Moving mountains

The latest conveyor systems, with all their technological and engineering advances, can handle all the intricate twists and turns in shops, laundries and even in unmanned pods, aiding the efficiency of your business.

From small systems used by the likes of hotel valets and small high street drycleaning operations, to those which can automatically separate linen and boost production at bigger laundry sites, a purpose built conveyor system is key to saving time and money. Fully automated 24/7 ‘pod’ shops are also seeing a surge in popularity with the conveyor system hidden away inside. Customers can drop off and collect their items whenever they like and returned to find them clean and ready for collection. Bespoke solutions with software to manage incoming and outgoing linen ensure that a new conveyor system can be an excellent investment, as our manufacturing and supply specialists explain.

Jean Anderson reports.

A tight turn incorporated in this Pamilas conveyor system from Dane Realstar


With the installation of an automated conveyor system, the drycleaner, launderer, retailer or hotel valet can improve efficiency and reduce costs, says Dane Realstar’s Sheila Higgs. Dane Realstar offers the Pamilas-ACS conveyor systems. “These bespoke conveyors are manufactured with top quality materials producing perfect operation from this unique aerial steel continuous-rack system for storing garments,” said Higgs.

From a basic ‘I’ shape conveyor system to complicated intricate systems to suit all customers’ requirements, conveyor cut space solutions can solve all organisation problems and modules of various shapes and sizes can be manufactured to incorporate storage on one or more floor levels.

Higgs said: “A conveyor can store hundreds of garments in a minimum area, reducing time for finding individual articles and can be operated by one person. “The operator doesn’t have to leave the customer service counter but can find a garment quickly and easily with either manual controls or an automatic computerised locating system with keyboard for calling for the desired articles and positioning them at a preset point. This ensures that the customer is not left unattended at the counter, whilst the operator is searching for the garment. “This auto-research system can also be linked to an EPoS till system, barcoding, RFID and auto dispense. Available with a complete manufacturer software system, configuration for auto dispense on unloading arms offers a distribution facility.”

There are two standard models: A slotted conveyor system with preset spaces for garments, and a continuous band system without predetermined positions. The slotted conveyor system can be made in any shape required: typically a spiral model on two or more levels for a more functional and convenient use of the space in height, while always allowing the operator to work at eye level. The aerial or suspended design also leaves work areas free, and wall mounted supports reduce interruption to the working space. Said Higgs: “All our conveyor systems can be personalised to suit our customers’ specific requirements. “For industrial laundries computerised operation is possible with reading of garment barcodes, automatic transfer unit and sorting and make-up of customer’s laundry. “Included in our installations are bespoke figure of eight Pamilas conveyor systems, the intricate twists and turns being achieved by Pamilas with their technologically advanced manufacturing ability, G shaped descending conveyors in factory environments, L shape shop units and multi-level conveyors in a variety of situations. “We supply to a complete variety of businesses, hotels and commercial enterprises. “The design process starts with a visit to the customer to discuss exactly what they would like to achieve with the space available, and of course keeping a close eye on budgets. “Drawings are prepared from a simple design to the almost impossible: we can work it out!” said Higgs.


A first-of-its-kind, next generation, 24- hour drycleaning drop off and pick up service has taken the United States by storm in recent months. The shift towards 24/7, unmanned drycleaning shops is in extraordinary demand, and garment-handling specialists, Metalprogetti UK, are at the forefront of introducing this movement to the UK.

Jason Alexander, managing director of Metalprogetti UK said: “This revolutionary concept, now available through Metalprogetti UK, will allow customers to drop their drycleaning and laundry off at a time convenient to them, by operating a simple-to-use and intuitive touchscreen pad, without the assistance of attendants.” The Metalprogetti Battista COMBI 24/7 system performs as a self-service shop. As well as being completely secure, effective and active 24/7, the set up also offers interactive voice feedback, site monitoring and pay-as-you-collect payment systems.

Customers simply visit the shop with their garments to be drycleaned and/or laundered. By operating the touchscreen pad, existing customers follow the simple two-step drop off instructions before placing the garments into the drop-off chute.

New customers are required to input their contact details, which takes less than 30 seconds to complete, and then follow the on-screen instructions. For larger items that are unable to fit into the drop-off chute, customers instead find an available locker and place the garments inside, within the provided pre-numbered bags.

As soon as the garments have been cleaned, customers are sent a notification when their order is ready to collect, open 24/7. Both the chute and lockers boast a large loading capacity, capable of processing everything from blouses and shirts to duvets, curtains and bedding. The self-service shop requires a minimal amount of floor space, no employee intervention and can hold a large volume of garments. It’s fully customisable in terms of design and interface and can incorporate narrative technology to assist customers with the on-screen ordering process. “The 24/7 system is so slick and streamlined and has really taken off in the US. There are highly successful stores opening with no people running it!” says Alexander. For business owners, this concept allows their usual drycleaning and/or laundry business to continue running, with the added benefit of requiring less staff members to be on the counters taking orders and answering phone calls. Alexander adds: “This is a step forward from the simple 24/7 systems which we have been installing for many years now. They offer customer feedback to make the customer feel more at ease using the system, as well as video options direct to the processing plant to answer any questions the customer might have about their order.”

Customers with larger items can place the garments inside in pre-numbered bags in an available locker

Bardusch is delighted with Germany’s largest garment system to date, Metricon


Metricon, Jensen’s automated conveyor system for garment handling, is proven in use with billions of garments sorted and more than 700 systems installed in more than 40 countries. “It’s a very flexible system: The sorting of garments can be done by means of any garment ID, and the tailor-made design of the conveyors fit all types of building and production demands,” says Jensen’s Gerda Jank.

The conveyor system is characterised by very low energy consumption and generates very little noise. It is constructed from corrosion-free resistant materials well adapted for use in the laundry environment.

The Metricon conveyor is a modular system used for the automatic handling of washed garments between workstations in a laundry. All the free space under the ceiling in the laundry can be gainfully used. “Laundries are particularly impressed by the high speed of the system, running 10,000 garments per hour with a high accuracy sorting and a minimum of 99.7 per cent read-rate,” says Jank. One of Germany’s largest garment systems from Jensen has been in use in Geldern, near the Dutch border, since the start of 2022 along with 10 brand new MetriQ loading stations, which combine ergonomics and economy.

“The ‘buttons-to-the-front’ innovation is a fantastic match for the Geldern site of Bardusch,” said Jank. “We already had a smaller Metricon system in use that required a lot of manual folding,” reports project engineer Ralph Möbus. “Tapping into product and process innovations for tomorrow’s world of work is part of our vision; this is why we chose a larger fully automated solution from Jensen. It’s incredible – we can now process many more garments in a single shift and have maximum flexibility with 15,000 Lobster hangers. We are really impressed.” It’s easy to get the hang of the new MetriQ stations: the hanger turns however you want it to. Therefore, the garment is always fed in from front to back, meaning that the operator always places it on the same side. “This enables high efficiency even when working on a mixture of items, reducing the need for pre-sorting.

The option to feed in items with ‘buttons-to-the-front’ is a particularly attractive solution for Bardusch when processing work clothing with buttons,” said Jank. The feeding in from front to back also increases productivity as the operators do not have to change position between processing garments. MetriQ also offers the widest range of hanger heights in the industry. 15,000 Lobster hangers provide maximum flexibility: thanks to this large number, the shift can be planned and prepared one day beforehand.

The versatile Lobster hanger system was designed by Jensen specifically for the automatic folding of garments and work clothing at the end of the sorting process. The best results are achieved in teams: Metricon conveyors with the new loading stations and the Lobster hangers ensure a fast and safe transportation of garments within the laundry.


Logistics is a lot more than just moving things about. It’s about having the right product in the right place at the right time. Done right, it can make the difference between profit and loss, or between efficient operation servicing customers, and service failures. Says Kannegiesser’s Dr Paul Morley: “Laundries typically deal with a wide range of different product types, which are processed on a range of different machines in different parts. of the laundry. Bringing the right products needed to fulfil the orders is key.

“So logistic equipment should be seen as essential equipment in laundries, not just a ‘nice to have’.” Kannegiesser offers many types of logistics systems suitable for different operations, ranging from simple or automated conveyor systems, to sophisticated monorail solutions. The Vectura conveyor system is a flexible conveyor solution for stack management after ironers and folders. “Far more than just conveyor belts, a Vectura system is intelligent and can track stacks, directing them to where needed, says Morley.

There are different versions with different levels of automation, which can be designed according to the needs of the laundry, and they can integrate other equipment such as wrapping or banding machines. “For example, with the sophisticated Vectura Track version, the stacks are transferred carefully onto the conveyor with the well-proven and accurate roll-off transfer (which maintains the folding and stacking quality) and will track the work through to a destination. “The stack information can be shown on a display – essential where staff need to know what work is where. The Vectura Sort further allows the system to direct stacks to different destinations.

The Multisort configuration allows sorting and storage by many different types of categories and parameters.” Monorail systems are well known and proven in laundries. They provide sorting solutions, work storage and organisation, and transport work to where it’s needed – the ultimate expression of ‘the right product in the right place and the right time’, said Morley. “It begins with linen reception and sorting. There are many different types of sorting system available which all present an operator with different bags or bins to put types of linen into. “The Kannegiesser Supertrack Ergosort system was developed in response to a need to make sorting – which is generally a repetitive and physical job – as ergonomic as possible.

The Ergosort brings all sorting stations closer to the operator, meaning that no throwing is required. “Quite simply, by eliminating the need to lift linen and throw it across a distance, the operator has less physical effort per piece. That translates to a faster sorting rate, and a happier team.” With the work sorted and stored, the logistics control system allows automatic control of what work goes where. With logistics, it’s all about control. Said Morley: “Since 2020, Kannegiesser has used the eVue control system across the whole monorail range in both Europe and North America. “This is a well-established system that allows a high degree of automation plus excellent visibility, and also includes reporting tools allowing the busy laundry manager to get emailed, or texted to their phone, information about production rates across all the laundry departments.

The eVue system allows full visibility of the entire logistics system – and  automated control

The Kannegiesser Ergosort has been called the most efficient and ergonomic sorting system in the world

Claridges Hotel chose Parrisianne to install a 1,700 slot conveyor in their laundry

Parrisianne have supplied and fitted fully automated 24 hour drop off and collection conveyor systems in unmanned pods for Peters’ Cleaners


important time for drycleaners and laundry owners to differentiate their business from their competitors, says Parrisianne manager Matt Dowse. “One way to achieve this is by making your business extremely efficient in the way staff handle their customers garment collection. “Nothing attracts more interest than to see machinery working and for potential clients to see garments revolving inside a shop window.

Furthermore, space permitting, they can prove to be a major labour-saving device and as previously mentioned, being attention grabbing, they can help increase sales.” Parrisianne supplies the ACS range of conveyors. This is a company that designs and manufactures their own product and has more than 25 years experience in the field of handling and automation, with units installed in a wide variety of industries including drycleaning and laundry, textile, shops, showrooms and private apartments. Says Dowse: “Small and flexible enough to fit well in a variety of shops and units, the ACS conveyors are easy to install and require very little maintenance, having been designed with high quality materials guaranteeing perfect operation over the years.” An electronic software link can be established with an EPoS system (electronic point of sale) and the conveyors supplied by Parrisianne.

This facility allows an operator to simply type or scan a customer’s ticket number and the conveyor automatically rotates to the correct unloading position, likewise it is also possible to scan a ticket whilst loading the conveyor and the EPoS system will automatically rotate the empty slot position for loading garments. “At Parrisianne we have been asked to design many varying sizes of conveyors from simple oval designs to rising uphill units for storage on either two levels of flooring or double height installations where limited space is available but where ceiling height is not an issue. It is also possible to utilise this space very efficiently with a spiral conveyor,” said Dowse.

“In the summer of 2020 Parrisianne installed a 1,700 slot conveyor in the laundry of London’s exclusive Claridges Hotel. “With space at a premium in their laundry it was decided that a standard height loading and steep incline to ceiling height was required and 90 per cent of the conveyor framework is ceiling fixed so that there is clearance above the finishing equipment at floor level.” He continues: “It is even possible to install an automated collection booth controlled by magnetic cards whereby the client may collect orders that are ready without even entering the shop, enabling a 24-hour service.

This type of system requires the shop to be equipped for bar coding and the business is perceived by customers to be very professional.” In 2019 Parrisianne supplied and fitted a fully automated 24-hour drop off and collection conveyor systems in unmanned pods for Peters’ Cleaners in Peterborough. Owner Vicky Whiter realised their area had evolved and her shops were no longer located where their busy customers needed them to be, and such was the success of the first pod that a second was installed in May 2021 so their customers can drop off dirty or collect clean clothes at any time of the day or nigh

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