Taking the next step with Inwatec

With our focus on education and our passion for offering possibilities in various fields for young talents, we are proud and thrilled to introduce three #laundrynerds that you might have seen before. All three of them have been part of Inwatec for one year or even longer, but have now made the next step in their careers. 

“It was the plan from the beginning, that if there was a job that I would fit, I should work full time. And I’m very happy how things worked out.“ (Nicolai)

Nicolai started in fall 2017 and mostly supported Inwatec with the PLC software for one of our mat rolling machines while studying Automation Engineering. Before his studies, he finished his first education as an electrician. Since the 1st of August, he is now a full-time Service Engineer within our software team. That still includes software development for our mat rolling machines, but he is also responsible for a large part of the service tasks we receive from our customers including service calls and installations. He therefore also tests our machines before they are sent out. 

Part of the team for one and a half years now, Benjamin joined Inwatec in April 2018 to prepare for his studies of Technology Management and Marine Engineering that began half a year later. When he started, his work included assembling machines and different other tasks coming up in our workshop. With the beginning of a mandatory apprenticeship within his studies (that he takes at Inwatec) his tasks shifted to a mix of project support and workshop tasks. Benjamin is planning on continuing his work after the apprenticeship as a student assistant and is aiming to become a Project Manager once he finishes his degree.

Laus, the youngest in terms of his time at Inwatec, was studying Robot Systems – Advanced Robotics Technology at SDU when he joined as a student assistant in July 2018. He supported us in various software development tasks and it did not take him long to find an interesting topic for his master project – the development of AI to find the best gripping areas of laundry items (read more). We were glad to enable him finding a topic of interested that at the same time helped Inwatec exploring new ways of using AI. At the beginning of September Laus started his full-time contract as Software Developer complementing the #laundrynerds software team in a new role. 

“When I started at Inwatec, I didn’t have a plan for what I was going to do or where I was going to be after my studies. Inwatec seemed like a good place to get some experience working with automation, as well as starting my transition from doing studies to being in a working environment. During my time as a student worker, I was introduced to the idea of staying here after finishing my studies, and since it seemed like the right thing to do for me, I gladly ended up taking the offer.” 

It is always rewarding to see young people developing in such a short time and growing both personally and professionally. We are glad that you will continue being #laundrynerds and we are looking forward to a fruitful and joyful future together with you, Benjamin, Laus & Nicolai!

Would you like to start your career at Inwatec? Check out our open positions and send your application!

From laundry to laundry machine supply

At the beginning of August, our team gained another strong support with Jens Plesner Nissen (39 years old) who took on a newly created position as Project Sales Engineer. Together with our customers, he takes a closer look at their laundry work environments aiming to find the best design and placement for our machines or systems to deliver the best possible and most efficient laundry processes and results. 

In his spare time, Jens has a passion for hunting and everything related. Whenever there is time he takes his dog and spends time in the forests of Denmark or Sweden. Now it is his own dog only, but he also used to train German Shepherds a couple of years ago.

Originally Jens comes from Billund where he started his career as an automation engineer at the Lego factory. He then decided to move to Svendborg, where he still lives today, to study Marine Engineering. Next to University he started working at the laundry group DFD Odense where he ended up working for almost 8 years in a management position. One of his tasks was the design and installation of garment dispensers. It was during his time at DFD Odense where he first got in touch with Inwatec machines that were ordered by the company. 

“I knew Inwatec from my time in the Laundry business. We purchased machinery from Inwatec, and occasionally supplied Inwatec with material for testing, e.g. mixed garments, mats, etc.”

Before he switched from working with laundry to now selling Inwatec’s laundry machines he worked as a Department Manager in the production of MHI Vestas in Lindø. In his management position there he was responsible for up to 70 employees producing the hub for the 9MW Offshore wind turbine. 

Away from the Offshore business towards customer contact, project work and design after a month at Inwatec Jens says:

“This is a new position and challenge for me. I am really looking forward to work with all the super-competent people here. It is stimulatory to work in a team of specialists. I also look forward to meeting our customers. I think the laundry business is a very interesting business. There is a lot of dirty and arduous work out there, and Inwatec has some very good solutions to eliminate it, and save money for our customers.”

Welcome Jens, we are delighted to have you on the team!

Would you like to become part of our team? Check out our open positions here.

Successful Clean Show 2019 in New Orleans

North America’s largest dry cleaning, laundering, and textile care trade show, The Clean Show 2019, took place from June 20 to 23 in New Orleans.

We would like to thank everybody who came by, it was a pleasure meeting so many laundry enthusiasts and laundrynerds from North America!

Together on one booth with our partner, the JENSEN-GROUP, we presented the THOR robot separator, our X-ray ODIN which automatically detects foreign objects, and the new vision based HEIMDAL identification that enables sorting by color, pattern or fabric structure instead using RFID. It was such positive feedback to hear that we are famous for reliable and efficient mat rollers in the US. Therefore, we were even happier to introduce our new customizable TYPHOON roll-through model.

The four days at the exhibition have been really exciting for Inwatec, as it was very busy around our machines. Take a look at some impressions below:

Focus on international communication: Meet our marketing student assistant

We are very happy to introduce Theresa Kittendorf, great support for Inwatec’s marketing and communication activities! The 26-year-old German started as our student assistant in international communication in March.

Before Theresa moved to Odense for her Brand Management and Marketing Communication Master’s studies, she lived in Berlin and worked for the German railway company Deutsche Bahn.

Theresa holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on services. Her studies were built up as a dual education. Dual education is very common in Germany and combines theory at university and practical experiences at a company. During this time, Theresa had the chance to explore various facets of Human Resources, as she worked in different HR departments, ranging from merely operational to strictly strategic ones. After her graduation, Theresa continued to work in the field of HR at the company and was able to focus on the special field of talent management. Among others, her routines included internal communication on a social media platform as well as performing internal marketing activities for talent events and company fairs. At Deutsche Bahn, Theresa had more than 300,000 colleagues, all working within diverse fields, countries, and continents.

Now, working as one of 50 employees at Inwatec, Theresa explains: “I like the fact that Inwatec is comparably small and it is actually possible to know all the colleagues and see them working on the different tasks and challenges at Inwatec. Also being able to see the machines, ask questions about how they work and learn a bit more about the technologies behind is very exciting.”

As a student assistant in international communication, Theresa is editing, updating and translating manuals for all machines to make the documents best understandable for the operators in the laundries worldwide. In addition, Theresa performs different marketing tasks, such as creating and publishing content on Inwatec’s social media profiles and the corporate website.

“I am very happy about being part of Inwatec. Everyone is really friendly, welcoming and helpful and the overall atmosphere is just like the one I was hoping to find. There is also a lot of new things to learn and even though the machine names can still be confusing sometimes it is exciting to see them in action and get to know more details about their features.”

Theresa enjoys, that she can work on projects from the very beginning until delivery to the customer. She further points out that it is very exciting that she can go to the workshop and try out the functions of the different machines herself at any time. That makes her work more fulfilling, as she points out: “Being able to see what exactly the work we are doing is done for is so much more rewarding than just sitting in an office looking at the screen all the time.”

In her free time, Theresa enjoys playing volleyball in a mixed team in Odense. Additionally, she has been volunteering for the successful event TEDxOdense, which took place mid-April. She volunteered in the position of Audience Experience Team Lead, where she was responsible for the organization of the welcoming procedures and networking activities to enable the perfect conditions for an overall positive experience for the event’s guests.

Theresa adds that she really enjoys watching tennis, although she is not playing it herself. “Most of the time I end up watching alone because no one else is interested. Maybe I can find a new companion at Inwatec who is as fascinated about watching tennis as I am”, Theresa wonders.

Thank you for all your support for our communication activities, Theresa! We are so glad to have you on our team.

Would you like to become part of our team? Check out our open positions here.

Efficient and error-free human-machine interaction

With the increasing use of technology and automation in commercial machinery, the operation of many new systems is becoming very complicated. Therefore, the human-machine interaction is an important aspect to concentrate on in the machine development. It can have a significant impact on employee satisfaction and production efficiency. Resulting in the requirement to integrate the operator’s needs in its design and eventually creating it as simple to use as possible.

Even complex machines should be easy to operate

“Interface design is often neglected in the sector of industrial machines. However, it is important when it comes to efficiency and error-free operation”, tells Vanessa.

In January this year, Vanessa finished her Master’s studies in Product Development and Innovation at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. At Inwatec she first worked as a student employee and then investigated Inwatec’s current interface design at the mat roll machines during an ‘InCompany’ period. For her final thesis, Vanessa continued her research and created a new interface prototype for the HURRICANE mat roller.

“Inwatec designs machines to make the interaction as easy as possible for all stakeholders involved in the development and operation process“, she explains.

Designing according to people’s needs – Inwatec’s priority

Vanessa submitted her thesis at the beginning of January 2019 and is very happy about her project and Inwatec’s goals:

“I love how Inwatec creates smart machines, that simplify working processes but also how the company cares about the people being involved in the development process as well in the usage of the machines.”

In the development process, Inwatec emphasizes the great importance of considering the operator of the machine from day one to result in machines that are both user-friendly and safe to operate. Opinions of customers and own employees are highly valued and essential for all kind of improvement processes. Vanessa did not only create a prototype but also directly performed tests with various stakeholders.

“It was great to get feedback right away and to have the chance to improve the prototype again and again.”

Are you interested in doing your thesis, an internship or any other university-related project in collaboration with Inwatec? Check out our open positions.

The Danish Robots and Automation Adventure has just begun

In a recent analysis, the national robot partnership Robotics Alliance, for the first time put figures on the development of the Danish robotics industry. Not surprisingly, the review shows that the overall contribution of the Danish robot and automation industry to the Danish economy is increasing significantly.
While today’s 300 automation and robotic companies traded $ 2.7 billion in 2018 the number is estimated to grow up to $ 7.6 billion by 2025, bringing the industry on par with established industries such as those of fashion or food ingredients.

The analysis shows that the activity is most significant in Denmark’s robot capital, Odense, where Inwatec operates. Selling robot and automation solutions for the laundry industry, Inwatec has experienced a tenfold increase in sales over the past five years, and director Mads Andresen has no doubt that the positive stories about and experiences with Danish technology have spread widely around the world.

“The level of education in Denmark is very high. This means that a lot of young people graduate from our universities and that talents from all over the world are coming to Denmark to finish their education. Also, because of the concentration of companies in the robot cluster Odense Robotics, we have plenty of jobs to offer to skilled people who want to join the robot industry. And it is essential for all of us to get the labor we need,” says Mads Andresen, who founded Inwatec in 2009 and employs nearly 50 employees today.

CEO Mads Andresen on the THOR Robot Separator

“I was educated in the city, and I lived here when I founded Inwatec. Obviously, it often goes like that, and there is no doubt that the cluster of robot companies has grown considerably because of all the people educated in Odense. Also, the city’s efforts to strengthen the education and facilities for the companies only stimulate further development. In addition to the robot companies, the figures in the analysis show that success in one industry pays off for subcontractors in other industries. And we have only seen the beginning,” states Mads Andresen.

The whole world is demanding an increase in production
In some countries, the use of robots and automation solutions accounts for 10 percent of their total national growth, the analysis illustrates. Furthermore, the industry’s productivity per employee increases with the number of robots.

While so far mainly Korea, Japan, and Germany have invested in robots, not least because of the automotive industry, they can be found all over the world more and more.
This also applies to the laundry industry:
“We have our biggest market in Europe right now, but growth is strong in the US, Japan, China and the rest of Asia and Australia, and soon we will probably have machines on all continents. The biggest challenge is to ensure that we have the hands and brains that we need to develop and produce. But there is a strong political will to build on the success in Odense and in Denmark, and therefore I am not afraid that we cannot find the labor force”, says Mads Andresen, who expects both revenue and the number of employees at Inwatec to double within the coming years.

Today, 8,500 Danes are employed in the robot industry, and according to the analysis, there are prospects for up to 17,000 more jobs in the industry until 2025. Hence, more investments in education and research within robots and automation are required.

Find more information in English here.
For the full report in Danish click here.

What makes a good duo? One assembly technician and one software engineer, we’d say

Mads Ludvigsen Jensen (Technician) & Phillip Meyer Kyndbøl (Software engineer and robot technology student)

About one and a half months ago our team grew further by two young and engaged men who will from now on be involved in building and developing our machines.

Mads is 27 years old, is trained as a stainless steel smith in 2013 and then started to gain first working experiences at Haarslev Industries and Siemens Wind Power and Fiotek.
Phillip is 23 years old and supports us as a software engineer next to his robot technologies studies at SDU in Odense. With his personality and experience from school projects, he left such a positive impression that he signed his contract on the day of the job interview which then also was his first day at Inwatec. That must have been the fastest hiring process in the history of Inwatec.

While Mads is involved in assembling processes of our machines from the very start to the finished product, Phillip helps to add the software and checks if all motors and sensors are working as they are supposed to.

Mads about his new position: “The most interesting part from my point of view is the fact that you are a part of the machine from the start until the very end! Besides that, as a kid I played with LEGO a lot, I like assembling and seeing the results in full function.”

From his earlier work with hydraulic and windmills, Mads is now excited to learn more about the laundry machinery and using his experience to do so. For both his previous jobs he used to travel a lot. Even though it was exciting to travel to England, Norway, Sweden, and Germany to install different machinery, Mads now enjoys the fact of being in his home country not having to travel further than from Strib, where he lives now, to Odense. In his spare time, he works out a lot, enjoys playing video games and also does some mechanical work from time to time.

Next to university and his job at Inwatec Phillip likes to start DIY projects that range from programming robots to carving longbow in wood to doing traditional blacksmithing. Next to programming and craftsmanship, he likes to hike in nature with his backpack on.

About his job, he says: “I find automation and big machines exiting, and a lot of that can be found at Inwatec. I really look forward to the point where I get more familiar with the existing codes, so I can easily add new functionality to it.”

“I love it! They’re all amazing people! Always positive and cooperative!”, Mads.
“I really like to work at Inwatec. Everybody is nice, and you can always ask someone and get help.”
With their nice words about us, we would like to say that we are more than happy to have won two more young and engaged talents for our team. Welcome #laundrynerds Mads and Phillip!

Would you like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions here.

Education at Inwatec – New collaboration with Goodwings

Apprentice Thomas and Electrician Claus

Inwatec is all about creating and building machines for industrial laundries all over the world. We thereby aim to improve processes, save time and enhance our customers’ efficiency as well as decrease unpleasant working tasks for their employees. On the way of reaching all these goals, we are always on the look for young, passionate and inspired talents.
Artificial intelligence, robotics, electronics, craftsmanship as well as software engineering and development, logistics, sales,… – the possibilities are as varied as our desire to accompany young talents and support their development.
We want to help them discover their potentials and on the other side learn from their ideas and improve our business with the help of fresh ideas and creativity.

As of now, 15 out of 49 employees at Inwatec (30,6%) are student workers and apprentices. In addition to that, we support at least one student working on their bachelor or master project with us at Inwatec every semester. Thereby we hope to create a passion for robots, laundry automation and artificial intelligence amongst future #laundrynerds.

To always make sure that students know about us as an employer we try to keep close relations to schools and universities in and around Odense. Whenever possible we are part of student fairs, where we present our business, innovations and us, trying to get students as excited about Inwatec as we already are.
Furthermore, we offer pupils to do trial internships and we are in contact with the “Career in Denmark” office from SDU all year around. Organized by them we invite groups of students to come and see our offices and workshop area.  

– On the 8th of May the next “Projekt- og praktikdag” will take place at the technical faculty of the Southern University Denmark in Odense. We will be present and hopefully inspire students to work with us as well as get inspired by them. We are looking forward to meeting as many interested students as possible and will hopefully find engineers looking to partner up for their bachelor or master projects. We are convinced that an early corporation can be fruitful for both parties and are always happy to find engaged and motivated students. –

Next to strong relationships with schools and universities, Inwatec just partnered up with Goodwings – an online hotel booking platform that combines traveling with a passion for creating a sustainable future. With every business trip from now on, we support the Human Practice Foundation (HPF) aiming to provide quality education in Nepal, Kenya, and Denmark. Their mission is to create “A world where everyone can have access to quality education and decent jobs.”

School kids in Nepal – taken by Human Practice Foundation

Thanks to Goodwings, organizations like the Human Practice Foundation can receive support from companies very easily. By simply booking hotel rooms for work or private trips via Goodwings everyone at Inwatec automatically raises funds for our chosen charity HPF. That money is directly reinvested into the financing of school building projects, quality education programmes and helps developing local business projects like tea and coffee farms.
We are proud to be part of Goodwings’ mission to help make the world a little bit better and support organizations like Human Practice Foundation that devote their time, energy and passion to important projects.

Education takes on an important role at Inwatec, both in the form of locally offering possibilities of learning as well as helping those that don’t have access to education in the first place.

We are aware of the importance of quality education and hope to convey our passion for laundry machines, the newest technology, and a welcoming working environment. With the publication of the 17 global sustainable development goals set by the UN, we can proudly say that we take on our part aiming to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – for almost 10 years by now. From the start, Inwatec put a big emphasis on supporting local young talents and on offering opportunities in the form of student jobs, internships, bachelor and master project support as well as mini-jobs for pupils. And we will continue to do so.

For more information about the Human Practice Foundation click here.
For more information about Goodwings and to become a member and support important purposes click here.

Inwatec moves into giant markets: The laundry industry excited about Funen technology

Original article: Fyens Stiftstidende “Inwatec slår hul på gigantmarkeder: Vaskeribranchen begejstret for fynsk teknologi”. Click here to read the article in Danish.

The Funen technology company Inwatec sends its first machines to a Japanese customer in the laundry industry this week. In addition, later in spring, a large fair in New Orleans is expected to open up new opportunities for the company in the United States.

Over the last five years, Inwatec has increased its sales 10 times. Especially in the past year, where Inwatec’s sales have increased by 35 percent.

The growth is visible in the company’s most recent accounts, which have just been published. The numbers are expected to remain or even increase this year as Inwatec is opening the doors to the Japanese and American laundry markets.

“We will send our first machines to Japan this week. And later this year we will be at the largest laundry trade fair in the US in New Orleans, which we expect to open the US market for us,” says Jørgen Jensen, who as the chief operations officer (COO) in the company is responsible for the employees and optimization of production in the company.

Big in the US
Inwatec is already big in the US in the market for mat rolling machines – they have sold more than 200 machines – now a new opportunity is waiting just around the corner.

Jørgen Jensen has had a central position in the 10-year-old company since he was hired one and a half years ago. Inwatec, delivering high-tech and innovative solutions with X-ray systems and artificial intelligence to the heavy duty laundry industry, is so busy that there has been a strong increase in focus on streamlining production and business while still continuing to hire new employees. Only within the last two years, Inwatec doubled the number of employees and is still growing.

– We entered the year with a historically large order after we increased sales significantly last year. We expect to do at least the same this year when we foresee a growth of up to 50 percent. It has been crucial to look at optimizing the internal processes to ensure faster production and improve the handling of increasing orders, he says.

X-ray and artificial intelligence
Five years ago the gross profit in the company was DKK 2.1 million. Within the new accounts, Inwatec has raised the top line from DKK 14.5 million in 2017 to DKK 20.5 million in 2018. The company is particularly successful with its high-tech sorting solutions for industrial laundries in hotels and hospitals. With the technology of X-ray and artificial intelligence Inwatec machines can handle larger amounts of dirty laundry faster and at the same time remove foreign items such as pens or needles.

– No one has to stand and sort the clothes manually anymore. Hence, employees manpower can be used otherwise. At the same time, sorting clothes is a job that it can be difficult to get employees for because the minimum wages increase and there is a poor working environment, so there is great interest in our technology in an industry that is otherwise very traditional, says Jørgen Jensen.

Get bigger orders
Inwatec has been established as an innovative brand in the industry so that it is increasingly getting orders with more machines for larger customers. At the same time, Inwatec is getting involved earlier in the planning phase.

– When we increasingly get larger orders, it means that we can look further because we know that we must deliver two or three lines to a laundry that has not yet been built, he says.

He emphasizes that Inwatec, with its use of robots and machine learning, is pioneering in a tradition-based industry where there is minimal competition.

– Therefore, it is also important that we constantly develop ourselves so that we can maintain our leading position, he says.

New partner and investments
The increased sales are thus due to both the development of existing and innovation of new products. At the same time, massive investments have been put into new employees, which can be seen in the cost of wages that has increased from DKK 10 to 15 million.

Also, at the end of 2017, the company got a new global partner and co-owner. The internationally operating company JENSEN GROUP that sells traditional machines for the laundry industry, took over 30 percent of Inwatec in December 2017. The other two owners are CEO Mads Andresen and Lars Hansen, who is the principal shareholder of the robot company Egatec. He lives a longer stone throw from Inwatec in the same business area of Odense.

The arrival of the JENSEN GROUP leads to even more orders, as Inwatec has thus gained access to 100 sellers in JENSEN’s global network of retailers.

– JENSEN GROUP wins by coming out with the latest technology in the industry when they are out with customers, and for us, it gives access to their customers, says Jørgen Jensen.

– It has of course also meant that last year we invested a lot of time and hours in teaching their salespeople in our products so that they can sell it, he says.

As stated, the company is reinvesting much money in the development of products, new employees and sales work. Nevertheless, the bottom line had also increased from DKK 2 million to DKK 2.3 million in 2018, and at the same time, the company also increased the number of apprentices to three.