HURRICANE – Mat Rolling with Cone-Correct

In the video, Simon Scheel Kaltoft, Project Manager at Inwatec, gives an overview of Inwatec’s Mat Rolling machine, called HURRICANE. It is the best performer compared to mat rollers on the market. The clean mats are loaded on the front side while getting the rolled ones out on the backside of the machine. Depending on the mat size and the experience of the operator, up to 450 mats can be rolled per hour.

The advantage of having a big inlet table on Hurricane is that the whole mat will be lying on top of the table. This ensures the possibility to see dust, dirty spots or holes in the mat. By pressing a button the mat can be rolled back to the operator to solve these issues. The Hurricane is designed with two belts on top. These are necessary to turn around the mats and to prevent coning. The cone correction feature is highly valuable as there is limited space in the transport truck.

The standard Hurricane can be upgraded due to several add-ons. Adding either an RFID antenna or a with sensor bar to the roll machine, makes it possible to automatically sort mats. Depending on the customers’ data are based it can be sorted either according to the length or width of the mats. Further, it is possible to add a binding machine. It wraps foil around the mat to keep them tight and well rolled. The binding machine can be extended by using a printer. Barcodes, text, logos or whatever could be benefitting from the certain laundry can then be printed on the foil.

The Hurricane allows an easy and safe use for the operator. Height adjustable legs make working on the machine more ergonomic. Every mat laundry can benefit from the Hurricane. Manual work will be reduced due to more efficiency while the mats are rolled in better quality.

100th VORTEX produced by Inwatec


At the beginning of May, we celebrated that Inwatec’s VORTEX number 100 left the workshop.

When Inwatec was established in 2009, leading focus was on how to make the most efficient and employee-friendly mat rolling machine on the market.

Until 2016 our products were large, high-capacity mat rolling machines with front loading and off-loading on the back. The design was simple, efficient and produced in a way that made maintenance easy for the customer. The machines were unique in the way that they used brushes instead of belts to roll the mats, but apart from that, they still looked pretty much as mat rollers from other brands used to do.

That changed in 2016 with the introduction of the VORTEX Mat Roller.

The VORTEX is characterized by a remarkably small footprint in relation to the production capacity. Because of the patented roll-over-feature, the machine is loaded from the front, where the mat also is returned, rolled, and the design supports efficient one man-maneuvering.

Average of 220 mats per hour

“Of course, I’m incredibly proud that the solution was received so well. We have finetuned the machine a bit, but basically, machine number 100 is the same as the first one we delivered. It makes me no less proud that the first machine still steadily rolls 220 mats per hour on average today,” says CEO Mads Andresen on the anniversary.

Today the VORTEX is represented worldwide – and the distance to Denmark is apparently no issue to the owners.

“Obviously there are quite a few units in Denmark and Scandinavia, but most of the VORTEX’ is currently shipped to the United States, where the model is our most popular mat roller. The distance does not matter to the customers; it’s plug-and-play, the machine is built mainly with standard components, so it is easy for the customer to fix mechanical failures quickly,” says Mads Andresen.

“Changes in the laundry business do not occur overnight, but we see that our VORTEX mat rollers are very well known today. The lead time is getting shorter, and today we often have pretty big orders, when a laundry chain needs new machines,” Mads Andresen explains.

Huebsch wants the best service for their customers

Jim Vaudreuil – President and CEO at Huebsch Services

In the 126-year-old company Huebsch Services, located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA, ongoing efforts are being made to update the processes to ensure satisfied customers. In this interest, President and CEO Jim Vaudreuil visited Inwatec in Denmark.

“I think the technology is accelerating and creating a lot of opportunities. I see a lot of the problems that we face today can be solved with the technology that’s available: The UHF RF-chips are promising. I’m looking at one of the new mat rollers that we already have, and we’re going to be modifying it with UHF readers so that we can do additional sorting,” Jim Vaudreuil says.

Huebsch Services already uses tracking in several ways, and for that reason, the implementation of an advanced chip reader-system is high on the priority list:

“We track every garment as a unique asset. We use the chip to keep track of our inventory; we use it to ensure the quality that we’re promising. Is the customer getting exactly what they’re supposed to get, and when? And it helps us keep track of our costs,” he explains.

 

Jim Vaudreuil with their HURRICANE mat roller

Continuously aiming for improvements

Even though Huebsch Services has a long history and a lot of clients going decades back in time, Jim Vaudreuil is sure that it is necessary to always keep an eye on the development of the machines used in the production.

“We like to think of ourselves as innovators. I’m not sure that we really are, as much as that we’re never happy with what we have, and we know that we could improve, so we’re continuously trying to improve. I think the innovation is using technologies that are available, and it’s how we use it.  Almost all the technologies could be had by every one of our competitors, so it’s how do you use it that gives you the competitive advantage,” he continues.

Huebsch Services takes great care of having a high service level, and that is why Jim Vaudreuil visited Denmark; In search of the best ways to support the customers varying needs.

“I think we have certain advantages; we’re a smaller company; we’re very hands-on, and we do most of our development work. I think we have an advantage in that. We’re maybe a little bit closer to the customer and closer to their problem. The company of the future has to be specialised, and I think it has to embrace some of the technologies. That’s why I am here. We’ve been partnering with Inwatec in I don’t know how many years. We really like the Inwatec products, and we are able to partner with a company that’s really leading in the technology – and so what if we’re you know a 10-hour flight away,” he smiles.

Watch the full interview with Jim Vaudreuil:

Find more information on Inwatec’s machines for mat handling here.

Mat laundry Leko Matter continues to focus on automation

The Norwegian company Leko Matter, based in Oslo, decided to automate its mat laundry as much as possible in 2015. The result is a production where one employee alone handles 3.6 tons of mats each day. The mats are washed, rolled and sorted for about 3,000 customers.

“In the past, our drivers helped for more or less one hour to roll the mats. Luckily there’s no need for this anymore. The truck drivers deliver the dirty mats directly on a conveyor belt. Hence everything proceeds automatically from the washing and drying until the rolling of mats on our Inwatec Hurricane machine,” says Bjørn Leine, son of Leko Matters founder Bergtor Leine, and thus the second generation in the family business, founded in 1989.

Bjørn Leine has not doubt that the automation has been a success for Leko Matter, and for the same reason, the company is now thinking about further expansion of the system. “Our system can sort by six criteria, but we are in dialogue with Inwatec to invest in an additional sorting module so we can sort the mats into nine carts at a time,” says Bjørn Leine about the solution he and his colleagues have done in collaboration with Inwatec.

“The alternative had been to employ more people to keep up with the growth. Instead, we are saving a full-time job now, and I assess that the investment has paid back within two years,” Bjørn Leine continues.

Innovative partnership

“The projects we have with Leko Matter over the years gave us a lot of beneficial knowledge of the mat handling business and our company’s relationship has been a success from the very beginning”, Claes Stanley, Chief Technology Officer at Inwatec explains. “Leko Matter came to us with some specific requests”, says Claes Stanley. “Together we developed a modular sorting system that fits into their setup, and at the same time allows their business to grow even bigger.”

Emphasis on efficiency

“Leko Matter had a keen eye for the efficiency from the very beginning, and we are happy, that we have been able to meet their requests with our machines. Their setup is almost entirely automated. Only one person is needed to place the mats at the Hurricane Matroller. This process also allows to include a quality control of the washed mats,” Claes Stanley adds.

Where the original setup at Leko Matter allowed the Norwegian company to sort in six criteria, there is no upper limit on the number of how many sorting modules can be added. In the same way, it is possible to add RFID-scanner and a mat binding system to the mat rolling machine. “Today we have customers with similar setups all over Europe, in the United States and Canada. For Inwatec the partnership with Leko Matter proved that the value of understanding the customer is essential to ensure mutual success,” Claes Stanley states.


Find out more about our Hurricane Mat Rolling Machine and the Mat Sorting Conveyor on their detailed product pages.

No more handling of filthy mats at innovative German laundry


The German company MEWA Hameln has existed more than 50 years, but the business idea is all up to date. MEWA delivers work wear, mats, cleaning cloths and towel rolls in a full-service solution to more than 11,800 companies.

Recently a group of five persons from the MEWA headquarters in Wiesbaden together technical staff from the production unit in Hameln visited Inwatec in search for a machine that can improve the mat production.

“10 years ago we had a mat unloader that could help us get the dirty mats separated for cleaning, but unfortunately it wasn’t fulfilling our expectations. It’s our hope that the Inwatec-version will do so,” Julia Gerner, Group leader at MEWA Textil-Management, explains of the visit.

All in all, no less than 76.000 floor mats pass through the production lines at MEWA Hameln every month, and now MEWA tries to minimize the burden of the initial handling.
“It is heavy and filthy work, and we would very much like to have it automated in a way that both betters the ergonomics for the employees as well as the efficiency of the production and the quality of the final product,” Project Engineer Julia Kamenezkaja ads.

“We see ourselves as an innovative business, and we always have eyes open for implementation of new technologies that can improve the processes in our production line. If it were possible – and make sense economically – we would consider making the entire mat line fully automated,” says Julia Kamenezkaja.

Facts about MEWA Hameln:
Founded in 1951
300 employees work at the Hameln site that manages a total of 11,800 companies and generates sales of 54.6 million.
117,200 workers wear professional clothing delivered from MEWA Hameln.
Each month, 4 million cleaning towels, 76,000 floor mats and 6,300 towel rolls are processed and distributed there.
Read more about MEWA here (external website)


Watch a short introduction about our mat unloader in this video. Get more details about the automatic mat unloader here.

Vortex Mat Roller, now Patent Pending

Our patent pending Roll-Over-feature on the Inwatec Vortex Mat Roller enables the operator to prepare the next mat for rolling during the current rolling process.

Operating the Vortex is very simple: The operator feeds the machine with one mat, and when the next mat is loaded, the first is released to the operator.

This unique functionality optimizes the workflow, keeps the workload steady and removes waiting times. The Vortex roll machine is also equipped with safety light curtain and is designed for highest possible operator safety.

The Vortex easily rolls 260 mats/hour, and the small footprint fits into even the smallest laundries.

Patent publication details:
US Application No 15/170,892.
Publication No US-2017-0113893-A1

Read more about Inwatec Vortex Mat Roller right here

Inwatec Mat Rollers

Our Mat Rolling Machines Hurricane, Vortex, and Tornado provide you a wide range of possibilities to roll your mats fast and efficient. All machines are easy and quick to install and to start. No complicated introduction is needed! By adjusting our different Buffer Conveyors and Binding Units, each Mat Rolling Machine can be constructed according to your requirements. 

The Hurricane Rolling Machine represents the standard of the Mat Roller Machines. Thanks to the patented coning function the mats are rolled straight and tight up to 450 mats per hour. This machine also allows adjusting the height and fold-up the table for ensuring a comfortable and healthy work condition. The Hurricane is 2.4 m x 2.3 m (7.9′ x 7.7′) when the table is folded up. From the economic point of view, it is a good acquisition with its amortization time of 1-2 years. 
 
The Vortex Mat Rolling Machine is with a roll-over function equipped which holds mats in the machine until the next mat is ready to be rolled. Worried about the space - No need! The machine is designed to be placed even in a corner with just 2.30 m x 1.10 m (7.5’ x 3.6’). The Vortex offers you an efficient possibility to roll 400 mats per hour; the expected production is 220 mats/hour. 
 
The Tornado Mat Rolling Machine is the perfect solution for smaller laundries with its footprint of only 2.1 m x 2.5 m (6.9’ x 8.2’). Equipped with a fold-up table and an electrical height adjustable inlet and outlet more space and a comfortable working area can be ensured. According to your wishes, an automated sorting system can be added to upgrade the Tornado with its performance of 350 mats per hour. Nonetheless, you can tight the rolling performance electronically from 3-8 cm. 
 
Download Brochure 

Mat Handling Machines

How to connect the SiteManager – Tutorial

How to connect the SiteManager

  1. Locate the Secomea SiteManager inside the power cab
  2. Make sure the device is powered on (green LED)
  3. Make sure DEV1 is connected to the touch panel (PLC)
  4. Connect a Ethernet cable with Internet connection to UPLINK1
  5. When ‘STATUS’ is Solid Green the device is online
  6. Contact us for further Information

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.

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.