Berendsen merges United Nations Global Goals into strategy

Operations Manager at Berendsen Holbæk, Kim Thorsøe, reviewing X-ray scans on the ODIN module in the cleanroom sorting setup.

Positive results on the bottom line must be achieved concerning both people and the environment. That is the case at Berendsen, Denmark, where great emphasis has been placed on corporate social and global responsibility. They have adopted an ambitious CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy that includes the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (Global Goals).

One step into this strategy is the increased use of robots and automation at Berendsen’s new cleanroom laundry in Holbaek, Denmark.

“The whole project was largely driven by our desire to create the best possible working environment in production. Of course, the cost-effectiveness of the project is also crucial. Still, the working environment is the primary focus area, which is why we work with a three ROI rather than two, as normal with our investments,” says Operation Manager, Kim Thorsøe.

A laundry operator collecting full trolleys from the soil side sorting line. At Berendsen in Holbæk, everybody follows their motto “Accountability – A satisfied customer and colleague is a mutual responsibility”.

Avoiding heavy, repeated procedures
The total soil side sorting solution includes conveyor belts, a robotic separator, a UHF chip reader, an X-ray scanner, and a dynamic sorting system that allows for eight simultaneous sorting criteria such as washing temperature, color, fabrics and so on.

As an initial part of the project, Kim Thorsøe and his colleagues went through all phases of the production:

“We work hard to avoid undesired work processes, and here we found that the combination of robot and conveyor belt is a combination that can save our employees a lot of monotonous work that does not add value to the process,” says Kim Thorsøe.

“In a traditional laundry, the sorting of clothes requires the employee to perform the same lift sometimes over hundreds of times each hour. Obviously, it is interesting when we now have those tasks performed by machines. I also estimated that the conveyor belts save our employees from pushing the trolleys (carts) 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) every day. That energy and time can be spent significantly better on other tasks. ”

All wash batches receive a printed receipt showing the total weight of the sorted articles and customer IDs based on the UHF RFID tags.

The machines benefit both employees and the environment
In addition to the robots and automation being able to save employees from hard work, Kim Thorsøe also points out that the new solution is also an environmental improvement.

“In the past, the right quantities and which wash programs to run was decided individually by the human operator. Instead, today, as all the clothing has a UHF chip, the robot sorts very precisely on washing programs and weight. That ensures that we always use the wash programs, amount of chemistry, and method defined to meet our requirements for environmentally friendly and financially sound production,” Kim Thorsøe continues.

In addition to the UHF scanner, the laundry passes an X-ray scanner that searches for potentially dangerous and unwanted items such as pens, keys, needles and the like. Garments that fail on one or the other parameter will not advance in the washing process before a manual check has been performed, but everything else passes on without human assistance needed.

“The new set-up in our cleanroom solves several logistical problems. We can fill up the buffer, so production runs unaided for an hour and a half, for instance, while the employees are on break or lunch — that way we can utilize the maximum capacity without it pushing the staff. Also, with efficiency enhancements, we go from three to two operators, and their functions will also be less rigorous than they were before,” Kim Thorsøe says.


Berendsen‘s product portfolio includes a wide range of services within the rental, washing, and supply of quality textiles and hygiene products, and customers are both public and private companies throughout Denmark.

Berendsen launched a new CSR strategy in September 2019 entitled “Together with a clean conscience”. Here, one of the long-term goals for Berendsen is to be Denmark’s best workplace in 2030.

Also, in December 2019, Berendsen’s efforts following The UN Sustainable Development Goals was certified by Bureau Veritas. Four main areas were selected:

• World Goal # 3: “Health and Well-Being”
• World Goal # 7: “Sustainable Energy”
• World Goal # 8: “Decent Jobs and Economic Growth”
• World Goal # 12: “Responsible consumption and production.”

Alsco Padova’s customers ask for traceability – RFID sorting provides it

Different garments require various treatments, and because of that, Alsco Padova has increased focus on traceability in their laundry. To overcome the most significant hurdles, Alsco has invested in more technology.

With the ODIN X-ray scanner, every garment is automatically checked for foreign objects that could destroy machinery or laundry loads.

Alsco, in Padova, Italy, has customers from many different industries, such as food, automotive, and pharmaceutical companies. Common to all of them is that they demand high efficiency and traceability.

That's why the management at Alsco was very interested when they heard how technology could solve the challenges using X-ray, RFID reader, and automatic sorting says Tech Manager Assistant, Alsco Padova, Mario de Cristofaro.

"Our customers ask for better efficiency in the division of their clothes and traceability of washing procedures. And this is now possible with the system from Inwatec," Mario de Cristofaro explains.

The BIFRÖST.Bin silo modules store all sorted laundry batches until the desired volume is reached.

Alsco traces every single piece of clothing from it arrives at the factory until it is delivered to the customer again. According to Production Manager Marco De Grandis, the new technology has given Alsco better opportunity to provide customers with the best possible service, due to the release of human resources for other tasks.

"Our biggest challenge has been foreign elements in the pockets. Especially earplugs, lighters, screws, bolts, and much more. With our x-ray machine, we find most of it, and the number of employees was almost halved on the soiled side sorting," says Marco De Grandis.

In addition to finding foreign elements, the new equipment ensures that all garments are washed according to the exact instructions.

"We sort in the clothes in a system with 24 silos, and currently we run with 14 different programs for colored clothes and six different washing programs for white garments. With our new setup, where the clothes are automatically sorted with RFID chips, we ensure that the clothes get the right treatment required by the specific customer," Marco De Grandis explains.

According to Marco De Grandis, 20,000 pieces of clothing are processed per day at the Padova laundry. Still, the plans for the future are higher, which is why the company is working on expanded use of automation solutions:

"As it is right now, our bags are emptied manually, and the clothes are separated manually. But we are working to optimize the system so the bags will be automatically emptied onto a conveyor belt from where it is processed mechanically. We will always need employees, but we hope that we can move most of them from the soiled side sorting to other positions in the laundry," Marco De Grandis says.

About Alsco Padova

  • Alsco (American Linen Supply Company) currently serves 355,000 customers at more than 180 locations worldwide
  • In Italy, Alsco is present with 12 operating offices, including 7 production sites, reaching over 5,000 customers per week

Access more information about Inwatec's soiled sorting solutions here.

Inwatec’s automated mat sorting improves production stability

Two mat rollers with additional sorting and a big “sombrero” from Inwatec has helped Berendsen Finland while they have tripled their mat production capacity. So tells Kim Nordberg, who as Country Director at Berendsen Textile Service OY, who is in charge of the 60 people working at the facility in Tuusula, half an hour’s drive from the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

“Inwatec was our natural choice when selecting the supplier for the new mat line set up, due to former experience with them,” Kim Nordberg says.

The solution included a new HURRICANE mat roller, and a CYCLONE – Mat Carousel (they call it “The sombrero” in Tuusula). The new machines were placed side by side with the existing TORNADO Mat Roller.

Kim Nordberg explains: “Before, we had five persons working with the mat handling in two shifts. Today we have seven people, but we are only working in one shift, and we still managed to triple our production capacity!”

At the Tuusula plant, two persons are unloading the clean mats on the Inwatec Mat Carousel. The carousel serves as a buffer for the four persons responsible for rolling the mats and unloading the tables of rolled mats. Finally, two employees pack the mats, so they are ready for the routes.

“We used to run the production from 5:00 to 23:00, and now we are doing everything before 15:00 or 16:00 in the afternoon. We have a better working environment for the employees, and it’s better for the company as we are less vulnerable, having two CBW’s up and running. If we have break-downs, it’s easier to catch up the same day as we do have more free hours,” Kim Nordberg explains.

As in other parts of the laundry world, new employees are hard to find – and to keep – in Finland. And also, for that reason, Kim Nordberg is always keen on improving his plant.

“65 percent of our staff at Berendsen Finland have been working here for five years or more. But we always want to improve. We are always open to new solutions where we can improve productivity and employee satisfaction. If we are offered machines that help us in that regard, I’m all ears,” Kim Nordberg underlines.


Learn more about our newest mat roller TYPHOON and the automatic sorting. Do you have any questions? Please contact us here.

X-ray solution saves time at Victor Vask

All incoming garments go through the ODIN X-ray scanner before sorting at the Danish laundry Victor Vask

Manually inspecting the pockets of work clothes is a costly and time-consuming process at many laundries. This was also the case at Victor Vask, which services the Danish island of Bornholm. Therefore director and owner Kenn Ivan Kjellberg did not hesitate when he found an alternative.

“We had a heavy process of the soiled side sorting, and we wanted to avoid putting our hands in all the pockets of the laundry. It takes an incredibly long time to check your pockets, and at the same time, we need to avoid employees getting hurt by needles, scissors, or other sharp things that hide in the pockets. We have been close, but we can avoid that with the new setup. Today we scan the garments before we sort them,” says Kenn Ivan Kjellberg about the X-ray scanner that Victor Vask bought from Inwatec in Odense.

Costly errors can be avoided

Victor Vask’s customers include, among others, Bornholm’s regional hospital, home care, dairies, the fishing industry, defense, and civil defense. This means that the pockets on the workwear can hide dangerous objects, but also otherwise harmless items that can damage the clothes in the washing process.

“We are terrified of pens and permanent markers in our pockets. It can quickly cost DKK 10,000 (1,339 €) in replacement value to replace the damaged garments, and on top of that, we have administrative costs and expenses for re-washing. Overall, I would estimate that an overlooked ballpoint pen could easily cost us DKK 11,000 (1,475 €),” estimates Kenn Ivan Kjellberg.

The laundry owner cites three parameters as the decisive factors for Victor Vask acquiring an X-ray machine:

“Our investment is primarily done for economic and working environmental reasons. But there is also an environmental aspect to it as the X-ray machine can save us from throwing out 100 kilos of damaged clothing when we avoid pens in the machines. And that part is equally important to us,” he emphasizes.

After installing the new system, the light table is only used for de-tangling the incoming garments. The pockets are automatically checked by the X-ray.

Technology paves the way for developments

Victor Vask’s X-ray machine is fed manually, and the garments are manually sorted once they have passed through the scanner. Kenn Ivan Kjellberg says that the current laundry production does not make an investment in automatic sorting profitable for the present, but that it is a possible upgrade in the future.

The director states that he and his colleagues always keep an eye on the development potential of the market. That was the reason why he approached Inwatec director Mads Andresen in the first place.

“At Victor Vask, we like to invest in new technology that improves production and working conditions. When I read about Inwatec’s solution, I contacted Mads to find out if we could benefit from it. It was in the fall of 2018. Shortly after that, we received a visit from Inwatec, and I visited Odense with two employees who tried to operate the machine in real life. They were also very positive, and that made it easy for us to decide,” says Kenn Ivan Kjellberg.


Read more about the Inwatec ODIN X-ray scanner here.

VORTEX mat rollers help Unifirst improving productivity

Claes Stanley, CTO at Inwatec, together with Kevin Forcier, Industrial Engineer at UniFirst

Unifirst Corporation, one of North America’s largest workwear and textile service companies, identified the Inwatec VORTEX mat rolling system as a solution to increase productivity, improve workflow efficiency and enhance safety for team partners.

According to Mr. Kevin Forcier, UniFirst Industrial Engineer, the Inwatec Vortex outfitted with a new RFID reader, proved to be the right option. “This system has surpassed our expectation,” says Forcier. “Overall, productivity has increased significantly since installing the new equipment.”

Forcier contributes this impressive result to the patented rollover feature that eliminates manual steps for UniFirst operators and allows more mats to be rolled in less time.

RFID reader supports better logistics

As a company committed to leveraging technology, UniFirst required the VORTEX mat roller be designed to read and identify mats outfitted with RFID chips. According to Forcier, this was an essential component for UniFirst to achieve their goal of improving workflow by reducing time-consuming tasks in the mat rolling process.

“We are now able to integrate RFID chips in our mat rolling automation system,” says Forcier. “This process improvement eliminated extra handling of the mats by our team partners.”

Inwatec made timely adjustments to the VORTEX system to include this innovative feature. When the new setup was available, UniFirst conducted a successful test of the VORTEX mat roller in a pilot facility.

Employee-friendly workflow

More than 20 VORTEX systems have been shipped to UniFirst plants across North America from Inwatec Headquarters in Denmark.

“It is a smart investment,” says Forcier, “mat rollers are a workhorse at our facilities and every day we improve our workflow and job satisfaction with the VORTEX system. The days when associates have to process one mat at a time will soon be a thing of the past.”

“At UniFirst, we also strive to best utilize the skills of our team partners,” comments Forcier. “Ultimately, improving work processes leads to higher job satisfaction. When production steps are streamlined, UniFirst team partners can quickly flex to other areas in the plant that need support and acquire new skills.”

This approach appears to be producing the desired result. Earlier this year, UniFirst was named to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious list of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2019. This recognition is the direct response of UniFirst team partners who were surveyed and said they would recommend the company to friends and family as a great place to work.

Congratulations and thank you for partnering with Inwatec on this exciting project.


Watch the video below to see the functions and capabilities of the VORTEX mat roller with an integrated RFID reader. Click here to view more information about the VORTEX.

Public laundry aims for more automation

The public laundry in the Swedish city of Alingsås, located 50 kilometers outside Gothenburg, has been through a significant automation process this spring. The goals were to improve the working environment and to increase productivity.

Malin Schiller, Manager at Tvätteriet Alingsås

“The management of the laundry has decided that we must work long term and invest in the laundry. Initially, it is about the working environment for our employees, but of course, the economy is also an essential factor as well,” tells manager Malin Schiller.

The new soiled side sorting setup at Alingsås includes four robot separators and two x-ray scanners, and up to 6.000 pieces of garments can be processed every hour with a minimum of human interaction.

“Before, we had 12 people examining the clothes at the light tables. They turned the clothes inside-out and examined all pockets to check for foreign objects. Now it’s handled by the machines, and we have only one operator on the task. The machine finds out by X-ray whether there is anything in the clothes or not,” Service Manager Cora Magnusson explains.

Cora Magnussen, Service Manager at Tvätteriet Alingsås

According to the service manager, most of the time was used on performing redundant pocket inspections.

“It is only 2-4 percent of the clothes that has something hidden in the pockets. It can be anything – things from care, phones, money, and so on. But most of the pockets are empty, and now the machine ignores those clothes in the process. It means that we have a safer and faster delivery now,” Cora Magnusson tells.

The extra hands are now allocated to other tasks in the laundry, and the daily routines are changing in a rotational schedule to keep the workload as low as possible.

Cora Magnussen adds: “Now it is less tedious, so it is better for ergonomics, body, and health. Getting to work is more fun when you have varied tasks.”

Laundry employee Sofia Wangvald agrees on that assumption. She has been working at Alingsås both before and after the new setup:

Now, only those garments containing foreign objects have to be handled manually by the laundry’s employees.

“We become more like mechanical engineers than wear workers, as we were when we checked all the pockets and all the clothes. The machine scanning the pockets is the most significant development that has happened at the laundry in the five years I have been here. It is an excellent investment for the future,” Sofia Wangvald tells.

According to manager Malin Schiller, there will be more investments in the future.

“Investing in the picker and x-ray scanner is a starting point for our continued development in the laundry. You could say that this is the first phase, and we are working hard to move towards more automation where possible,” Malin Schiller reveals.

Streamlining and automation ensures jobs

Interview with Pernille Lundvang, Laundry Manager at MidtVask in Aarhus

MidtVask in Aarhus, Denmark, is a publicly owned company which only cleans for the public and especially for the hospital industry.

Here, laundry manager Pernille Lundvang also sees the necessity to improve efficiency for lowering prices – and thus stay in the fight for public tenders, which are the only ones the laundry are allowed bid in on as a publicly owned company.

For the same reason, the 150 employees, which are distributed in almost 40 nationalities, are very keen about the introduction of modern technology in the company, which was named Denmark’s Best Workplace in 2018.

For example, MidtVask has invested in Inwatec’s Soiled Side-sorting-system that automates the handling of dirty garments coming into the laundry.

“We have a goal of being among Denmark’s healthiest workplaces. That is why automation and, among other things, the Soiled Side Sorting-system from Inwatec is something that really moves us in the right direction. It removes needles and removes scissors, so there is no risk of cutting. At the same time, we avoid a lot of unilateral, repeated work. So it helps to better both our competitiveness and our working environment and health,” tells laundry manager Pernille Lundvang.

“There is often someone who asks if the employees are not afraid of the strong streamlining we are doing with Inwatec. No, on the contrary. If we do not optimize all we can, we will lose our work. Automation and robotics are the only way we can be competitive and ensure that we have a workplace in the future. So from all colleagues we have a great thumbs up – that’s what we have to do,” says Pernille Lundvang, who can also see a swift ROI on the system.

MidtVask’s employees are very happy about the new X-ray scanning results

“We have saved two employees compared to our old setup. So it’s a machine that has an ROI of fewer than three years. It’s excellent. At the same time, our products are made with care and care for the people who work here. It is not only to raise efficiency and to lower the prices. Our customers also really like to do business with us because they know that we focus on being a workplace with great emphasis on being diverse and because we have a good working environment,” she underlines.

Inwatec’s Sorting System was directly integrated with the existing bag system.

Packing system ensures hygiene and optimizes logistics

The handling of small laundry items such as mops or rags is a time-consuming process that requires thousands of hands every day in laundries around the world. However, this should change soon.

Today there are an increasing number of automation solutions and special robots that free employees from the most monotonous and repetitive tasks. This also includes the handling of small textiles.

At the Danish laundry company DFD, one of Inwatec’s bag handling and packing systems was recently installed, which is mainly used for their very successful Viima cleaning products. Viima comprises cloths and mops that allow chemical-free cleaning with water only. With 4,500 weekly deliveries in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, the laundry’s logistical requirements are high.

However, this is not the only reason why DFD in Odense decided to invest in automation solutions for the packaging of these special wiping cloths:

“The primary objective is to ensure the best possible hygiene for Viima wipes and at the same time to find a solution that enables us to save time and manpower,” says Axel Bonnevie, Managing Director of DFD.

Rising willingness to invest in automated solutions

The ways of handling smaller articles vary from laundry to laundry, but the willingness to invest in automated solutions is on the rise all over Europe. Man-hours are among the most significant expenses in most companies, and on top of that, demands to employee safety and proper hygienic handling of the garments are getting stronger and stronger.

The DFD laundry in Odense specializes in and optimizes the handling of Viima products, so the company has a great deal of expertise to ensure that customers from across the Nordic region have access to specialized and certified washing and advice on which solutions exactly meet their needs. Customers include professional cleaning companies, the food industry as well as pharmaceutical and medical companies. The basis of the DFD service solution is that the customer receives exactly the number of units required whenever needed.

“Our Viima cleaning concept consists of various products made from a completely unique and patented composite fiber, which offers some cleaning advantages. This means more hygiene and quality, minimum consumption of water and detergents and better ergonomics for the user than with conventional cleaning systems. Viima has also received the EU Environmental Award for its environmental friendliness. We then invested in the Inwatec machine, which separates the Viima wipes and packs them in plastic bags, so that we can supply a fixed number of wipes in one bag in a particularly hygienic way, as there is no manual handling,” says Axel Bonnevie.

Quality assurance in Viima’s concept means that all units can be tracked and monitored via an RFID chip – right down to the individual Viima cloth. This places high demands on logistics when mops and wipes have to be packed and distributed in an area stretching from Denmark to Norway and Sweden.

Modularity to fit every need

“The machine handles up to 2,000 laundry items per hour with RFID reading and more than 3,000+ without an RFID integration. The operator easily changes how many items that go into each bag, so it is no problem to change from one type of product to another”, explains Mads Andresen, CEO of Inwatec.

Because of the different needs of industrial laundries, Inwatec has developed a modular setup that can be combined in all sorts of ways to fulfill the exact wishes from the customer.

“The packing module itself is of course standard together with the unit that separates and counts the articles that go into the bags, but on top of that we have several other options to choose from,” Mads Andresen further elaborates. “The most common add-ons are label printers and RFID-readers that keep track on inventory and therefore help our customer send out the correct invoices. The RFID-reader also provide extra security because incorrect laundry items are automatically ejected into a reject bin,” adds Mads Andresen, who also points out that versatile software with simple menus makes it easy to change the settings.

If the small textiles are not chipped with RFID, the system can be equipped with a camera identification module which can sort by color or pattern.

The fact that DFD has gathered the know-how about their Viima products in one place makes it possible to put technological investments in future solutions on the agenda.

“Our aim is to be experts for our customers’ customers so that we can advise them on which solutions are the best. For example, we cannot have certifications and logistics solutions that are explicitly aimed at the cleaning sector in all laundries, but we pool our expertise in specific areas. This also means that we can make targeted investments in machines that solve the special tasks we have in the individual laundries. As with the Inwatec machines, which were developed in such a way that they can sort and pack Viima products,” says Axel Bonnevie.

Nor Tekstil’s specialized laundry for hotels is a success

 

In May 2018, the Norwegian Nor Tekstil celebrated the grand opening of a new laundry in Oslo. This laundry was built specifically to handle hotel laundry, and it's inauguration was accompanied with high expectations.

Half a year later, CTO Ove Belsvik acknowledges that the concept has proven to be an excellent idea:

"We think long-term, and we wanted a very modern facility based on innovative technology, and we feel that we have gotten that in Oslo. We had several laundries, and we wanted to move our hotel production to a single plant to make it more efficient. Here we do not wash for hospitals or other customers, it is exclusively hotels. In this way, we are able to specialize the production lines," Ove Belsvik explains.

The brand new laundry in Oslo includes an Inwatec Stack Storage Solution, which keeps the washed and ironed linen in its buffer before packaging and shipping. With this setup, the production can be streamlined as much as possible.

Continue reading below the slideshow:

At the same time, the new setup was designed with a wish for improved workstations for the employees, and Ove Belsvik is pleased that this part of the solution also has proven to be a success.

Nor Tekstil is Norway’s dominant player in the laundry industry. The company serves a significant share of Norwegian hotels, hospitals, and nursing homes, as well as a large number of customers in the offshore industry and other firms in the industrial sector.

"The stack storage solution from Inwatec has had a significant impact on employees. We work with HES (Health, Environment, and Safety), where we look at ergonomics and workflows, and we have significantly less stress now. It's no longer the machines that regulate the pace. When we have a buffer in front, the manual handling at the packing station is done at a reasonable pace, and we've got significantly better ergonomics for our employees. It is very positive," says Ove Belsvik, who is certain, that the set up in their new laundry will set the standards for future laundries:

"We are convinced that what we have built in Oslo is the future. We also see that after half a year of operation we have had excellent results with the combination of our five ironer lines and the stack storage," he ends.


Find more information about the Stack Storage here.

Private customers subscribe to clothing in China

As technology evolves, business opportunities arise for industrial laundries.

An example of the development is found a mere two-hour drive outside of Shanghai in the city of Nantong, where Fornet Laundry Service has a production facility for an unusual customer who runs an internet clothing rental service.

The rental company addresses private customers who can choose which clothes they want to wear in the coming days with an internet-based subscription solution. When the garments need to be washed, they are returned to the rental company, and then the customer can choose another dress, a different pair of other trousers, or something else.

Production Manager at Fornet, Shanghai

 

To make the solution profitable and to keep the stock as low as possible, the returned items must be registered, quality assured, sorted, washed and pressed, so everything is ready for the next customer who has ordered it.

This is where Fornet Laundry Services comes into the picture, and in order to secure a fully integrated process the Fornet laundry is located in a building between two warehouses of the rental company.

Simple workstations provide high quality

Among the early investments was an Inwatec RFID sorting system that ensures that the clothes are sorted correctly before washing.

“It is a fascinating challenge when we have to handle so many different types of clothes. We have over 30,000 different garments in the database, and we have them mapped with different sorting logic, so we separate items for dry cleaning and get the right colors and textile types in the right washing machines,” explains Lei Pai, Manager at Fornet.

In the unpacking area, the operator unpacks the returned parcel, checks for defects and wear, scans the barcode to update the system, and then attaches the RFID chip with a rubber band. The chip and barcode are then paired in the system database and that way all relevant data on the individual piece of clothing is preserved and processed correctly.

Fornet is using HF-RFID chips, as it is the most suitable in terms of workstations spacing to avoid reading the wrong chip as it could happen with UHF.

Inwatec’s Software Engineer Tudor at the installation

“The customer has focused on keeping the workstations as ergonomic as possible, and also the HF-RFID solution made it economically viable to put scanners up at all tables in the unpacking department. That way everything is checked, scanned and marked correctly when the units are put on the conveyor belt that leads to the sorting for further processing, and we can maintain high production capacity without sacrificing quality,” Lei Pai states further.

 

Manual handling with an automatic twist

The initial quality control is carried out by employees, who will, among other things, handle damaged garments. There are no plans to do alternate that part of the setup, but when it comes to the rest of the process, Fornet will automate as much as possible.

“Sorting is very labour intensive, so it’s a big win that we can handle it automatically. We have 13 bins with static sorting to ensure that the same type of garments ends in the same place. If we move the positions we risk more human errors,” says Lei Pai, who in early September had a trouble-free grand opening of the laundry with a lot of interested guests.

“We have launched production with an existing inventory, where all garments were not mapped optimally in relation to how it should be washed. However, we are well prepared to adjust that on the run and with all the new garments that come in, we know how to get all parameters correctly set up, and our logic in the sorting can also be optimised accordingly,” Lei Pai tells.

 

Good service and openness

Fornet Laundry Services operates several laundries around China, and since the company previously purchased a larger Inwatec system with x-ray and RFID sorting to a department in Shanghai, there was no hesitation in sending a new order to Denmark when the project in Nantong was to be implemented:

“We were in Denmark to see a system in a hospital, and we realised that it was a great idea for the laundry in Shanghai. The solution has worked as we wanted, and we also had an excellent dialogue about this project too,” says Lei Pai, stressing that the distance from Nantong to Inwatec in Odense is irrelevant.

“When we need support for the technology or software, it’s always on time, and we were completely confident in choosing Inwatec again. There was no doubt,” says Lei Pai.