Fresh new start: Shirt machines

A crisp, fresh shirt is a thing of joy for the wearer and the launderer keen to offer a top quality service that attracts repeat business.

Many customers, and potential customers, who have been working from home are now starting to get out of their pyjamas and back into their business suits for a daily commute. That means this could be the ideal time to invest in energy-efficient shirt finishing equipment. Jean Anderson talks to the experts.

SERVICE MACHINERY LIMITED – VEIT

The shirt service has proved to be an excellent opportunity for drycleaners to drive additional turnover, says Stephen Pick of Service Machinery Ltd, which offers Veit finishing equipment.

“Moreover, the relationship to the customer can be improved and new customers attracted,” said Pick. “There has been increased production of shirts with natural fibres in recent years. Variations with pockets, creases and appliqués add to the difficulty of ironing at home and the customer is looking for a quality service at an affordable price. It is evident that a quality shirt service does bring new customers to the store, which inevitably adds to other areas like drycleaning and duvet services.

“The volumes required to justify the investment are not as high as many think: reduced cost per shirt enables prices to be lowered, to attract increased volumes while maintaining margin. The result is higher profit.”

Shirt machines are based on one of two technologies – plate press or blowing – each has its advantages, said Pick. The ‘plate press’ machines have greater heat capacity therefore they can dry a shirt quicker and they ‘press’ the shirt against a polished ironing surface which on some fabrics gives the glazed finish some customers are looking for. But they need careful loading as a crease left when loading takes a lot of correcting later, and quite possibly a rewash.

‘Blowing’ machines cope better with smaller shirts and the shirt is available to the operator to adjust and form while finishing. So, the correct choice of machine will be dictated by the mix of shirt styles, sizes, fabrics and finish required by your business.

Veit, a leading German manufacturer of finishing and ironing equipment, offers a range of shirt finishing equipment all of which is capable of processing shirts direct from a high spin washer without the need to pre-dry.

Pick said: “Due to its flexibility the Universal Finisher 8319 is an ideal machine for small and middle sized laundries. Spin dry shirts, ladies blouses, smocks or chef jackets are finished quickly without creases by the high performance hot-air fan. Its slim body makes it ideal for ladies’ blouses. Drycleaned garments, such as jackets, coats, etc can also be finished on this machine. Like all Veit shirt finishers the machine is equipped with the patented Veit belt drive for powerful but precise and repeatable tensioning.

“The high performance shirt finisher SF26 is utilised mainly in laundries and textile care plants with higher shirt volumes. The low construction height and the retractable front clamp offer ease of use for all. Up to 45 shirts per hour of different sizes, materials and shapes can be finished on this machine to the highest quality standard and requiring only one operator. “The new colour touchscreen display provides intuitive access to the SF26’s many features programmes.

“Here the operator can select pre-programmed settings or make adjustments to the steam and air times, select long or short sleeved and change tensioning settings as required, or select the fully automatic dry sensor which makes sure the shirt is dry before completing the cycle and, perhaps more importantly, will not over dry which wastes time and energy. “Also shown is the optional 2157 hand finisher Iron available on the 8319 and SF26. Used for ‘touch-up’ during the finishing cycle on pockets, appliqués etc for a top class finish.” Also available is the shirt press Veit 8900 designed for laundries and textile care plants requiring both high volumes and the highest standard of glazed finish, moving transversely from above the press plate with fused heating system provides excellent temperature distribution, saves energy and achieves a stretching effect downwards. A high throughput of 60 shirts per hour guarantees a quick pay back.

And the Veit collar and cuff press 8905 with vertical closing movement and built in suction holds the shirt in place during loading and ensures a quick and excellent finish.

Said Pick: “One operator can process shirts on both the collar and cuff press and shirt machine at the same time. This overlap of functions is key to efficient processing and the reason for the recommended Veit workflow method which ensures an operator has a task in hand at all times, after all an operator stood watching the machine is wasting time.”

The high performance shirt finisher SF26 is popular for those with higher shirt volumes.

Due to its flexibility the universal finisher 8319 is an ideal machine for small and middle sized laundries.

The high performance shirt finisher SF26 is popular for those with higher shirt volumes.

Chris Lambourne, of CML Equipment Solutions, offers shirt finishing equipment from Trevil.

He told us: “The Trevil Trevistar CR was conceived to iron high volumes of shirts in various styles, petite, slim fit, regular and large. Processing wet or dry shirts, it offers a productivity of over 40 shirts/ hour, without touch-ups. “Trevistar CR offers all the quality of blow ironing without the risk of wrinkles forming that cannot be removed with the touch-up process. Darts, pleats and decorations remain delicately ironed.”

Flexible programming allows for finishing of short sleeve shirts, polos and stretch fabric. He adds: The Trevitouch touchscreen enables the user to operate the shirt finisher easily and the new smart interface allows full control of the machine movements in a simple and intuitive way. The screen can be set up on the right or on the left of the operator, thus adapting to different store layouts.

“The tensioning carriage has five clamps to guarantee an even pressing of the hem, without crimping or horizontal lines. When pressing delicate shirts, the tensioning clamps can be completely excluded by simply pressing one button on the display. “The front clamp with adjustable temperature presses the front placket without damaging the buttons. Controls are integrated into the clamp for better ergonomics.”

Lambourne adds: “The Trevil economiser increases the efficiency of the Trevistar CR shirt finisher. It is located inside the cabinet of the machine, in a position that does not increase the machine footprint. By recovering the heat of condensate, the economiser allows hotter and drier air, thus decreasing cycle times. It also curbs operation costs by saving steam, water and energy.”

The hood is designed to combine speed and quality of the finishing. “It recycles hot air coming from the form and redirects it on the shirt’s critical points: shoulder and yoke seams. It cuts operation costs combining favourably a reduction of drying time and steam saving. “The requirement for only 0.8m² floor space makes Trevistar CR the most compact finisher in its category,” he concludes.

Renzacci UK – Pony

Drycleaning and laundry businesses looking for a revenue boost, whilst at the same time responding to increasing consumer demand for more environmentallyfriendly solutions, should consider introducing energysaving finishing equipment into their facility, says Jason Alexander, managing director at Renzacci UK.

“The latest finishing machines reduce costs, increase productivity, generate more profit and have a significantly reduced environmental impact.” “At the vanguard of this movement is best-in- class finishing equipment manufacturer, Pony,” says Alexander.

As the UK’s Pony distributor for the past 48 years, Renzacci UK have been instrumental in introducing their extensive range of state-of-the-art shirt machines, complete with exciting automated features, into the market, to ensure their clients are best placed to thrive in a fiercely competitive industry.

A prime example of Pony and Renzacci UK’s innovative spirit, is the development of the upgraded Pony Eagle 2.0, says Alexander. Proven to save up to 30 per cent on energy costs, the Eagle 2.0, now available as an electric model, boasts a unique design which allows the shirt machine to operate on a three phase electricity supply and air compressor only, with no need for an additional steam generator or complex installation.

“As with many of Pony’s shirt machines, the Eagle 2.0 can be supplied with three different buck sizes, allowing garments from large shirts, to small blouses to be finished. Its ergonomically designed features allow for a very rapid rate of production and incorporate the HARS (Hot Air Recovery System), which enables faster drying times, higher productivity and reduced energy consumption; thus reducing costs. It also has a touchscreen operating system, automatic shirt tensioning and new sleeves tensioning system, and is height adjustable.”

Pony hasn’t held back on the release of energy-saving shirt machines. The Pony Angel 2.0 system recycles hot air released during processing and reuses it to help reduce energy costs. Utilising up to 24kg of steam per hour, with the combination of the hot air flow and two steam-heated finishing bucks, a beautifully finished garment can be achieved in less than 30 seconds. Similar to the Eagle 2.0, it has a touchscreen operating system, incorporates the Hot Air Recovery System and its compact size allows for installation in the smallest of sites. Again, with the Eagle 2.0, the system can be teamed with the Pony collar and cuff press, allowing a single member of staff to process up to 60 shirts per hour.

Alexander continues: “A slightly older machine, but nonetheless incredibly energy-efficient, is the Pony DB 360 shirt pressing unit. Many exciting features have been incorporated on this system to make it as energy-efficient as possible, like the steam circuit which acts to reduce heat loss during processing, the electric-based rotary engine and energy recovery system. “Similar to the Angel 2.0 system, it is compact in size allowing for easy transportation and installation, and can be simply dismantled to fit through standard-sized door frames.” Pony released a new addition to their shirt finishing range in 2019 – the Pony Kite machine series. Also available in both steam and electric versions, it’s a highly efficient machine and is capable of producing 36 shirts or blouses per hour. It can be supplied with three different buck sizes, boasts an incredibly rapid rate of production and reduces energy consumption using the Hot Air Recovery System.

As technology continues to reshape the world, Pony has enabled internet connectivity on every machine, to enable maintenance and quick-fix repairs to be achieved remotely, even before the operator becomes aware of a problem.

Alexander said: “Pony continues to roll out some incredible pieces of equipment, which are very competitive in pricing and incorporate all of the low running costs you would expect, and we’re always really eager to make our clients aware of them.

“Considering the situation we currently find ourselves in, it’s never been more important for manufacturers to release machines that incorporate energy-saving features to cut costs, as that’s what we find to be real selling points for our clients. Thankfully, Pony is doing a great job already!”

Renzacci UK has been distributing Pony’s finishing equipment for 48 years.

Sankosha’s LP690E collar and cuff press from Parrisianne.

Parrisiane – Sankosha

The laundered shirt service in the UK industry has seen a constant increase in turnover year on year since the early 2000s, says Parrisianne managing director Jimmy Holt.

“There are several contributing reasons for this: families having less time to wash and iron shirts at home, a fashion change to wearing not only trousers and a shirt, but it’s cool to wear jeans and a good shirt on a night out and the retail shops selling shirts in offers of four shirts for a low price.

“At Parrisianne we have seen a massive increase of sales for the Sankosha range of shirt finishers, widely acknowledged as the benchmark in the industry. Sankosha take great pride in producing a machine that not only does the job it is built to do but also has a long lasting working lifetime. “It’s reliable and because of these factors, it makes it very economical to invest in and use. All machines come with a standard one-year warranty on parts and labour, a three year warranty on the PC board and a five year warranty on all welded parts.”

Over the last 15 years Parrisianne’s relationship with Sankosha has grown to the extent that Parrisianne are in the top five Sankosha dealers in the world, with sales of almost 500 units installed in the UK. Said Holt: “Because of this growth, a massive amount of knowledge of the shirt industry has been acquired and this in turn has helped Parrisianne guide people down the right path to invest when they enter or even increase their share of the shirt market.”

Parrisianne, along with Sankosha, offer an extensive range of shirt finishers, ranging from the MF350 multi shirt unit to the LP560E and LP590E single buck shirt finishers and the LP190E double buck shirt finishers and collar and cuff presses to match the production of the shirt finishers, all with collar and cuff tensioning.

Dane Realstar – Fimas

“With a combination of manufacturing technical innovation and our many years of experience with high quality finishing equipment, it is inevitable that we would supply outstanding shirt finishers!” said Sheila Higgs of Dane Realstar.

Fimas has been producing high quality, robust equipment since 1986, the founders having significant experience of the industry before that, adds Higgs. “Fimas produce a complete range of shirt finishers for everyone’s needs and budgets. Now part of the Macpi Group, Fimas continues to constantly develop and improve its products as a dynamic leading manufacturer.”

She describes the range starting with the Fimas 379 shirt form finisher: “This rotating, elevating and stretching form finisher is a great shirt finisher for drycleaners who need a piece of equipment capable of finishing wetcleaning garments and laundered shirts. “Fitted with pneumatic side arms which clamp the cuffs and tension the sleeves of the shirts, this machine gives a lovely blown finish to the garment. “This model gives superb value for money. Designed with the operator in mind, it is easy to use and gets a great result every time.”

Higgs continues: “The versatile Fimas 317 blown universal shirt and form finisher can also do jackets, coats and raincoats. It is very versatile for a busy drycleaning shop wishing to finish a variety of garments. This model is available with or without its own steam boiler. A touchscreen display on the control panel with fully automatic control makes life easy for using this machine.

“A telescopic body form and constant vacuum for loading, along with a front pressing plate which moves to one side for ease of loading makes this a user friendly machine. Automatic vertical tensioning on the body, adjustable shoulder width and pneumatic adjustable sleeve clamps ensure an optimum finish. Adjustable airflow also accommodates more delicate garments.” The top of the range Fimas 389 blown shirt finisher is the perfect blown shirt finisher for drycleaners, said Higgs, combining ease of operation with the high level of technology expected of the Fimas range giving superb value for money, and many energy eff icient features. “Designed with the operator in mind, it is easy to use and requires the minimum of training and fuss,” she said.

This is a blown shirt finisher for wet or dry shirts. An air operated sequence simultaneously clamps the collar, presses the front panel of the body with a heated panel, the shoulders and sleeves (short or long) and rear tail and lower traction plates tension the body stretching the shirt body and tightening the seams: combined with a steam injection and powerful hot blowing function the complete shirt is finished within the set cycle.

With relatively compact dimensions, for access this machine will fit through a standard doorway. And it is now available as a four-station rotating buck machine. The Fimas 387 collar cuff press, with a steam or electrically heated polished head top buck and safety rail, is timer controlled, has full vacuum, and push button controls for closing. Two models are available: 387.50 standard scissor press and 387.60 vertical compact press, with a smaller footprint if size is an issue. The 387.60 also offers an extra 20 per cent greater pressing power. These are for connection to central steam services, or with a range of integrated boilers which are capable of producing sufficient steam for both this unit and all the Fimas shirt units.

Higgs continues: “The Fimas 296 single buck pressed shirt finisher is the best on the market for the finishing of wet and dry shirts, giving a high quality crisp firm finish to the body, yoke, shoulders, long and short sleeves and sleeve placket.

“Combining ease of operation with the high level of technology expected of the Fimas range it gives superb value for money with many energy efficient features. Designed with the operator in mind, this machine will give you between 45/60 shirts per hour with one good operator, processing shirts of any size. Paired with a collar cuff press and a second operator, productivity is increased significantly.”

The Fimas 298 double rotating pressed shirt finisher is a double buck machine that also gives a high quality finish to the shirt. “It’s our flagship, cutting-edge technological ly advanced machine for high volume shirt finishing, the machine has considerable production capacity. “An automatic unit for pressed shirt finishing, as the 296 but with two 180° rotating body formers. “Our customers using these machines are amazed at the finished product. One customer, who has been processing shirts for many years, was even heard to chant ‘it’s beautiful’!” said Higgs.

The Fimas 379 shirt form finisher from Dane Realstar is great for drycleaners who need capability for finishing wetcleaning garments and laundered shirts.

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