Save the date! Open House at Inwatec

Please mark your calendar for the festivities in celebration of our:

During the last couple of years, Inwatec has grown with incredible speed, and we were euphoric when we moved into our new building the 1st of March. We literally had outgrown our old offices and workshop.

Now the workers are finishing the last details on the outside and the decor, and we feel ready to invite all our business partners, family members and friends to Open House at Hvidkærvej 30 in Odense.

Mayor of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel. Photo: Odense Kommune © 

The mayor of Odense, Peter Rahbæk Juel, have promised to join us and perhaps he will say a few words to mark this little chapter in the booming robotics and automation fairytale of Odense – and we are very confident that Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen together with the rest of the team will be around to welcome all the visitors.

For now, the program of the day looks as follows:

10:00 AM: Doors are open

Everyone at Inwatec will be in the offices and in the workshop to show our new facilities – and of course to show you how our machines work.

12:00 AM: The Mayor of Odense enters stage

Around noon Peter Rahbæk Juel will greet Inwatec a visit, and we are pleased to welcome the Mayor who have promised to say a few words.

Following Peter Rahbæk Juel, Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen will also enter the stage shortly to tell about our new headquarters.

Snacks, drinks and tech-talks

We are planning an informal, pleasant social event, and of course, Inwatec will be the host of both food and drinks for adults as well as the kids that might come around.

We need to prepare food and drinks, and we would like to have an overview of how many people we shall expect, so please fill out the form below:

Updated: Inwatec Robot Separator for Laundries

Inwatec presents the Inwatec Robot Separator.

Automatic separator robot for laundries. Items will be separated one by one. The items are loaded bulk into the robot.

The precision of a human but the endurance of a machine. All kinds of garments separated one-by-one at high speed. Imagine there were no hands.

We expected delivery in Q1 2017, and on the 31st of March 2017, we packed the truck with the first Inwatec Robot Separator leaving Hvidkærvej with arrival at the customer a few days later.

Next steps are unwrapping and installing the new machine. We will be back with more shortly, when everything is up and running.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to know more about our newest tool, don’t hesitate to contact us!

British food industry demands empty pockets

Garments ruined because of forgotten pens and markers have been a big issue in the laundry industry for decades. More recently the demand of empty pockets has come from the food industry where the tiniest pieces can become significant problems.

“The recent years we have had more and more potential customers asking us specifically if we can offer them X-ray scanning of the laundry. It’s dominantly from the food industry, where even a small paper clip can be a huge expense if it drops from a rolled-up sleeve or a pocket into the production area,” tells Carl Heeley, General Manager at Johnsons Apparelmasters Hinckley office.

”These companies will do anything to minimise that risk, and when they ask for the possibility of scanning the garments for foreign elements. Of course, we would like to offer that shortly,” Carl Heeley added when visiting Inwatec in Odense to watch how an X-ray system could help solving the issues.

Fewer expenses to ruined garments

Apart from getting rid of unwanted elements in the washed clothes, Apparelmasters also wish to minimise the costs that occur because of garment destroyed when pens or markers are forgotten in pockets and not found until after washing the clothing.

“We have huge issues and expenses because of ruined garment. Every week we must replace 200 pieces of clothing. While the garments themselves obviously has a price, we also have expenses and a lot of frustration in the administration when we must search for replacements,” Carl Heeley admits before underlining that direct costs have less focus than giving the costumers the optimal product:

“Even though we expect huge savings if we introduce X-ray systems in our laundry, the main focus is actually on delivering better service to our customers, and this could be a game changer in a rather traditional business. If we can reduce the number of ruined garments, we will also be able to deliver the cleaned clothes as promised, and that would be a unique selling point for Johnsons Apparelmasters. We are not the only laundry that faces problems with ruined garments,” Carl Heeley says.

Inwatec once again in the media

2017 has begun just as bustling as 2016 ended for the robot industry in Odense; Both our colleagues in the Odense Robotics cluster and we have full order books, and as a consequence good, qualified staff is in high demand.

Luckily the politicians have heard our calls, and in September this year, we will have a new Bachelor Diploma program in Robotics starting with 40 students at SDU in Odense.

Following that development, Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen has had quite a lot of exposure in the media were he have been giving our – positive – view on the new program. We are happy to know that our voice at Inwatec is heard, and we are delighted that we soon will be able to welcome even more talented young students in our new headquarters.

The University of Southern Denmark has always played a significant role in providing relevant study programs and labs, and together with several companies around Odense, various support programs have been created to support the city’s booming robot business.

Inwatec is one of the companies being part of the support program. The majority at the office and workshop are graduates from SDU or students working part time at Inwatec.

The CEO Mads from Inwatec expects 20 new specialists in robotics for his business. And he is not the only one in this business looking forward to welcoming more robotic graduates from SDU.

You can read the stories on the Danish website, Elek-Data.dk who specialises in news about technology, and component distribution here (in Danish).

Mads also appear in the story here from our local newspaper, Fyens Stiftstidende (you can find and read here, in Danish), and finally, we made our way to the newsroom at Electronic Supply with an article (You find it here, in Danish).

 

 

First barbecue at the new building

It is no secret that Inwatec is growing with incredible speed. Almost every month a
new laundry nerd became a part of our team. New cooperations and bigger projects requiring more workforce and more creative, talented laundry nerds.

Consequently, our current office and workshop are not big enough to fulfill the higher requests.
Therefore, we are happy to move into a larger building early next year. 

Last week, we were glad to share the first recognizable building progress with the entire team. With a couple of cold drinks and barbecue, first looks at the office and workshops areas could be taken. 

Luckily, the new building is located just a few meters further Hvidekaervej and is therefore not far from our closest friends at Egatec.

We are looking forward to starting designing indoors according to our wishes and preferences.

Safety is top priority at Berendsen

In the Danish laundry and textile services group, Berendsen, Clean Room business with washing, rental and maintenance of clean room clothing and accessories among other things, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and food industry across Europe has grown steadily in recent years.

Berendsen employs 800 people in clean room business in 11 laundries throughout Europe, and the volume means that the Director of Operations, Clean Room, Berendsen, Camilla Kondrup look closely at the next steps.

“Our primary motivations to invest in new equipment is that we are always working to enhance safety and quality in all our processes in Clean Room laundries, both in the handling of dirty clothes and equipment, washing and cleaning and packing and distribution,” says Camilla Kondrup.

Automatization for safety at working place

“We have business from the pharmaceutical industry, where they work with what we call the hazardous liquids”. Although our employees obviously wear special equipment when they sort and handle the clothes, there is a particular risk profile by working with these subjects. Among others, our clients count pharmaceutical companies working with development of various types of virus,” remarks Camilla Kondrup, who for that reason is considering whether X-ray technology and automated sorting can reduce the risk factor in clothes management.

“Our employees handles a lot of garments from the pharmaceutical industry, so we have full focus on maintaining maximum security. In time, we could consider robots to do the first handling of the laundry on arrival and to separate the garments, and we could perhaps also take full advantage automating other processes or the entire laundry operation. In the best world, we had no contact with certain types of clothing and equipment,” Camilla Kondrup continues.

In addition to the safety aspects of the work, Berendsen, like any other laundry, are working on how to further improve the quality of washing and handling of clothing and items in the future.

“When people are involved, there is always greater a possibility of errors than if sorting is fully automated and based on RFID-chips. If I must list the priorities of our investments, it is first and foremost about risk management. Next, it is about proper sorting. And finally, we are obviously keen on streamlining our processes with automation,” Camilla Kondrup concludes.

Germany’s next generation of laundry nerds

14991329_1157403164343021_1530562211710798350_oThe next generation of the German laundry industry market is keen and up to explore further new possibilities and innovative solutions for their laundry businesses. That was proven when we at Inwatec together with our Danish business partners from Kentaur A/S and Beirholm had the pleasure of welcoming Arbeitskreis der Junioren’ lately.

Security, health and not physical work is nowadays, even more, taken into account since the demographic change plays a significant role, we learned. 

The Arbeitskreis der Junioren’ provided us with a lively exchange about their firms and problems in the German laundry industry.Hopefully, we gave back some of the inputs and innovative solutions for their businesses that they asked:

“Our first stop was at Kentaur A/S. They welcomed us very warmly and impressed us with their vision and philosophy”, told Philip from Textilfplege Mayer GmbH in Offenburg, who is presently one of the new board members in AKJ. 

“On the second day of our trip, we drove to Beirholm. They did not fail to impress us either. Similar to the Kentaur A/S it was kind of interesting to see how the Danish working philosophy is established everywhere”, added Felix Kabus from Textilpflege e.K. in Saulgau, a further board member of the AKJ.

 

Danish working culture

Walking freely around at the workshop of Inwatec, the visitors were allowed to take a closer look at the machines and see our take on how to use automation and efficient productivity to solve some of the issues in the laundry business. When asked, another observation on work culture was made from our German guests:img_20161112_110011

“Our problem is to motivate and keep our people in our house. Inwatec provides the employees with a fully equipped personal fitness room, which can be used by anyone anytime. The way of thinking how to contribute to a better working atmosphere by motivating and pushing their employees to a better overall result impresses us, especially in the IT field. In this area it is quite impossible to measure the productivity of each employee”, explained Felix.

“All companies we visited are providing additional services to their employees. It is inspiring us to think about our contribution to our team back home. Nonetheless, the demographic change plays in Germany a significant increasing role. Automatization and healthier working environment, especially when working with soiled garments, is one way to keep our employees. New technology with an ease of use and on the top preventing physical workforce is what we are looking for in our companies”, told Philip, while looking how the X-Ray machine is testing garments with different items automatically. 

Airport X-Ray is not optimal for sorting of garments

The type of X-ray machines found in airports worldwide operates brilliantly at new02spotting unwanted objects hidden in pockets and bags. But without associated software to interpret the scans, the performance is wholly dependent on the human watching the screen.

That is confirmed by the Swedish company TvNo Textil Service, who have invested in an X-ray machine of the airport type to find pens and other objects such as needles and knives in the laundry, to avoid the classic ink damage to clothing and needlestick injuries among employees.

“Since we bought our X-ray machine, we have reduced the number of ink injuries by 50 percent, but it is evident that we would like to decrease it even more. We also note constant challenges with all plastic pens as they are not visible on the screen,” said production engineer Anders Ohlsson, when he, along with two colleagues from the laundry were visiting Hvidkærvej in Odense.

 

Display requires constant attention

TvNo Textil Service has no fewer than 12 men employed in the sorting line, and during each working day, 24,000 pieces of garment pass through the X-ray machine. And while Anders Ohlsson has no doubts about the efficiency of the human resources at TvNo, he acknowledges that operating the X-ray machine is an arduous effort:

“We constantly have a person seated in front of the display. There is nothing that gets rejected automatically, and it is of course quite demanding in the long run,” Anders Ohlsson says, while watching a new test of typical problems like pens, credit cards and markers from the TvNo laundry run through Inwatec’s X-ray machine to see if the object is detected and rejected by the computer algorithms.

“It is not only pens that give damage to clothing. Lip balms are also a challenge in the winter season. We cannot spot them with our existing X-ray system, and that leaves grease stains on clothes when a lip balm passes the washing machines and tumble dryers. We have the means to remove the stains, but we do not always discover the issues before the clothes are returned to the customer, and then it’s too late,” Anders Ohlsson explains.

 

Costly mistakes can be minimized

new04Buying new machinery also requires investments in engineering, logistics and training, but the board of the TvNo laundry are acutely aware that the return on investment could happen reasonable fast, and that recognition has brought the three-man delegation to Odense.

“We figured out that we still spend approximately 25,000 euros a year just to purchase the replacement for clothes that are destroyed by blots. On top of that expense we have the administrative cost associated with it,” says Anders Ohlsson.

 


Find more information about our X-ray machine, specialised for laundry, here.

From Aleppo to Odense: Programme language sets no country bounds

It is almost two months ago since we wshazaelcomed our new laundry need Shaza Maher, 25, from Syria. Although, she graduated in Informatics and Technology and completed projects in Artificial Intelligence in Aleppo, today she is working in PLC and PC Programming at Inwatec in Odense.

“We here in Inwatec do not judge about where people are coming from or which origin they belong to. Do you know the programming language and are you able to work with it to do an excellent job, we hire you!” claims Mads, CEO of Inwatec ApS.

Shaza studied her Bachelor in Science in Informatics Technology at the University of Aleppo, and as with many others, she was looking for good opportunities to use her qualification in the market.

Her journey started in December 2014 when she left Syria and arrived in February in Kolding. Since then she studied the Danish language and completed an internship for four months at Markant Reklamebureau A/S in Kolding.

“Since I am here I realized how plans can be changed and can become even
better. I studied Informatics back home in Syria, very far from Denmark. But I am maintaining the possibility to use my knowledge in Programming and to work at a Danish company. I have never seen myself going this direction. And it works! I am very happy to be a part of the team at Inwatec and to meet future challenges to grow more and to learn more” says Shaza.

”For us at Inwatec, it is important to support beginners and provide an opportunity for their career. That’s how new innovative ideas are created and realized. We are happy to have Shaza as a part of our team. Her Danish skills are becoming better, and she is improving every day. It is quite interesting to see that the programming language is worldwide the same. Shaza studied in Aleppo and is now working in Odense, very far away from her home country. But this seems to be not an issue at all when it comes to programming. Programmers communicate with their language all over the world,” added Mads.

New Laundry Nerds writes his thesis project at Inwatec

Our team at Inwatec is continuously growing. One of our new laundry nerds is Rafael Moreno Aranda (27) from Spain who is going to write his master thesis in collaboration with us. Already one year ago, he visited our stand at the Job Fair Day at the University of Southern Denmark and showed much interest in our business.

“After the first semester, I already started to look for a good collaboration partner for my thesis. At the Company Dating Day, I heard about Inwatec and talked the first time to Sophie and Mads. They were very patient and helpful with my questions. From the very beginning I was convinced about the company vision and felt very comfortable”, told Rafael.

Rafael is currently studying his Master Engineering in Product Development and Innovation for two years. In his final semester, he decided to write his thesis in the field of machine and process concept development in collaboration with an engineering company. “We at Inwatec are always trying to offer students and newcomer opportunities to demonstrate their talent and to improve their skills. We believe that new people, especially students, have always a new and creative idea. We are looking for that! We need that in our business!”, added Mads, CEO.

“Together with Rafael we are going to focus on small item separation and sorting in the laundry industry. The idea is to separate small times, like mops for instance, by a robot when putting them on the conveyor. His responsibility covers all stages from product development from the product idea to the performance specifications”, explained Mads. The goal in such a niche business is to analyze new possible solutions and to invest to ensure market presence. The master thesis project will give him a good opportunity to look at this market and to gather new experience in this field.

“I applied and Sophie invited me for an interview, which was held by Mads and Finn. I introduced them my thoughts about the project and they shared theirs with me. We came pretty fast to a conclusion. I am very happy having this opportunity now. Since I am becoming an engineer, I am really interested in this market niche of Inwatec. The goals of creating a more effective and productive working environment in laundries lead to the questions what is going to happen with the operators? And if you look at them, they did not disappear it just changed the job. It is a different job which does not require physical exertion. In contrast, it is a safer and better working environment. Furthermore, I believe through this process an efficient separation might result in a better usage of resources like water, energy, and chemical washing products. These facts impressed me and I wanted to have a closer look by being a part of a project which combines my skills and knowledge”, told Rafael.

“We are looking forward to working together and we are already excited about the result!”, told Mads.