VORTEX mat roller #300 shipped

The production team behind the Inwatec VORTEX mat rollers is proud to ship number 300

When the Inwatec VORTEX mat roller was introduced in 2016, it was meant to fill in a gap in the market. Four years later, VORTEX number 300 is shipped to a customer in the US, and the model is now the go-to-machine in many big laundry organizations.

In 2016 the mat rolling machines on the market were either large, high-capacity pass-through machines or return-to-operator machines with a much lower capacity due to a lot of manual handling and waiting time. That changed overnight with the VORTEX, which has a unique, patented roll-over system that supports a safe and efficient one man-maneuvering:

“The VORTEX looked pretty much like the existing mat rollers in the market, but the rollover system allows one person to roll up to 400 mats per hour, and at the same time, it has a minimal footprint,” Inwatec CEO Mads Andresen explains.

The first VORTEX delivered is still running as it was supposed to, and according to the customer, the daily average is still 220 rolled mats per hour.

Over the years, smaller changes have been made to fine-tune the performance of the VORTEX, but basically, machine number 300 is made from the same recipe as the first one, and the roll-over system is patented in USA, Australia, and Europe. The most significant change is that since 2019 the VORTEX has been available in two versions. Today the VORTEX mat roller can also be ordered in a version with an integrated RFID scanner that allows the customer to register the mats that are being rolled automatically.

“We have had some requests from customers who wanted to keep track of their inventory with RFID readers. Now we have found a solution that works well technically without changing the other properties of the machine,” says CTO Claes Stanley, who at the same time announces that all future VORTEX machines will be ready for the RFID reader option.

“With the new design, the VORTEX can quite easily be upgraded if the customer needs it later, even if the RFID reader was not a part of the original order,” Claes Stanley continues.


Watch the smart return-to-operator mat roller in action:

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.

VORTEX – small footprint, great impact

With its return-to-operator layout and the very small footprint, the VORTEX can be used in any laundry environment.

Since its launch in 2016, the demand for Inwatec’s VORTEX has increased steadily. In May 2018, we celebrated that machine number 100 left production in Odense, and a little more than a year later, we will see machine number 230 be packed in a container heading towards its final destination.

Despite the immense success with the VORTEX, we have decided to alter the design a bit, and after a lot of testing, we are now pleased to announce that we soon ship the first upgraded VORTEX machines from Inwatec.

The newly added feature is that the VORTEX mat roller can be ordered in a version with an integrated RFID scanner that allows the customer to register the mats that are being rolled automatically.

Update as a response to customer needs

CTO Claes Stanley is always involved in improving Inwatec’s mat rollers and their efficiency

“We have had a number of requests from customers who wanted to keep track of their inventory with RFID readers, and now we have found a solution that works well technically without changing the other properties of the machine,” says CTO Claes Stanley, who at the same time announces that all future VORTEX machines will be ready for the RFID reader option.

“With the new design, the VORTEX can quite easily be upgraded if the customer needs it later, even if the RFID reader was not a part of the original order,” he continues.

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


View more information about the VORTEX here. Feel free to contact us for more information regarding the new RFID option.

100th VORTEX produced by Inwatec


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

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

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

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

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

Average of 220 mats per hour

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

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

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

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