Bienvenue to a new Laundry Nerd

As a consequence of the stunning success at Inwatec, we need to speak more and more languages to be able to support our customers in the best possible ways, and accordingly we will open a French phone number shortly.

Therefore it is our great pleasure to introduce our newest laundry nerd Raphaël Baetens, 31, who is born in France and happens to speak both Spanish and English on top of his mother tongue, French. 

Apart from answering this phone number Raphaël will be an important part of the Inwatec Sales
Team, and his primary focus will be helping the French-speaking customers moving on with Inwatec automation processes in their laundries.

In that regard, our new team member brings on a thorough understanding of engineering industrial design from a Masters degree in “Engineering Design and Management in Design” obtained in 2008 at International School of Design in Valenciennes, France. Since then he has been occupied making product design at prominent businesses like Leroy Merlin, Oxylan Group, Carrefour and Intermarche.

“I have a keen interest in technical projects, and I like the way Inwatec designs and assembly the machines. It’s good craftsmanship, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the innovative Inwatec team. I have a lot to learn, but I love to learn and hopefully I can also contribute actively to make innovations come true,” Raphaël states.

“We are pleased to add yet another laundry nerd to our team. Raphaël supplements Inwatec with some valuable technical skills and knowledge of how to make the best possible user-oriented design and then, of course, it’s an advantage that he can help us give the French, and Spanish speaking customers support in their languages,” Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen explains.

X-Ray Machine cuts labour costs in half in hospital laundries

claes Efficient X-Ray sorting machine leads to 50 percent staff reduction in hospital laundries; DFD Aalborg has experienced. For five years, none of the employees at the soiled side sorting has received a stab injury. Dirty laundry, sorted by the innovative X-Ray technology and RFID-Chips is not a future scenario – it already exists.

At “De Forenede Dampvaskerier” (DFD) in Aalborg, Denmark, there are no doubts for the division manager Morten Christensen, that the X-Ray technology is a must if a company still wants to play a significant role in the Danish laundry industry.

The manual sorting system at the laundry in Aalborg was replaced by a sorting system from Inwatec, which allows, with its X-Ray technology and advanced computer algorithms, to select and reject garments, when carrying foreign items before beeing sent to the washing machines.

“Following the costs, the X-Ray machine is a splendid investment. We have cut off our labour expenses in this business part. Since it was a development project, it needed some time until everything was installed and put in the right order. But it has resulted in savings of three headcounts each year. In other words, we halved our cost by using X-ray sorting of the garments”, said Morten Christensen.

X-ray technology secures the workplace

On top of the savings, no stab wounds have happened since the X-Ray machine arrived. In addition to the efficiency savings, Morten Christensen recognised as well, that the work environment at the particular department approved significantly. Securing the workplace were also a primary purpose of developing the machine.

“It is a success story, which builds on two pillars. On the one side, the injury caused by needles when sorting out pockets is painful and is provoking a direct stress for the employee. On top of that, it takes at least one year until the employee knows if any diseases are caught with the cut. In turn, this leaves the person constantly uncertain about possible consequences, and that results in psychical stress for the staff member,“ tells Morten Christensen, who have experienced 4-5 stab injuries at DFD Aalborg – fortunately, all these incidents happened in the past.

“We are rummaging in garments when they are rejected, but at least we know now on which piece we need to give more awareness. Since we started to use the X-Ray machine, no similar accidents and injuries have happened”, he declared.

Smoothly working prototype since five years

img_0615-1-01-01DFD in Aalborg was the first company which invested in an X-Ray sorting system from Inwatec and Morten Christensen does not hide his enthusiasm for having a prototype in his laundry. He mentions that it has given him a market advantage.

“The competitiveness of our business is a condition for further innovation and development. We are not allowed to stay and keep existing systems, if they probably may restrict us. Therefore, it is clearly a necessity for us to work together with Inwatec to develop this business,” told division manager in Aalborg, who also owns one of the first Mat-Rolling Machines from Inwatec.

The Mat-Rolling Machine was purchased in 2010 and a year later the X-Ray Machine was acquired as well. In accordance to Morten Christensen, the willingness for new investments and developments is existing, but the present Inwatec machines are well maintained, and updated with the newest software. In result, there are no other more efficient and productive machines on the market at this time which means there is no need for acquiring replacements.

“Our machines are a few years old, but they are still working perfectly. We need neither an X-Ray Machine nor a Mat-Rolling Machine right now, but we have some other machines on which we have to think about the replacement.”

Good remote-support is an important part of the full package


German DBL Staufer has its headquarters more than 1000 kilometres from Odense in Denmark where Inwatec is based. But the thought of a long distance relationship was no problem to the German laundry group when ordering a mat roller – as long as the support part was in place.

“It would have been an issue for us if the machines halts while we are waiting for a person physically to come from Denmark to Germany to fix the problems, but the way the remote-support works, we do not need to worry,” controller Mattias Schöll tells.

“We have used the remote-support a couple of times, and there is no doubt that it eases the troubleshooting.  When a problem arises, we can show it online with pictures, Skype, Facetime or the like. It only requires that it is the right persons that are connected,” Matthias Schöll explains.

“Our interface on the ERP-system initially did not work as it was supposed to do when connected to the mat roller, but we had the problem solved in collaboration between the Inwatec supporter and our IT-department. We also had a printing device added on the mat roller that did not function properly, but that was handled well on the remote-support as well,” says Matthias Schöll.

As a huge player in the German laundry business, DBL Staufer gets lots of attention from most of its machine suppliers, and Mattias Schöll admits that DBL Staufer also expects special treatment on the support.

“Most of our suppliers offer a combination of remote-support an on-site-support. I think that it is a natural www.carolin-tietz.depart of the service solutions nowadays. One of our very big suppliers has a hotline for the DBL-group alone. Then there is always one number that responds when needed. We do not demand that set-up from our smaller suppliers, but the more, the better,” he adds.

Matthias Schöll, who is the son of DBL Staufer owner Ulrich Schöll in the family run business, stresses that while good support is a huge part of the deal, it is not the most important part.

“We are considering to invest in a mat roller-sorting system from Inwatec, and the support solution needs to be good – but the essential thing is that price and quality of the product fulfil our needs,” he ends.

Danish fabric innovations draw attention at Texcare

Beirholm

Innovative textiles were in the spotlight at the Texcare International Fair in Frankfurt. A good example of this are the new Beirtex products from Beirholms Væverier in Denmark, and at the Texcare Fair the customer attention to the products was astonishing.
Not least because Beirholm could illustrate the possible savings on investments.

“Everything we invent must be done ultimately to give the laundries and their customers an advantage, and we have done so with Beirtex. In traditional yarns the cotton and polyester is mixed equally, to make the fabrics more durable”, says sales manager Per Nielsen.

With the new Beirtex yarns the company has managed to create fabrics which satisfies the desire for a higher proportion of cotton against the body, as more than 80% of the cotton is on the surface of the product. At the same time BeirTex® 50/50% P/C yarns are the ideal choice of material for the laundry.

Soft and durable

beirholm2“Thanks to the longer service life of the products and their potential to significantly reduce consumption of resources in the production processes. In short, our focus is Market-fit, Operation-fit and Manufacturing-fit products for our customers. If just one of these factors fail, the whole equation goes in zero,” concludes sales manager Per Nielsen, who had a very busy week showing the textiles to potential customers.

According to Per Nielsen, the quality of the new fabrics makes it possible for the laundries to increase the speed at the stations. Or even better: To think about the potential energy savings: 

“Our yarns are designed for high-speed industrial washing processes. Traditional woven flat fabrics can roll at 36 meters per minute, but Beirtex fabrics can run with up to 46 meters per minute if they have the right setup. Though, instead of turning up the speed, we suggest they lower the temperatures, because that way the fabrics last longer and the total energy consumption will be a lot less,” Per Nielsen tells. 

“We listen to our customers, and we challenge them. But we keep our ears open to get the latest information, so we can give them what they need to move their business. Eventually, their success is our success.”

Customers demand quality and long lifespan

beirholm3Judging by the numbers at the large Beirholm booth, where invitingly made beds and nicely set tables in soft nuances drew attention, the time has come for changes in the business, and Per Nielsen’s colleague, Bettina Clausen, confirms that:

“The market has changed because there is now a lot more focus on sustainability. The development has meant that laundries are even more responsive to the improvements than previously. The focus on quality and life span of the textiles are far greater than it has been previously. Whereas previously it was much about the initial cost, focus on product life and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has become much more significant,” she adds.

Pockets hide all kinds of expensive problems

xray messeAt laundries all over Europe, one of the most expensive returning problems are items left in pockets of the garments. At Texcare International in Frankfurt in June, the X-ray machine from Inwatec drew a lot of attention as a possible solution.

“Pens are always a huge issue, but we keep finding all kinds of different things in the pockets. Scissors, screwdrivers, markers, wallets, phones, glasses and bottles. You name it – we have it,” tells Mathieu Decraene, who is Production Manager at Klaratex in Belgium.

“We have tried a lot of different campaigns where we want our customers to think about it, but in the long run, it doesn’t change a lot, and we still find a bucket full of different objects every day,” he adds.

Mindblowing solution to the problem

In Ilkeston, the UK, Giltbrook Cleaners have the same issues, and here Production Process Manager Ian Filsell concludes that the left objects often harm the business:

“It damages our business strategy when we have an entire batch destroyed because of one single pen we did not find. The replacement cost in textiles quickly reaches 100 Euro, so even if we stick to our one shift-teams, it looks like an investment in the X-ray technology would quickly pay back,” Ian Filsell reasons.

His Belgium colleague draws the same conclusion, and he admits that Klaratex wasn’t looking in that direction coming to the fair in Frankfurt:

“We were not aware that X-ray sorting could be a smart solution to our issue. I think that the Inwatec machine is a different and mindblowing take on how the sorting can be done. I hope that I will soon be able to test the sorting functions with our garments and textiles,” Mathieu Decraene says.

New Inwatec’ers in our team

Inwatec is growing fast with its innovative ideas and is always looking for more creative and dynamic supporters. This week we are happy to welcome three new team members to support us and looking forward to having a great time.

New-folks-08.2016

Technology betters the well-being of the workforce

The Norwegian laundry company Solvask in Drammen have had an Inwatec mat rolling machine for four years and at the recent TexCare fair in Frankfurt, managing director Espen Aaby paid the Inwatec booth a visit to tell about his thoughts for investing in a newer model.

“For us, at Solvask it is all about working efficiency and the well-being of our employees, and in that regard, the old machine has been a great success. I think that both the mat roller and the cooperation with Inwatec works perfectly, why we are considering to a new setup in Drammen,” Espen Aaby told us.2012_Texcare_018

“We haven’t done any calculations, but I’m sure that we have had fewer days with sick leaves in the laundry. Now we also think about a new model because of an increase in efficiency, and then we are planning to make some adjustments to the placement to lower the workload even more for the employees,” says Espen Aaby.

The Norwegian laundry company had a hesitant beginning with the mat roller bought after TexCare in 2012, but things changed quickly, and now Espen Aaby has no problems if he wants to convince his employees of making an upgrade.

“It always takes some time to implement new technology, regardless of how well they work. When we bought our rolling machine, we had four weeks, during which none of the employees would touch it – they would rather roll with the hands, which they used to. Now there is a crisis if the mat roller goes briefly to a halt, and my employees have largely embraced it,” Espen Aaby tells with a wry smile.

Installation of the Inwatec X-Ray machine with sorting

At the laundry exhibition Texcare International 2016 in Frankfurt we brought the Inwatec X-Ray machine with sorting along to show the levet of innovation from Inwatec.

This solution can be installed in only two hours and then it is ready to reject foreign objects from the soiled side of the laundry before it gets sorted and washed.

This machine attracted hundreds of both existing as well as new contacts at the fair. We spoke to interesting people from almost 30 countries.

 

Simple and efficient machines on the roll in Canada

Canadian Linen-2

When Inwatec in the summer of 2015 had its first mat rolling machine installed in a branch of the uniform rental and linen supply company Canadian Linen it happened because of a failure of existing material. Since then plenty has followed.

“We had an American model that broke and as the company had stopped we could not get the spare parts any longer,” says Corporate Mechanical Tech Andrew Taylor, who runs his part of the business from Halifax on the east coast of Canada.

He was not part of the team who saw the first Tornado in action, but after seeing a YouTube-video he had a boss and another co-worker from the United States go and see one in action, and when they liked what they saw, the decision was made:

“None of the other models we saw could handle the same, and then we ordered one from Inwatec. We have not been disappointed. Both that machine and the others have actually done better than we expected.”

Canadian Linen-1From zero to 6 in a year
Since then 3 Tornado and 3 Hurricane mat rollers have been shipped from Denmark to Canada and the stream could very well keep on going.

“When I saw it I just thought: Why did I not think of that. There are no belts to replace, the brushes do the work, and they don’t seem to wear out,” tells Andrew Taylor, who is pleased with the simplicity of the Inwatec mat rollers.

“I had a short introduction myself, and I was able to get one of the machines started up without help. It was super simple, and later we have had mat rollers installed in Regina and Calgary on our own.”

No need for spare parts yet
Inwatec only uses standard components and thus, would be repairable without having to wait for spare parts from Denmark, and Andrew Taylor knows that, but for Canadian Linen that wasn’t the main issue.

“I consider it a nice bonus but in fact, we bought the mat roller because of the functionality. And until now we haven’t had anything breaking down, but we know that we should be able to change broken parts.”

“I do not work in the production line, and I don’t see the machines in function on a daily basis, but I would most certainly hear from my branches if anything went wrong, and I very rarely do.”

Massive production without halt
The volume on the different laundries of Canadian Linen is varying from 1.500 mats a day into 7.000 mats a day, but no matter of the load, the Inwatec mat rollers have done their job until now, according to Andrew Taylor:
In fact, the company has plans of changing more of the old material with new models from Inwatec – both because of the efficiency but also to keep old mat rollers running as long as possible.

“In one of our branches, we have three old mat masters running, and I have been thinking of taking one out and use it as spare parts and replace it with an Inwatec-machine,” Andrew Taylor explains.


Facts about Canadian Linen

As a part of AmeriPrideCanadian Linen is one of the largest uniform rental and linen supply companies in North America with branches in both Canada and United States. From Fort McMurray in the north of Canada to in the south of Texas, US, and from Victoria in the west to Mount Pearl in the far east of Canada.

Vi har brug for markedets skarpeste hjerner – kender du en af ejerne?

Inwatec er med, når Techology Denmark holder jobcamp for tech talenter ved den meget populære Tinderbox Festival i Odense 23.-25. juni.

Vi håber, at der kommer nogle rigtigt skarpe talenter, der vil til Tinderbox som VIP og selvfølgelig ikke mindst vil møde Mads og andre CEOs fra 10 af Odenses førende IT- og tech-virksomheder til en snak om konkrete jobmuligheder! Vi har nemlig masser at lave!

Kunne du også godt tænke dig det, og er du et techtalent? Eller kender du en, der er det, så kan interesserede søge om at komme med her:
http://techtalent.technologydenmark.dk/

Udviklingen i robotteknologien er rivende i øjeblikket, og hos Inwatec har vi brug for alle de dygtige ansatte, vi kan få, så vi kan blive ved med at dominere vores niche inden for maskiner til vaskeri-industrien.

På et år er vi gået fra 5 ansatte til 15, og der er intet, der tyder på, at printeren skal udskrive færre nye kontrakter i de kommende år. Snarere tværtimod!

Heldigvis er Odense i øjeblikket et af de mest spændende steder at bo, hvis man har netop vores behov, og vi har haft særdeles god glæde af nærheden til Syddansk Universitet, hvor vi på det seneste har hentet broderparten af vores dygtige udviklere.

Af samme årsag har vi hos Inwatec besluttet os for at give alt det, vi kan, den anden vej. Vi møder op, når der er dating mellem studerende og virksomheder ved Business Brunch, vi tager gerne dygtige studerende i praktik og endelig har vi besluttet at blive Erhvervspartner ved SDU Erhverv med begyndelse fra det kommende semester. Det bliver spændende, og vi glæder os til at møde endnu flere af kommende nøgle-ansatte.

Vi er desuden medlemmer af sammenslutningen Odense Robotics, hvor vi støtter op bag tanken om at lave en verdenskendt “Robotics Valley”, og endelig viser vi som nævnt naturligvis flaget, når Techology Denmark holder en jobcamp for tech talenter ved Tinderbox – det skal jo også altid være sjovt at gå på arbejde.