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.
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.
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.
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.
Anders Falk Riis is 25 years old and comes from Nykøbing Mors on north Jutland. He is now supporting us as a Software Developer to further enhance our machines and technologies. As he likes playing Counterstrike in his spare time, he also enjoys being part of Inwatec’s quite successful company team. Another hobby of his is diving.
Anders just finished his bachelor’s degree in Robotics in summer 2018 and is now looking forward to applying his acquired knowledge to practical tasks and projects at Inwatec.
About his new position he says:
“The most interesting part is to use my knowledge from university and apply it to real applications. It’s my first time to work at a company with such a good business environment.”
During his time at university, he had the chance to take a semester in Thailand where he was working as an engineering assistant. One of his tasks was the communication-setup between a universal robot and the laboratory equipment. He then took the opportunity to start his bachelor project about neural networks for a bipedal robot. His work ended up being further developed together with a Thai Ph.D. student and was finally presented to the royal princess of Thailand. Although Anders himself could not be there for the presentation it is definitely something to be proud of.
At Inwatec the first project was already waiting for Anders. For a client in France, he works on new internal services, such as design and setup, for PLC’s as well as on the programming of the exit conveyor for the whole system that will be set up.
After two weeks his first thoughts about being a Laundrynerd are: “It’s amazing, good colleagues and best of all companies.”
We are glad to have you on our team! Welcome, Anders!
Would you like to become part of our team? Check out our open positions here.
We are glad to welcome Janek Eriksen and Martin Lefevre Sørensen, who both recently started on our workshop team.
Martin Lefevre Sørensen is a trained electrician and marine project manager and is now supporting us in both electrical as well as technical matters in the development of our laundry robots.
40-year-old Martin lives in a small village Verninge, which is just 10 kilometers from Inwatec together with his wife Gitte and their two boys Lucas (6 years) and Marcus (4 years). In his free time, he likes to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies are doing all kinds of sports and hunting.
Martin points out that he is “always ready for new challenges” and is already looking forward to the projects he will be working on in the future.
For the past five years, Martin was a Project Manager at a company specialized in electronics for marine customers. He worked on various projects on vessels and at production sites of offshore wind parks, such as MHI Vestas and Bladt Industries.
Apart from that, Martin worked at one of the largest North European construction companies for eleven years. Martin’s main focus was sea trials with Maersk’s new buildings. In addition, he worked as a service engineer globally.
In between these two positions, Martin gathered experience as an electrician at a Funen local electric installation company.
Martin tells: “I have heard good things about Inwatec from former colleagues, and when I saw Inwatec was hiring, I sent my application. I began working here 1st of February!”
After one month of Inwatec, Martin draws a first very positive resume of his new job:
“It is interesting to work at a company where there is a great focus on developing the business, and being a part of that journey is what motivates me.” He continues: “I am looking forward to working within the automation and robotics industry – because it is the future.”
Janek Eriksen, 29 years old, started as a technician in our workshop on the 11th of February, and is currently mainly supporting the assembly of our mat roller VORTEX.
Janek grew up in Tommerup, a small village close to Odense. He is a trained moped mechanic and Janek still has a passion for repairing two-wheeled vehicles.
From 2010 until 2014, Janek worked in a small company that repaired and sold mopeds and bicycles. He mostly worked in the workshop but also supported their shop in selling and customer counseling.
In 2014, Janek then switched to a curtain fitter producer, also specialized on fire and smoke curtains, glass facades, and climate curtains for greenhouses, where he worked until he applied for the open position at Inwatec.
Janek explains: “Already for a long time I wanted to try something new. One of my good friends then told me about the open position at Inwatec.”
After a quick application process and an interview, Janek started in mid of February: “Now, I am a fitter at Inwatec and build cool machines!”
“I like the mood at Inwatec. All the people are nice and helpful and everybody takes good care of each other,” Janek sums up his first weeks at Inwatec.
Welcome, Martin and Janek! It’s so great to have you on our team.
Meet Anne-Sofie Fisker, our third apprentice in total and our first one in the field of programming!
“It’s great at Inwatec. I have great colleagues, I get a lot of guidance and the environment is just perfect for me”, Anne-Sofie concludes the first weeks of her apprenticeship.
Anne-Sofie started her apprenticeship as a data technician at Inwatec in January 2019. This line of education takes 4.5 years and consists of an alternation of 20 weeks at the company and 10 weeks at school.
“It’s very practical here at Inwatec, that’s how I like it. And luckily, it will be at school too”, Anne-Sofie explains.
Anne-Sofie is 24 years old, grew up in Esbjerg, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Southern Denmark. After she finished her studies, she first worked as a physics teacher, but soon started looking for a way into her passion – programming!
From Physics to Programming
In her bachelor’s studies in Physics, she worked much with mathematics, statistics, and data, which often was rather theoretical and only little applied. Until in one of her courses, Anne-Sofie was taught to write her first code and how to work with Java and Python. This experience immediately sparked her interest in programming. As she says: “That was so invigorating!”
“I changed from physics to the data technician apprenticeship because I thought that university was just a bit too theoretical and too far from reality. You know, I am a giant nerd, I sit in front of computers all the time, and I wanted to use that less consumer-like and more engineering-like”, Anne-Sofie smiles.
In her free time, Anne-Sofie likes to watch movies and play video games. What she, however, likes most is ‘educational coding’. She taught most of her current knowledge about programming herself by researching and training online.
“I honestly really want to learn to code. So, whenever I get an idea, I want to bring it to the working table. For example, I developed some Google Chrome browser extensions. One of them was an acronym finder.” She continues: “I really like to toy around with file handling as well, and everything that can help to solve daily problems with data management.”
Certified Apprenticeship Places for Data Technicians
When Anne-Sofie was searching for apprenticeship places, she stumbled over Inwatec and found our job postings for both a senior programmer and software student assistants.
“That senior programmer position was exactly what I want to work with when I have some more experience. And I knew Inwatec was open to students. So, I hoped that they would be open for me combining these two openings I found.”
Looking back at the time when she was searching for an apprenticeship place, Anne-Sofie describes: “Many of those companies who are certified to have apprentices didn’t want any! I have sent out so many applications until I finally found Inwatec.”
Inwatec’s COO Jørgen Jensen admits that before Anne-Sofie applied, he did not know much about the data technician apprenticeship. But once he did, he made sure to act fast to be able to take an apprentice in this very relevant education branch for Inwatec:
“We had a job interview two days after we received her unsolicited application and after that, we directly went to talk to a representative from the metal industry’s educational department to be approved as an apprenticeship for data technician students. Already on the following day we received formal approval and were able to sign a training agreement” Jørgen Jensen describes.
He continues: “What I want to point out most is that the process of being approved as an apprenticeship employer has been super simple and has demanded very little of our time, so it should not discourage anyone from hiring an apprentice!”
Anne-Sofie’s first weeks at Inwatec
Only two weeks after her application, Anne-Sofie is already ‘getting to know the code’ of Inwatec’s soiled side sorting machinery! She will be supporting the programming team mostly on the SortManager, Artificial Intelligence data processing, as well as work on programs that are used internally.
Anne-Sofie explains that with now programming on real machinery and projects being sent out to customers, she is pressuring herself a little more compared to when she was coding at home for fun:
“I am sometimes a bit anxious to implement my code because it can crash real machines, and not just an internet browser. But I am happy that I am under supervision – like that, I cannot break anything”, she laughs.
From day one, it was made sure that Anne-Sofie was involved in daily processes and discussions about current projects:
“The programming team is really nice to just ease me into all these tasks. It’s a lot of helping and taking it slow on one side, but on the other side, I am already writing code that will be implemented. That’s very cool! Most interesting for me so far is being included in discussions on projects that are shipped out. That I actually have an impact on what is going to happen.”
Although for many people, ‘machinery for laundry automation’ and ‘systems for textile handling’ might not sound that exciting, Anne-Sofie is thrilled to work on the code for these. She already is a real Laundrynerd!
“I think that the vision-part and the data analysis here is very cool. But also just keeping track of all these garments, the counting, the X-ray scanning – that’s all so interesting. One thing trumps the other!”
We are so glad to have you on our team now, Anne-Sofie. And obviously, we are very proud to hear all those compliments for our people and systems. We are really looking forward to the next 4.5 years with you as our apprentice!
Ann-Sofie and Anders are currently writing their thesis, together with Inwatec, to finish their bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Their project is practical-oriented, just like their whole study program at SDU in Odense.
Anders already did his internship at Inwatec and discovered the opportunities to further work on the challenge, they are now dealing with in their thesis. Anders says: “We selected Inwatec as a collaboration partner since I already experienced how easy and satisfying it is to work with the company.” The students are free regarding their work location and can switch between the office, the university or any other place they feel most productive.
Modular setup and simple aesthetics
Not only student projects are organized flexible, but also Inwatec’s systems are flexible and scalable due to their modular design. Ann-Sofie is fascinated: “Every robot can be connected to make the handling of laundry articles as intelligent and reasonable as possible.”
In case you are now curious to learn more about our modular setup, check it out here.
The students are working on improving a major part of one of Inwatec’s robots. They are constructing a component and calculating several aspects like carrying capacity or overall costs. Ann-Sofie and Anders target to back up all their decisions with analyses. “Our focus is to reduce space and material while providing increased safety,” both students agree.
Anders is impressed by the simplicity of Inwatec’s machines: “Although we are dealing with innovative robotics, the systems are build up straightforward and the functionality stands in the first place.”
Bringing in a breath of fresh air to never stop improving
Inwatec attaches great importance to bring a breath of fresh air into their development processes and to constantly improve their machines. “We are really free to implement our own concepts and our colleagues guide and support us whenever needed, but they would never restrict our ideas,” tells Ann-Sofie.
“We are provided with all essential information and data, helping us to really understand all processes and giving the opportunity to get the best out of our project –for Inwatec as well as for ourselves,” adds Anders.
We wish you the best of luck to finish your thesis project and we are sure you will rock the upcoming presentation!
Benedicte and Mads are studying towards a Diplom within Integrated Design at SDU in Odense. They are trained to take the challenge and develop new products, less emphasizing on detailed calculations but more on knowing the overall strategies and approaches including different perspectives and departments. They are educated to be generalists, being able to gain more specific knowledge within one area if required.
Their final project is not a theoretical thesis but more a practically oriented report that should include, engineering, design, and economic aspects and should be conducted in a company ensuring hands-on experience. Important in here is to justify decisions and methods. Within their practical project, they should develop their idea to a final concept.
“My main goal is to make the laundry robots smarter.”
Mads started as an intern at Inwatec and took Benedicte, his fellow student, on board. At Inwatec they had the opportunity to build up process stages of a new robot and to test their concept via different prototypes, that are simulating the single steps of the future machine. Mads is certain: ” My main goal is to make the laundry robots smarter.”
Benedicte is happy about: “The atmosphere is really positive and we were included in the team from day one.” In the very first week, the students got the possibility to visit two laundries and to gain a deeper insight into the industry, the needs, and potential pain points.
“Inwatec is a great company to write the project with. They understand student’s needs and they are interested in putting the educational requirements as a priority,” says Mads. The students hence were also able to conduct tests, that were not primarily Inwatec’s needs, but were required by university-rules.
The robot, they worked on, was requested by a customer. Very important for the students was to get a real-life scenario and to obtain actual data. These criteria were definitely fulfilled and the Inwatec supported them from the very beginning to the end of their project. They additionally had their own office space to freely develop ideas.
Benedicte and Mads really enjoyed working with Inwatec. Whenever they had questions or issues, colleagues provided helping hands. A programming specialist supported the two students during their whole project and programmed the necessary codes to make the testing possible.
Trust and freedom lead to innovative robots
“We could test our ideas by building up prototypes in original size and we were also supported in buying material,” says Mads. Also, a modified version of the existing machines was included in the testing phase.
Benedicte adds: “It was a great feeling that everyone in Inwatec trust in our work and that we were treated as experts in our field, although we are still studying.“
In the end, both agreed: “It is a pity that we just have one semester and that this time is of course not enough to develop our idea to the very end.”
Mads furthermore starts to work full time at Inwatec from February. He is looking forward to joining the Laundrynerds as Project Engineer with tasks across sales, sales support, construction, installations, and development.
Good luck to both of you with the final project and your future career life!
It is so important for us to work together with educational institutions in Odense and the surrounding area. Especially as it is no empty phrase to say that the youth is our future. Of course, we are also always proud to show how exciting it is to work in our field!
At the beginning of December, we had the pleasure of welcoming another enthusiastic student in his school internship: Bjørn, a 14-year-old student from the Egholmskolen School near Copenhagen. He stayed with Inwatec for a week and got to know various aspects of our work, such as mechanical engineering with 3D drawings, PLC software engineering, and the construction of our control cabinets.
“I have already done two more internships, one for three and the other for two days,” explains Bjørn. In an aluminum workshop, Bjørn programmed an old drill to cut a shape into the aluminum. At the Teknologisk Institute in Odense, Bjørn had the opportunity to test a Nao robot, a programmable humanoid robot, by writing a few lines of code.
We are pleased that Bjørn has also liked the challenges at Inwatec: “It was very interesting, but also a bit difficult because there were some things I had not done before; only the programming of the RFID unit is actually a bit similar to what I already knew before,” says Bjørn.
During the five days, Bjørn worked with various experts in the different fields at Inwatec and it was a pleasure to see that his excitement grew with the time he spent with us. We wanted to give him a comprehensive overview of the tasks of robotics engineers, mechanical and software engineers, and our technicians in the workshop.
Bjørn explains: “It was just cool, I think it was a good variation between working directly with the machines, 3D drawing, and programming in my internship.” He is already planning a technical education after completing his ninth grade, in order to be able to work even more with robots, controls and similar in the future.
From experience, we can say that internships can also turn into further collaborations! The most recent example is the 15-year-old student Mustafa, who completed a three-day school internship at Inwatec in May 2018. One month later, Mustafa entered our team as a student assistant and is supporting our image classification for training our Artificial Intelligence for a few hours each week since then.
We are glad that you enjoyed the time at Inwatec as much as we enjoyed having you with us, Bjørn! In addition, we are confident that the internship was not the last time we worked together.