that the machines are being developed and built in Odense in close cooperation between our engineers, software specialists, electricians, and installers. We have unique access to the world’s best tech talents in Odense’s robotic environment, and that has enabled us to develop solutions that few in the industry even dreamt of a few years ago. And we just started.”

“With the technology at Inwatec, especially in robotics and AI, we expect that together with JENSEN we can develop some real blockbuster products for the future,“ Jesper Munch Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, JENSEN-GROUP adds.

Closer to the customers – all over the world

The JENSEN-GROUP was founded on Bornholm in 1937. Since then, the activities have spread to such an extent that the JENSEN-GROUP now has offices in 24 countries. In total, the international laundry company employs about 1,700 employees on a global scale.

The vast geographical spread, according to Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen, makes the partnership the perfect solution.

“When Inwatec was founded in 2009, we only had one rule: We were out of the office to visit customers and learn more about their needs and challenges. We have done that ever since, and there is no doubt that together we can support many more laundries with solutions that meet their needs because we get a closeness and presence to laundries worldwide,” notes Mads Andresen.

“For us, it is a great transaction. We can offer Inwatec an extensive distribution channel, and for us, it is a matter of how we can develop this industry to a much higher level and bring the industry into a new generation when it comes to automation,” says Jesper Munch Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, JENSEN-GROUP.

 

Laundrynerds in new partnership

About the JENSEN-GROUP

The JENSEN-GROUP assists heavy-duty laundries worldwide in providing quality textile services economically. We have become a preferred supplier in the laundry industry by leveraging our broad laundry expertise to design and supply sustainable single machines, systems and integrated solutions.

We are continuously growing by extending our offer and by developing environmentally friendly and innovative products and services that address specific customer needs.

Our success results from combining our global skills with our local presence. The JENSEN-GROUP has operations in 24 countries and has distribution in more than 40 countries. Worldwide, the JENSEN-GROUP employs about 1,700 employees.

 

 

 

MåtteXpressen: Investments were necessary to continue growth

Find the detailed interview and videos of the setup at MåtteXpressen at the end of this article.

CEO Benjamin Rasmussen

In the late autumn 2017, the Danish Mat Service-company MåtteXpressen in the town of Køge made a complete renewal of the production. The former equipment was changed with a brand-new and highly automated production line.

The reason for this move was simple: Big success from the sales department forced CEO Benjamin Rasmussen to take a close look at the machinery.

“After 14 years of constant growth, we reached a maximum for our production, so we had to think in new solutions. We were working 24 hours a day and four days a week, one day with two shifts and then we had weekend work. There was no way to continue our growth if we did not start thinking about solutions where we could make it more efficient and wash more in less time,” Benjamin Rasmussen tells of the thoughts he had before investing in his new setup.

Tripled production volume per hour

“When we washed with the old system, we had two employees on our laundry side at a time. They worked both with in-sorting, sorting and rolling the mats. They washed about 500-600 kilos per hour, today we also have two employees on the team, but they can handle 1500-1600 kilos per hour,” Benjamin Rasmussen explains.

“That means that we wash around three times as many kilos of mats with the same labour. In that way, instead of producing 24 hours a day, we can do it within eight hours. Because of that, we could save two-thirds of our staff on the laundry side.”

The new system includes an Inwatec setup with an Inlet Buffer and a Mat Carousel that buffers the mats on the dirty and the clean site respectively, and finally, MåtteXpressen has a Hurricane Mat Roller with a sorting system added for the finishing of the mats before they are placed in the storage.

The Inlet Buffer for Mat Laundry helps to sort mats by e.g. material, such as nylon and cotton. The buffer can store up to 16 wash batches of soiled mats of each 100 kg.

Fast amortization and new growth perspectives

In total, the entire process is now run by two persons at a time, and Benjamin Rasmussen is sure that the investment will make new growth possible and payback in a short time span.

“We have cautiously calculated that we have a payback time of eight years, but I'm sure it's a little faster. We have set the payback relative to the current turnover, and as we expect a growth of 4-5 percent a year, we will have faster payback time,” he reckons.

The savings are found in gas, electricity and water because of the shortened work day, and as savings on the crew.

“We have had to say goodbye to some of our laundry staff, which can, of course, be a challenge, but those still here are looking forward to the fact that they do not have as many wearying procedures anymore. I can’t see the effect yet, but I'm sure we do not need the same replacements in our staff as we have it less laborious work today," Benjamin Rasmussen tells.


Watch the full interview with MåtteXpressen's CEO Benjamin Rasmussen:

The complete setup at the mat laundry MåtteXpressen:

Introduction to the Inlet Buffer for Mat Laundry and its functions:


View product details on the various parts of MåtteXpressen's production line:

Inlet Buffer for Mat Laundry - Mat Carousel - Hurricane Mat Roller - Mat Sorting Conveyor - Mat Trolley

Our newest team member: Software Engineer Jacob

Meet Jacob Pørksen Buch, who joined our team on the 4th of December! The 29 year old will support us as a software developer and will mainly focus on the PLC of our machines.

Jacob has a strong educational background from University of Southern Denmark, as he did a Master’s in Robotics and started a PhD directly afterwards. Within his PhD, Jacob worked with industrial robots in a series of work-cases where he used robots like the Kuka iiwa and UR5 and simulated these systems. Already for his Bachelor’s project, Jacob developed a robotized tabletop game, for which he worked with similar elements like the ones we use for our machines: cameras, motors, and sensors.

In addition to Jacob’s education, he is a great fit for our team because of his passion about his field of work, which does not stop after working hours:

“In my free time, I do a lot of ‘nerding’ with small mechanical, programming and electrical projects.”

Jacob also likes to play board games and is always searching for new ones such as ‘7 Wonders’, ‘King of Tokyo’, and ‘Smash Up’. He started kitesurfing as a sporting balancing, and further trains boxing and Crossfit on an almost daily basis. This summer, Jacob walked the first 500 kilometer of the Camino de Santiago and afterwards went to Thailand for a month.

We met Jacob at a job fair in Odense this fall and directly recognized Jacob’s fit for our open position in PLC programming. After he came by the office for an interview and the other Laundrynerds met him, we made our decision pretty quick – Jacob started his job already a week after his interview.

During his fist days, Jacob was helping to assemble an RFID-module in the workshop, on whose programming he will also be working in the next weeks.

“I love working here so far. All people are so nice, talkative and very helpful. I very much looking forward to getting my computer so I can also start programming the machinery.”

We are looking forward to working with you, Jacob. Welcome!


You are just as passionate about your field of work as Jacob? Apply here for our open positions

New Laundrynerds: Our workshop-team is growing

In the past months, our machine portfolio was growing and so is our book of commissions. Therefore, we were searching for more helping hands in the workshop to build and assemble our machines – and recently employed Patrick and Hilmer at Inwatec.

Patrick Norgren Nielsen

Patrick Norgren Nielsen is 26 years old, lives in Odense, and started at Inwatec on November 16. He is working on the mechanical and electrical parts of our machines, currently especially on our Vortex mat rollers. Before, he has been working with bigger automation machines and robots such as depalletizers at Jorgensen Engineering.

“The machines here at Inwatec are much smaller but the work is pretty much similar”, explains Patrick.

Patrick gained diversified experiences in the engineering and robotics industry: He graduated as a ship technician in 2011 at Lindø, port of Odense, and afterwards took all courses for the Marine Engineer education. During these studies, Patrick worked at Odico Formwork Robotics, who deal with robots for construction sites. After finishing his studies, he worked at Jorgensen Engineering and then recently changed to Inwatec after applying to our job ad he found on Odense Robotic’s job platform.

“The best part of working here is to be part of building the machine from scratch. Then, we see the machine in action and also get the opportunity to work outside the country to set up the machines for the customers.”

In his spare time, Patrick is playing handball and likes to do underwater hunting with a speargun.


Hilmer Storm lives in Thorø Huse, a small old fishing village in the town of Assens, and is employed as a technician in our workshop since the beginning of November.

Just before Hilmer started at Inwatec, he terminated his job as a harbor leader in Assens Marina. He has a broad ranging working background, as, before he was a harbor leader, he is trained as mechanic, process engineer, and IT administrator. He has also been working with process plants in the recycling industry.

Hilmer explains: “I do not have direct experience in the field I am working with now! But I have experiences that can be reliably related to this. Working experiences, that I think are in good line with the job at Inwatec.”

Currently, Hilmer is working on Vortex-projects together with Patrick.

“After four weeks at Inwatec, I have no doubt: The job here has been a very good choice for me. The content of the job is nice, great colleagues and good working conditions. The working hours also fit perfectly to my hobbies. It could just not be any better!”

Hilmer has a great passion for Ultra Trail Running, runs that are longer than 100 kilometer and in terrain with mountains and forests. His latest race was the Transalpine-Run from 3rd to 9th of September 2017, which started in Germany, went through Austria and Switzerland, and finished in Italy. The race was 288 kilometers long and during these, Hilmer passed 16,870 meters in altitude. In August 2016, Hilmer started the project ‘2019 MAX’ in collaboration with Klinikken Munkebo. His goal is to qualify and run two to three World Tour Races in 2018-19: “I’m an experimental type and I wanted to figure out what a body, born in 1958, could achieve.” In the past, he has also been cycling on an elite level and therefore, he still practices cycling training as a supplement to his running training.

Hilmer has previously lived in Italy and still has a residence there, on an old farm, which is a good sanctuary for him and even better: his fitness training ground is right outside the door.


Welcome to the team, Hilmer and Patrick!


We have a great support with Patrick and Hilmer, but Inwatec keeps on growing! Could you be our next team extension? Apply here

Separates more than 1,500 garments per hour: Inwatec’s Robot Separator

Inwatec’s Robot Separator has been under development since mid of 2015. In June 2015, we started with the idea of creating a robot that automatically separates garment to load it into our X-ray and sorting systems individually. While developing the robot over the past years, we especially had to overcome issues such as the relatively low speed of traditional robot arms and determining the best gripping points of modifiable objects like garments.

End of March 2017, we finally delivered the first Robot Separator to a Norwegian laundry. This first project was a development project, which we performed together. The robot can handle all kinds of garments such as white wear, linen, mops, rags, and more.


Find out more about the past development and watch videos of the different stages on our small Progress Blog of our Robot Separator.


Even though we already presented a fully functioning machine, we did not stop working and improving on the speed, accuracy, and therefore efficiency of our Robot Separator. Over the past months, we have made several additional tests, adjustments, and changes to be now presenting a smooth working, fast, and precise Robot Separator for laundries. Our own delta robot system, together with 3D-cameras detecting the garment and determine the best picking-points for the textiles, now make it possible to deliver about 1500 separated pieces an hour. This throughput is comparable to most human operators and fits nicely into the flow of many setups.

We recently installed our second robot in Switzerland and are currently building number three and four.


Check out the product details of the Robot Separator.


“I think we’ve made a good progress but we are still aiming for a higher throughput. It’s a long process to develop such a system from scratch but we are confident that now we have a system that really does the job,” explains Martin, one of the responsible software engineers for the development of the Robot Separator.


What does Inwatec’s Robot Separator do, which challenges did we overcome in the developing process and how can the robot contribute to your business? Martin answers these questions and more in this video: