Calenders: Smoothing the way

Results, and good ones to boot, are the only thing that customers are really concerned with.

Of course, cost, service and reliability are part of the equation, but ultimately, laundries need to produce clean garments on time. And a well specified calender machine may be just what a thriving laundry needs, especially when it comes to flatwork items such as sheets and tablecloths. Quite simply, a well specified calender will give linen a highly desirable smooth look and feel.

Adam Bernstein reports.

Adam Bernstein reports

MAG says that its ironers are “are compact, energy efficient and cost effective”

MAG Laundry Equipment

Kieron Kendell, sales director, says that “when it comes to achieving impeccable laundry and linen finishes, excellence is essential for your business and clientele.” Looking forward to the new year, he says that the anticipation for staycations across the UK remains high and “customers with high standards will be seeking nothing but the best.” Kendell says that MAG Laundry Equipment recognises that industry standards have reached unprecedented levels.

This is why he says that “MAG has meticulously engineered its range of ironing machines and calenders to deliver the pinnacle of quality for laundry shops, linen services, drycleaners, hotels, restaurants, care homes, hospitals and various other organisations.” In describing his company’s products, he says that “MAG’s ironers are compact, energy-efficient and cost-effective; they are purpose-built to meet and exceed the rigorous requirements of a business.”

Further, he says that “their high-performing flatwork drying irons and industrial calenders have earned trust and installation nationwide, complemented by finishing tables, presses and roller irons.” The company maintains, as Kendell notes, “an extensive product portfolio” on its website. He says that “with a legacy spanning over a century of continuous development and refinement, our ironers are available in sizes ranging from one metre to 3.3 metres, offering versatility to cater to your specific needs.” Kendell, like many others in the sector, is keenly aware of the impact of escalating gas and electricity prices.

This is why he comments that “MAG Laundry Equipment is your partner in reducing energy costs by up to 60 per cent. Our highly efficient washing machines, tumble dryers, and ironers effectively pay for themselves, as they are substantially more economic to operate compared to older, energy-draining models.” He feels that “considerable savings await businesses that operate commercial laundry machines around the clock.” So, regardless of size – a smaller laundry in search of a straightforward, budget-friendly ironer for a quick finish on items such as pillowcases and tablecloths, or a larger laundry facility with multifunctional demands encompassing drying, ironing, feeding, folding and stacking flatwork linen with precision, “MAG,” says Kendell, “has the solution. Simply provide details regarding the volume of laundry, linen, or bed sheets you process, and we will recommend the ideal equipment for your unique requirements.”

In finishing, Kendell details that MAG’s mission is simple – “to attain the highest quality finish.” It’s for this reason that he comments that the company “proudly offers the most comprehensive range of commercial ironing and drying machines available on the market… the drying irons are designed to deliver quality by seamlessly combining the drying and ironing processes directly from a high-spin washing machine.

He asserts, “our commercial drying ironers have garnered immense popularity due to their exceptional finish and competitive pricing. Many of our customers, after experiencing the superior performance of MAG equipment, continue to invest in additional machines, a testament to the exceptional quality of our products.”

Gajewski Laundry’s Kannegiesser ironer

Small laundry, big decision: Gajewski Laundry

Kannegiesser

Felix Göhner, marketing manager at Kannegiesser, discusses the company’s EMV-Universal feeding machine which offers manual feeding at “high capacity and with quality.” As he says, “professional textile service providers are giving more and more priority to small piece processing, even though, the attainable profit margins are often far below that of large piece processing margins.”

He says that to close this gap and to ensure high quality and at the same time efficient processing of small pieces, the use of modern machine technology is the key to success. Of this particular feeding machine, the EMV, Göhner says that it “combines the experience of many years together with innovative functions in order to keep up with the requirements for efficient small piece processing.” It features, as Göhner outlines, “optimised ergonomics to reduce handling times; an immediate availability of the feeding surface; visually variable marking per lane; and both unique access and low noise emissions.” Göhner thinks it a very flexible unit that is most suitable for manual feeding of large size pieces, non-standard items as well as table linen “for consistent high quality.”

And he makes the case for the EMV through a case study – the Gajewski Laundry. Together with his son Manuel, Michael Thomas owns and operates Gajewski Laundry in Hartmannsdorf near Chemnitz in East Germany. Göhner tells how despite resistance, even from their own family, the two opted for an ironer line from Kannegiesser. The system they chose consisted of an EMV feeding machine, an HPM heating band ironer, and an RFL-J folding machine.

The laundry is a classic family business with just 10 employees. Michael Thomas was new to the laundry business when he joined his father-in-law’s company in 1989. In 1999, he took over until he and his son Manuel started running the business together in 2016. The laundry’s customers include many small hotels, restaurants, retirement homes, garages and workshops, hospitals and private homes. As Manuel Thomas explains, “if you choose a Kannegiesser product, it’s usually a more expensive investment.”

He is well aware that small companies tend to look for cheaper alternatives but “usually they are punished for this later on. I always say that quality has its price.”

It should be a given that one of the decisive factors in making the right choice is honest and competent advice. And as Michael Thomas tells, “the guidance from Kannegiesser and Mr Oltscher was very important to us. He talked us through it very calmly and met with us several times until I made a decision.” For any laundry, a great variety in customer items can quickly become overwhelming. But as Göhner details, for Michael Thomas, this is no longer a problem. He quotes Thomas as saying that it helps that “the ironer heats up and also cools down again very quickly.” And the need to cope with so many different items is no longer a problem for Gajewski Laundry.

Manuel Thomas comments that “compared to some large laundries, which may only have two or three processing programmes, we run 49 different programmes here.” This is why he is happy with the flexible heating band that he says quickly adjusts the temperature to the specific needs of different articles, “ensuring the ideal ironing temperature for each article protecting the textiles.” Michael Thomas recalls how the laundry previously “had two ironers and didn’t get the job done because they were too small.” This was one of the reasons why a new ironer from Kannegiesser was chosen. Before, six employees were working on two ironers, but now only three employees are needed on one. “The machine produces three times what I managed before. That’s a good rate of productivity.” The Gajewski Laundry is happy.

The GMP G-Line series from Renzacci UK is designed for medium and large commercial applications

Renzacci UK’s GMP E-Line 2nd Generation incorporates smart touchscreen technology and many other features

Renzacci UK

Jason Alexander, managing director at Renzacci UK, believes that his company is “revolutionising the industry with cutting-edge finishing equipment.” He adds that “Renzacci UK, one of the UK’s laundry and finishing equipment suppliers, “is proud to be at the forefront of the industry’s latest developments, equipping laundries with innovative machinery designed to make their businesses thrive.” Turning to the machines themselves, he says that Renzacci UK carries a range of “cutting-edge” machines from GMP, a major flatwork ironer manufacturer.

The GMP E-Line 2nd Generation in particular stands out to him “as an incredible example of innovation and is essential for businesses looking to process laundry quickly and efficiently.” In overview, the GMP E-Line 2nd Generation incorporates smart touchscreen technology, called the SHARP control platform, and an intuitive system where users benefit from online tutorials for on-the-job training and instant troubleshooting guides, “to ensure a seamless uninterrupted operation.”

Alexander details that the system also “boasts a staggering 50 pre-set programmes, in addition to manual mode, ensuring businesses can tailor each operation precisely to their needs.” He says that this machine “delivers a highly desirable smooth finish and showcases Renzacci UK’s commitment to sustainability through the inclusion of a sleep mode to save energy.”

Alexander emphasises that it comes with Gemini twin sensors to control the temperature over the whole ironing surface: “These intelligent sensors will warn if temperature imbalances are detected and automatically switch off the heating. This not only prevents damage from overheating, but also cuts energy losses and reduces utility costs.” Next is the GMP G-Line series which is designed for medium and large commercial applications, especially hotels, restaurants, hospitals and care homes.

In describing these machines, he says that “they are robust, and their reliable construction ensures fast and efficient throughput of items with high quality results. Its aluminium feeding table can be easily cleaned, guaranteeing the highest standards of hygiene for laundry.” Alexander reckons that both series are ideal for businesses looking to generate a reliable revenue stream from flatwork. He cites one such firm – a new business in the industry, Alana’s Laundry Basket, that “was quick to adopt GMP’s latest equipment after learning about the financial benefits it could offer.” For Alana’s Laundry Basket, Renzacci UK implemented the GMP G-Line 1.45m gas roller ironer to “expertly process bedding and linen.

With its compact size and extra wide surface area it has superb performance; it can process all linen types and sizes up to king size bed sheets and duvet covers.” Alexander says that “the owner has been amazed by the cost savings and additional revenue streams coming from Renzacci UK’s GMP system.” He ends by putting on record that “Renzacci UK has a fully equipped state-of-the-art working showroom, which allows businesses, like Alana’s Laundry Basket and others, to experience the range of finishing equipment first hand.”

JENSEN’s Kalor ironer onsite in a laundry

JENSEN cites the JenFin Circle which illustrates the four major variables of the ironing process that may impact the linen lifetime

JENSEN UK Ltd

David Winter, general manager, JENSEN UK Ltd, starts by saying that “JENSEN ironers offer maximum performance with the minimum of resources.” Further, he notes that JENSEN offer a wide range of heavy-duty ironers covering all needs within laundries that have a high throughput to manage. Winter says that JENSEN ironers can be divided into two groups – ironers with flexible chests and ironers with fixed chests. Looking at the first, fast flexible chest ironers, Winter explains the advantages of the flexible chest ironers in that “they have a higher evaporation capacity over time compared to a conventional fixed chest ironer of same size and diameter. This is because the flexible chest adapts to the reduced roll diameter whereas a fixed chest ironer loses contact to the roll over time.” He adds that the extra capacity of a flexible chest ironer can be significant depending on the condition of the padding of the fix chest ironer at the time of comparing. Of course, some laundries will want the best of both worlds.

In response, Winter says that JENSEN can supply ironers to laundries that “want the productivity of the flexible chest combined with the advantage of a thick chest.” He refers to JENSEN’s newly developed Kalor ironer range that incorporates a semi-flexible chest with a thick inner plate of 8mm, which is double thickness compared to the inner plate of the flexible chest used on the EXP and EXPG ironers.

Winter says of this sustainable approach, “laundries can extend the lifetime of the chest because deep scratches coming from, for example, steel buttons can easily be repaired.”

Another benefit of JENSEN’s machines is that, as Winter comments, they offer optimum flexibility and low friction. He says that “JENSEN has always used carbon steel material for its ironers; carbon steel outperforms stainless steel when it comes to flexibility, and the low friction reduces the risk of pleated linen and increases the lifetime of both linen and padding.” He says that it also multiplies the heat conduction by a factor of four while a new flexible chest incorporates bigger flow channels and thicker material.

Depending on the type of heating source, JENSEN ironers come as steam, or self-contained thermal heated gas ironers. The EXPG and Kalor gas ironers use oil as the heating medium and are supplied with an integrated heat exchanger and a gas burner to heat the oil. Winter notes that through “a new design of heat exchanger and optimum control of the burner, the JENSEN gas ironer was elected ‘best-in-class’ by a customer operating gas ironers of various brands.” He expands on the benefits by detailing that “the self-contained gas ironer allows running extra hours without steam supply; thus you can shut down the steam boiler and continue ironing the flatwork after hours, which also saves energy.”

There’s also an optional integrated nitrogen blanketing system that aims to prolong the lifetime of the heat oil “thus reducing the oil changes”; this is recommended for laundries running three shifts. It follows that the production of clean textiles requires a significant amount of energy and replacing them is expensive for the laundries. This means, as Winter points out, that “it is crucial to ensure a gentle treatment of the linen during the ironing process.” And because of the claimed higher evaporation capacity of the JENSEN flexchest ironers, Winter says that “laundries can prolong the lifetime of linen by reducing the ironing temperature or the roller pressure without reducing the capacity.”

Just as Sinner’s Circle describes the main components of the ideal washing process, Winter says that the JenFin Circle illustrates the four major variables of the ironing process that may impact the linen lifetime – temperature, time, pressure and friction. “These four variables,” he says, “need to be applied in the best way to achieve great finishing results coupled with higher productivity to reduce the effect of linen wear and distortion.” Most of all linen damages happens in the ironer, especially when processing blended textiles that have become very popular. That’s why he says that “the JenFin Circle is so vital to consider as part of all commercial and sustainability processes

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