Ironers have come a long way from the days they were huge lumps of cast iron beds, multiple rollers and tape led linen transport, says Tabish Aiman, who’s company TexID Limited distributes Stahl ironers in the UK.
Aiman explains that Stahl has been a key player in design changes which have produced the ironers today’s textile care professionals favour. Looking back, he said: “At the time, the needs demanded very high production rates and placement in large centralised facilities processing several tonnes per day. Though these large facilities, requiring multiple roller lines are still a mainstay, several other applications have emerged requiring adjustments to the basic design of ironers,” he said.
“Looking at modern garment care professionals, whether they operate a series of receiving shops with a central processing unit or standalone shops, the breadth of offering increased to domestic bed linen sometime ago,” said Aiman. As a stopgap, double buck utility presses were the norm resulting in very high production costs and requiring skilled labour.
From that, he said: “A new breed of ironers emerged. These were smaller diameter rollers and restricted widths so they could fit in smaller facilities. The introduction of return feeding introduced a reduction in labour as a single or pair of operators could both feed and then fold the returned pressed linen on the same side rather than standard through feed ironers which required operators on both ends. Not only was this new design welcomed by garment care professionals in the retail side but hotels, care homes and institutions benefited.
“On the larger industrial side, trends for very large diameter, up to two metres, single roll designs were introduced to the market. These took advantage of vertical space and eliminated the need for tape feeding of linen between rollers. Modular construction methodology allowed laundries to purchase single roll ironers to begin with and add additional rolls as demand increased.”
He explains: “Stahl has been at the forefront of these design changes.” Now in its third generation of family owners, Stahl has been manufacturing industrial laundry equipment for over 110 years to become one of Germany’s largest providers. Aiman said: “Rather than compromise on the finish quality by heating the roller instead of the bed, Stahl makes all of its ironers with 180-degree heated beds with a choice for steam, gas or electric heating.
“Taking the engineering to another level, Stahl ironers do not use belts or chains to drive the rollers and have opted for the much more reliable Gearbox Direct Drive methodology. Topping this off with Spring or Lamina padding, Stahl are considered the leading brand for high quality finishing of flatwork,” he concludes.