We are Laundrynerds – and We Are Robot Heroes from Odense! The Danish city is the place “Where Robot Heroes Grow”.
Odense Robotics is one of the world’s top robotics clusters. Companies are supported by a dedicated cluster management team, that is connecting businesses, research, and education as well as people. Their mission is based on the belief that robots will bring a meaningful change for businesses and their employees. We are proud to be part of the next industrial revolution and the automation community including more than 120 companies!
At the R-18 robotics trade show, Odense Robotics invited four engineers to talk about robotics and automation in Odense. Our Laudnrynerd Tudor, a Software Engineer from Romania, was invited to join the speakers.
Also, Odense Robotics followed Tudor, around the workshop. He shows the playground of the Laundrynerds and tells about his tasks.
“Seeing what you had in your mind come true and be useful for somebody in the real world – that’s quite rewarding.” His work at Inwatec is the same as Tudor would do in his spare time anyway. Sounds like a dream job, doesn’t it?
Check out the video to find out more about Tudor’s passion for innovation and the technologies we build at Inwatec.
Recently, Inwatec received a bit more attention than usual. On Friday, September 7, Inwatec received Patent Nord’s Innovation Award 2018, and four days later, Inwatec was one of the last three nominees for DIRA’s Automation award.
The honors for the latter award went to another company, but it does not spoil the happiness of CEO Mads Andresen, who is exceedingly pleased with the attention received by the company in the past week.
“Of course, our focus is primarily on making solutions that are for the benefit of our customers. But having said that, the award and the nomination prove that people have noticed Inwatec, even though we only address the small niche of industrial laundries around the world,” says Mads Andresen.
The success is driven by the employees
From the company’s first day, Inwatec has worked closely with customers to develop solutions that could remove the unilaterally repeated work of the laundries for the benefit of both the production capacity and the well-being of the employees.
The investigating dialogue is still the most critical part of the development, and Mads Andresen is proud of how the 35 employees at the headquarter in Odense manage to fulfill the customer wishes when they develop the products that are needed in the industry.
“Our luck is that we have so many skilled employees. They come up with all these crazy ideas that suddenly turn into a product that we can call Patent Nord and have patented. As late as Today
I received an email saying that we have now issued a patent in Australia. So now we can really speed up sales there as well,” said Mads Andresen in connection with the Patent Nord award ceremony.
Significant growth in a short period of time
The gift following the award – a striped animal-like sculpture that was immediately dubbed “the racoon (literally “Washing Bear” in Danish)” – was handed out by Patent Nord’s Niels Harding, who emphasised that the award was founded with the aim of focusing on innovative product development in Danish companies, regardless of whether there is a high or recession.
“Inwatec wins this year’s Innovation award based on an overall assessment. This includes an assessment of how Inwatec generally works with innovation and product development, as well as the fact that IPR has protected several products that are also successful in the market” said Niels Harding.
“Besides, with the Innovation Award 2018, we want to premiere the great development that Inwatec has overall had. In 2009, Mads Andresen was the only employee in the company, and today there are 35 employees in Inwatec,” Niels Harding said before Dorte Friis’s artwork was handed over to Mads Andresen.
“Among the very best in the cluster”
At the award ceremony, there was guest input from Henrik Brændstrup from the local cluster of Odense Robotics, and he emphasized Inwatec’s significant focus on finding and cultivating the labor in collaboration with the local educational institutions.
“The cluster that you are part of has a challenge: It is hard to find the right people. Many companies complain about that problem, but you do not. You try to take a different look and see the possibilities. You have taken the consequence of the industry lacking specialists, and so you have created your own blue ocean. There is few in the cluster as skilled as Inwatec to see pipeline in all the educational institutions in Odense,” stated Henrik Brændstrup.
“I do not have an academic study that supports it, but I am very sure that Inwatec is among the very best in the whole cluster when it comes to integrating people from the education system. That’s a great approach,” Henrik Brændstrup announced.
Rene Beukema, 36 years old, was born in the Netherlands and came to live and work in Denmark 5 months ago. At the beginning of September, Rene started as a technician at Inwatec.
Rene’s education in the Netherlands was related to animal health care, however, in his past job, Rene worked with wooden floors, sandpapering and laying down the floors. Although now again, his position at Inwatec is completely different to what he is used to do, Rene sums up his first weeks very positively:
“The work is very interesting and I’m learning a lot, and the team is very friendly and helpful”
Rene’s hobbies are bow shooting, sword fighting, and fishing. Additionally, he likes horse-back riding and loves to take a walk with the dog.
“At my job here at Inwatec, I’m hoping for a long career where the works keep challenging me and that we can build some awesome robots.”
We are looking forward to building awesome robots in the future together with you too! Welcome to the team, Rene.
Patrick Friis Petersen joined us as a student programmer mid of August. Patrick is 23 years old and was born and raised in Hvidovre, a suburb of Copenhagen.
He is currently studying Robotic Systems at University of Southern Denmark in Odense. Patrick recently finished his Bachelor’s programme and is now continuing with his Master’s in the same field.
We got to know Patrick during his last semester of his Bachelor’s studies, where he, together with Frederik, another of our student programmers, worked on their final Bachelor’s project and wrote the Bachelor’s thesis in collaboration with Inwatec.
In his free time, Patrick loves to cook and he jokes: “I spend most of my day wondering what I’ll have for dinner!”
Patrick is happy to now have a student job, which is more related to his studies: “Previously, I have worked at a call center as technical support and customer service. At Inwatec, I am currently working on the interface for an automated bagging-machine.”
He likes his tasks at Inwatec and is happy about the comfortable working environment. “It’s challenging, as the work I do here actually has an impact for the company. But also a great experience and unlimited coffee is a HUGE plus!” Patrick is already keen on seeing the results of his of his new projects. “I look forward to implementing my code on the machines, and being able to say ‘I made it do that!”
Our workshop team has grown bigger again – we are happy to have Jesper (28) and Thomas (20) on board since August 1st! Jesper supports us as an electrician and Thomas does an apprenticeship as an automation engineer.
Jesper – Electrician
Jesper Lolk is 28 years old and grew up in Ringe, a town close to Odense on the island Funen.
Originally, Jesper was educated to be a ‘house electrician’. However, directly after receiving his diploma, he already started working as an ‘industrial traveling electrician’. In the past years, Jesper mostly worked in the food industry. There, he built various transportation systems for large-scale industrial butchering.
Much of his experience from his previous jobs helps Jesper to perform great work at Inwatec from the beginning as well.
Now, having worked as an electrician at Inwatec for a couple of weeks, Jesper sums up: “So far, most interesting for me has been getting to know Inwatec’s machines, experiencing how they are built, and seeing how much the machines are optimized all the time.”
“I like it very much. At Inwatec, there is a different work environment than I am used to, which is a very positive aspect of my work here. I am really looking forward to being a fully grown Laundrynerd soon and have many good experiences with Inwatec in future as well!”
In his spare time, Jesper likes to work and tinker with computers, including building and disassembling them. When the weather is good, he also enjoys going fishing.
Thomas – Automation Technician Apprentice
Thomas Johannes Mortensen is 20 years old, grew up in Svendborg, and recently joined Inwatec for his apprenticeship as an Automation Technician.
In the first half of 2018, Thomas completed a theoretical ‘basic education’ of 20 weeks, in which he gathered first relevant knowledge by performing experiments, creating technical drawings and writing reports. Now, he will be working at Inwatec’s workshop for approximately six months before he goes back to school again. In total, the education as an Automation Technician takes 3 to 3.5 years and consists of both theoretical and practical training.
Thomas appreciates the tasks at Inwatec being more applied and advanced, compared to the first part of his vocational education.
“In school, we did a lot of basic stuff, but here it is more complicated and with a purpose”, Thomas describes. “I am looking forward to learning, be on a team and do what I like – working with robots and machines.”
We are proud that with Thomas, we have a second Automation Technician apprentice on our team. Also, we are very glad to hear that Thomas likes working at Inwatec: “It is the best place I can imagine. I can’t wait to work with the machines even more.”
In his free time, Thomas likes to be with his friends and family and he is further interested in gymnastics.
At Inwatec, we always strive to support young talents. Especially during their education, many skilled students are searching for ways to implement their knowledge. This summer, we are happy to welcome Mustafa and Laus to our team!
Mustafa – Software Assistant
Mustafa Hekmat Al Abdelamir is 15 years old and recently started as a programming assistant at Inwatec. He is attending school at the 9th grade of the Danish primary school system.
We got to know Mustafa during a three-day school internship in May 2018. Already from the start, he did a great job, which is why we offered him a small student position to support our programming team, starting in June. Currently, Mustafa is training the Artificial Intelligence of our X-ray system. He is labeling X-ray scans from the installed machines to help the machine learn new patterns.
“It’s great working here, the people are nice and the work environment is really good”, Mustafa explains.
In his free time, Mustafa likes to meet friends and play video games. Sometimes, Mustafa even does his own experimental computer graphics and plays around with 3D-programs. However, most fun for him is to spend “all nighters” with a bigger group of friends. Originally, Mustafa is from Southern Iraq but already moved to Denmark at the age of 4.
Laus – Student Assistant in Robot Engineering
Laus Skovgård Bigum joined Inwatec at the beginning of July as a student assistant and supports the software development for our machines.
Laus is 23 years old and was born in Roerslev, a small town outside Middelfart. He moved to Odense for his Bachelor’s studies in Robotics which he started in 2014. Laus is studying to be a civil engineer in Robotics at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and this fall, he will start working on his Master’s thesis, in collaboration with Inwatec.
“I like it a lot here. It is challenging in a good way and I learn so much from it. It will be cool to be a part of the fast development of the company and industry.”
Apart from his interest in robotics, Laus has a strong passion for both listening as well as playing music. He has been playing guitar, piano, and bass since he was eight years old, and regularly plays concerts with various bands.
In the past years, Laus already worked in different student jobs, such as at the university’s student service for IT and as a music teacher at an elementary school. Now, he is glad to be working in a field, which is more related and relevant to his studies:
“It is really cool to apply the knowledge from my studies. Although there are some practical aspects at the university, I feel like it has been primarily theoretical, so the work I will be doing now will take that knowledge into practice. I look forward to having a great time and learning a lot here.”
Meet the two newest members of our Laundrynerd-family: Henrik and Benjamin!
Henrik Østergaard Pedersen is 34 years old and started at Inwatec’s project department in mechanical construction at the beginning of April 2018.
Originally, Henrik grew up near Viborg, in Midtjylland, Denmark. He worked at JENSEN Denmark for the last two and a half years in mechanical construction and now joined our team at Inwatec in Odense. Currently, during his first days, he is getting to know the product portfolio by reviewing recent big projects for laundries all around the world.
Henrik took his education as a ‘produktionsteknolog’ and ‘teknisk designer’, a production technician and technical designer. Before Henrik started the position in mechanical construction at JENSEN Denmark in Bornholm, he worked at Steens Furniture in product development.
At Jensen Denmark, Henrik also got to know more about Inwatec, as on January 1, 2018, JENSEN-GROUP, one of the world’s leading companies in the laundry industry, acquired 30% of the ownership of Inwatec ApS. Read more about it here.
With Henrik’s knowledge about the laundry business and his motivation, he is a real Laundrynerd from the beginning – a perfect match for Inwatec!
“So far, it has been great to work here. Everyone is very kind, helpful and easy going”, Henrik describes his first days at the office of Inwatec. “I am looking forward to getting assigned to a project and to be more introduced to the system.”
In his spare time, Henrik enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and playing music.
Welcome to Inwatec, Henrik. We are glad to have you on our team!
Benjamin Ejlebæk Enggaard, 21 years old, joined our workshop team as a student worker after Easter 2018. However, until his studies in engineering begin in September, he will support our workshop team full time.
Benjamin lives on a farm called Billeholm, which is located between the cities of Odense and Assens. He has been working on his father’s farm ‘ever since he could walk’, where he also extensively worked with farm machinery. Benjamin finished high school in summer of 2016 and afterwards traveled and did his conscription as a firefighter in the Danish civil protection. He also assisted in a car workshop for some time. Now, Benjamin aimed to gather relevant professional experience before he starts to study in the next winter semester and also wishes to continue working at Inwatec during his education.
Benjamin is currently supporting the workshop team on assembling five VORTEX mat rollers: “I have been doing service on farm machines of different kinds, but assembling new machines is new to me. It’s loads of fun though – kind of LEGO for adults”, Benjamin explains.
“Everyone is very kind to me. There is a very positive vibe at Inwatec, so though getting up at 5:20 am to start work at 6 is kind of rough, I’m looking very much forward to every working day.”
In his free time, Benjamin works on his father’s farm, likes to go hunting in fall and winter and is a great fan of Formula 1. When the Formula 1 season begins, he tries to follow the races closely.
In future, Benjamin wishes to also help to develop the machines. He is especially happy to be part of a “new, modern and fast growing company”.
That is great to hear, Benjamin. Welcome to the Laundrynerds!
Do you wish to be a Laundrynerd as well? Apply now!
Meet Allan Schmeltz, who is one of our new Laundrynerds: He works as a technician at Inwatec since the beginning of March 2018. Allan has a versatile working background, which makes him a perfect expansion of our workshop team.
Allan explains: “In my career I have worked with mechanical fitting, troubleshooting, electrical and pneumatic fitting, and construction. So, I think I gathered great experience for the field I am working in now at Inwatec.”
Allan is 59 years old and was born in Odense, but grew up in Aalborg afterwards. At Aalborg Shipyard, Allan took his basic technical education and was then called to the Danish Royal Navy, where he stayed for a couple of years. Together with his wife, he moved back to Fyn in 1980.
Finnishing his job at the Danish Royal Navy, he worked as a mechanical fitter in a smaller family company until 1983, where he studied to become a ship engineer. After his graduation, Allan went to sea as a chief engineer on a small coaster and traveled all around the world. However, for the sake of his family, he went ashore again after a couple of years and started a position as a repairman at Rynkeby Foods. In his new job, he was mainly doing troubleshooting but also worked on the optimization of existing plants and stayed at Rynkeby Foods for 13 years.
Yet, Allan wanted to learn more and decided to do a degree in mechanical engineering, which he finished in 2000. For the following ten years, he worked in construction and project leading in various companies, until he started as a repairman again at his old employer Rynkeby Foods in 2011. Now, in 2018, Inwatec could draw Allan’s interest and so he applied for the position as a technician in our workshop.
First impressions at Inwatec
“I saw the job at Jobindex which I found interesting and therefore I directly sent an application. It went very fast. A week after sending the application, the decision was already made!”, Allan describes the application process.
Being a Laundrynerd for the first few days, Allan got to know many processes at Inwatec: “Compared to my previous job, there is a big difference. In the last couple of years I have worked a lot with troubleshooting. At Inwatec, we start from the bottom and after some time we can see a complete plant on the floor. I have done this kind of work before, but it is still very interesting for me and it is really what I like to do!”
Currently, Allan is working on the assembly of a linen storage for a Norwegian textile services company. Allan is looking forward to use his diversified skills at Inwatec. Especially towards working within development, pneumatic and electrical controls. In the future, he would also like to go to machine-installations at the customer’s plants.
In his spare time, Allan likes to spend time on his three hobbies: bowling, sailing, and speedway racing. Since he was 13, Allan played bowling and is still passionate about it. However, his favourite sports is sailing. He owns a boat in which he loves to spend most of the weekends and holidays together with his family. In addition, Allan is a great fan of speedway and especially the Team Fjelsted. He is a member of the Team Fjelsted Supporters and travels all over the country to see the races of his favorite team.
We are happy to welcome you to our Laundrynerd Team. It is great to have you!
Mads Vestergaard Jensen, 23, and Anders Foldager Bay Jensen, 22, are our two new full-time interns from University of Southern Denmark in Odense (SDU). They are both in their sixth semester of their Bachelor studies and will work together on a big project at Inwatec for one semester.
Anders – Student in Mechanical Engineering
Originally coming from Køge, a city close to Copenhagen, Anders Foldager Bay Jensen moved to Odense to study the Bachelor programme in Mechanical Engineering at SDU. In his spare time, Anders enjoys running and watching American Football.
“Here at Inwatec, I really enjoy the hands-on experience in the development process. I also like the approach that Inwatec is following: using standard components with specialized parts”, Anders describes. “Most interesting for my internship is first, the mechanical design of all the products which are produced at Inwatec and also the development of new products.”
Mads – Student in Integrated Design
Mads Vestergaard Jensen grew up in Brønderslev in the very north of Denmark, but moved to Odense two and a half years ago for his studies. He is taking his Bachelor of Engineering in Integrated Design at University of Southern Denmark in Odense and already gathered practical experience in a workshop where he assembled hydraulic machines for one year. However now at Inwatec, he will be focussing on the mechanical engineering field.
“I like working at Inwatec. It is very nice as everybody is friendly and also the task I am working on is interesting. Doing an internship during my studies is especially great, because I am allowed to try out new things and I am already looking forward to getting a lot of experience”, tells Mads.
Mads likes football, and loves to spend his free time on smaller building projects. So far, Mads restored two small mopeds of the model Puch Maxi, built his own clothes rack, made table legs, and more. However, his biggest passion is Lego Technic.
Both students found out about Inwatec at various job fairs on the Odense campus of University of Southern Denmark, and especially the PP-dag, which is a special fair for engineering students who are searching for internships and projects during their studies. We at Inwatec believe that innovative ideas should be brought to life – and therefore always look out for skilled people who are enthusiastic about witnessing smart inventions to be implemented in the real world.
The main project, Mads and Anders will be jointly working on during their internships, is to find a solution to combine the foundations of our mat rollers HURRICANE and TORNADO. The goal is to create an improved common foundation for our bigger mat roll machines. By that, we wish to simplify to the construction processes in future. We are already looking forward to the coming months and are curious about the solution Mads and Anders will develop.
Dannie Riis is our newest team member and supports our workshop as an electrician. He is 44 years old and lives in a small town called Assens on the island of Funen with his wife Rikke.
Dannie finished his training as an industrial electrician in 1994. After being in the army for a couple of years, he worked for Maersk line and has been drilling for 15 years all around the world. Two years ago, the oil crisis forced him change to his job. Since then, he worked for an engineering company in Odense.
“In the end of January I got the opportunity to join Inwatec’s Laundrynerds as a electrician”, Dannie explains.
“So far, I love to work here. The way people are talking to each other is so different from what I am used to. Here, people talk nicely to each other, and if there is a suggestion, for example about changing the layout of the machine, people will actually listen to your suggestions.”
Looking forward to future installation jobs
Dannie is especially looking forward to expand his knowledge of Inwatec’s machines to be eventually able to get ‘outside’ on installation jobs around the world. Currently, he is working on two different project: One is about two HURRICANE mat rolling machines and on the other, Dannie works on a new prototype of our X-ray machine.
In his free time, Dannie cooks, reads a good book to relax, and twice a week, he dances line dance. He and his wife very much like garden work and they have two greenhouses in their garden where they grow everything from tomatoes to chili. They also have a passion for Switzerland and use every opportunity to either hike or ski there. Besides, Dannie builds remote control scale model ships and large scale petrol driven cars in the scale of 1:5. “Then, in sommer, we are playing with our ‘baby’, a Buick Wildcat from 1968, in short – 2 tons of American muscle with a 7 L V8 engine with apx 400+ hp.”