Report: NLG Conference 2021

After nearly two years the NLG held their first conference at DoubleTree Hilton in Chester. In lighthearted mood Alastair McCrae NLG chief executive opened the meeting to the gathering by introducing the new members and thanking the sponsors Richard Haworth, linen specialists to the hospitality industry, and Kannegiesser UK, manufacturer of laundry equipment.

Richard Haworth

First up from Richard Haworth was Rod Nutter ably supported by Chris Kingsford. Nutter spoke of the challenges of the last 19 months from the inflammatory costs of raw materials, shipping containers and home logistics and how Richard Haworth have coped during these challenging times, whilst keeping their loyal customers serviced.

Nutter said during the start of the pandemic Haworth adapted from linen suppliers to providing scrubs for the NHS. Such was the demand, every item made could have been sold over a hundred times, however these were all sold at cost and 28 people on the factory floor worked tirelessly through the crisis. Some office staff were furloughed, however Haworth rotated the staff under the furlough scheme to show there was no favouritism and to let them know they were all still very much part of the business.

Kingsford explained how they were still there for their customers by keeping in contact with the customer base via regular zoom and phone calls. Zoom meetings were made with staff to keep up the morale in the business. When the business partially shut there were 51 containers due to arrive from overseas with a further 75 due shortly after. Rather than cancel the orders Haworth used every bit of available space in their premises to store all the incoming deliveries.

Coming out of lockdown shipping containers were stacked up all over the world as Nutter explains, there was an armada of vessels waiting to dock on the east and west coast of America. He went on to say how the average cost of a 40ft container now exceeds $10,000 which is five times more than a year ago. On top of that, the Suez Canal suffered a blockage when a container ship managed to get blown sideways blocking the shipping lane and according to Nutter at that time over eight million containers were waiting to be unloaded. He went on to say how the cost of containers had exponentially risen through the Covid pandemic, he gave an example of shipping containers from China costing $600 three years ago and now the same container is costing over $18,000. He said how desperate measures had been taken to transport containers by road and rail across Asia to other ports to avoid the clogged up ports in China.

Turning his attention to home he spoke of how, on top of the container crisis, elsewhere the UK freight companies were passing on costs including fuel and HGV driver levies to their customers, knowing that there’s nothing our suppliers can do at this present time whilst keeping their respective customer basis serviced.

To round up his presentation he explained why western countries have tried to move away from China for raw cotton because of the human rights issues, in particular the Xinjiang region. The Xinjiang region produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s cotton and 84 per cent of China’s cotton, but according to Nutter the trade is tainted by issues of human rights abuses, including suspected forced labour, torture and sterilisation of Uighur and other Turkic Muslim minority people. Another factor to take into consideration is that Pakistan, another producer, has struggled for various reasons with their cotton production, so cotton prices have risen by up to 45 per cent over the last year. He closed his presentation, by warning the delegates, if you know what stock you need for next year, order it now!

His mantra has moved from ‘Just in time’ to ‘Just in case’.

Kannegiesser UK

Selwyn Burchhardt was next to take the floor, firstly providing background information on Kannegiesser UK giving examples of potential savings for the future and finally providing details of the Kannegiesser equipment and how this could benefit businesses. Burchhardt explained not only do Kannegiesser provide equipment to hospitality and health care, but to the airline and shipping industries also.

Burchhardt touched on cost savings to be taken into consideration when working with Kannegiesser UK for example costs for energy, carbon tax, funding for energy saving equipment and corporation tax super deduction of 130 per cent valid until March 2023. According to the government website on tax super deduction. From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim a 130 per cent super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments and a 50 per cent first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets.

The super deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive.

Burchhardt identified improvements made over the last decade when using Kannegiesser equipment including 40 per cent less energy consumption from improvements made to the extraction press by raising the pressure to 56 bar this obtains 10-15 per cent less moisture retention and is cheaper than using a conventional gas dryer. Kannegiesser are also able to make sure the discharge from the tunnel washer into the press happens at the right time saving the client seconds, but over a number of cycles per day, enables the production of more work.

Moving on to dryers Burchhardt was keen to mention the new dryer technology – their ECO-2-Power energy saving package – for their range of PowerDry dryers which can reduce gas consumption for the drying process by up to 21 per cent when compared with the already energy efficient standard PowerDry model.

Closing his presentation Burchhardt spoke of the benefits of the Kannegiesser robotisation laundry equipment. One of the challenges for robots has been to pick up an item, spread it out and feed it to the towel folders. Feeding the robots can be done by using the monorail system, cart under the machine or a conveyor belt system, but he stresses for ROI continuity is key.

Textile Services Association

David Stevens spoke about the legacy of Covid and how he engaged with members through webinars on various topics. The benefits of being a TSA member, and their September conference at Ardencote Manor Hotel.

Stuart Boyd, from LTC took his usual first day slot, to talk about the laundry processes in general and the Test Piece (TP) situation with the NLG members.

The day was completed with a three course meal and Alastair McGufffie’s light-hearted charity collection.

Left-Right: Shyju Skariah, Selwyn Burchhardt, David Stevens, Rod Nutter, Chris Kingsford, Stuart Boyd.

After nearly two years the NLG held their first conference at DoubleTree Hilton in Chester. In lighthearted mood Alastair McCrae NLG chief executive opened the meeting to the gathering by introducing the new members and thanking the sponsors Richard Haworth, linen specialists to the hospitality industry, and Kannegiesser UK, manufacturer of laundry equipment.

Richard Haworth

First up from Richard Haworth was Rod Nutter ably supported by Chris Kingsford. Nutter spoke of the challenges of the last 19 months from the inflammatory costs of raw materials, shipping containers and home logistics and how Richard Haworth have coped during these challenging times, whilst keeping their loyal customers serviced.

Nutter said during the start of the pandemic Haworth adapted from linen suppliers to providing scrubs for the NHS. Such was the demand, every item made could have been sold over a hundred times, however these were all sold at cost and 28 people on the factory floor worked tirelessly through the crisis. Some office staff were furloughed, however Haworth rotated the staff under the furlough scheme to show there was no favouritism and to let them know they were all still very much part of the business.

Kingsford explained how they were still there for their customers by keeping in contact with the customer base via regular zoom and phone calls. Zoom meetings were made with staff to keep up the morale in the business. When the business partially shut there were 51 containers due to arrive from overseas with a further 75 due shortly after. Rather than cancel the orders Haworth used every bit of available space in their premises to store all the incoming deliveries.

Coming out of lockdown shipping containers were stacked up all over the world as Nutter explains, there was an armada of vessels waiting to dock on the east and west coast of America. He went on to say how the average cost of a 40ft container now exceeds $10,000 which is five times more than a year ago. On top of that, the Suez Canal suffered a blockage when a container ship managed to get blown sideways blocking the shipping lane and according to Nutter at that time over eight million containers were waiting to be unloaded. He went on to say how the cost of containers had exponentially risen through the Covid pandemic, he gave an example of shipping containers from China costing $600 three years ago and now the same container is costing over $18,000. He said how desperate measures had been taken to transport containers by road and rail across Asia to other ports to avoid the clogged up ports in China.

Turning his attention to home he spoke of how, on top of the container crisis, elsewhere the UK freight companies were passing on costs including fuel and HGV driver levies to their customers, knowing that there’s nothing our suppliers can do at this present time whilst keeping their respective customer basis serviced.

To round up his presentation he explained why western countries have tried to move away from China for raw cotton because of the human rights issues, in particular the Xinjiang region. The Xinjiang region produces more than 20 per cent of the world’s cotton and 84 per cent of China’s cotton, but according to Nutter the trade is tainted by issues of human rights abuses, including suspected forced labour, torture and sterilisation of Uighur and other Turkic Muslim minority people. Another factor to take into consideration is that Pakistan, another producer, has struggled for various reasons with their cotton production, so cotton prices have risen by up to 45 per cent over the last year. He closed his presentation, by warning the delegates, if you know what stock you need for next year, order it now!

His mantra has moved from ‘Just in time’ to ‘Just in case’.

Kannegiesser UK

Selwyn Burchhardt was next to take the floor, firstly providing background information on Kannegiesser UK giving examples of potential savings for the future and finally providing details of the Kannegiesser equipment and how this could benefit businesses. Burchhardt explained not only do Kannegiesser provide equipment to hospitality and health care, but to the airline and shipping industries also.

Burchhardt touched on cost savings to be taken into consideration when working with Kannegiesser UK for example costs for energy, carbon tax, funding for energy saving equipment and corporation tax super deduction of 130 per cent valid until March 2023. According to the government website on tax super deduction. From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim a 130 per cent super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments and a 50 per cent first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets.

The super deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive.

Burchhardt identified improvements made over the last decade when using Kannegiesser equipment including 40 per cent less energy consumption from improvements made to the extraction press by raising the pressure to 56 bar this obtains 10-15 per cent less moisture retention and is cheaper than using a conventional gas dryer. Kannegiesser are also able to make sure the discharge from the tunnel washer into the press happens at the right time saving the client seconds, but over a number of cycles per day, enables the production of more work.

Moving on to dryers Burchhardt was keen to mention the new dryer technology – their ECO-2-Power energy saving package – for their range of PowerDry dryers which can reduce gas consumption for the drying process by up to 21 per cent when compared with the already energy efficient standard PowerDry model.

Closing his presentation Burchhardt spoke of the benefits of the Kannegiesser robotisation laundry equipment. One of the challenges for robots has been to pick up an item, spread it out and feed it to the towel folders. Feeding the robots can be done by using the monorail system, cart under the machine or a conveyor belt system, but he stresses for ROI continuity is key.

Textile Services Association

David Stevens spoke about the legacy of Covid and how he engaged with members through webinars on various topics. The benefits of being a TSA member, and their September conference at Ardencote Manor Hotel.

Stuart Boyd, from LTC took his usual first day slot, to talk about the laundry processes in general and the Test Piece (TP) situation with the NLG members.

The day was completed with a three course meal and Alastair McGufffie’s light-hearted charity collection.

Left-Right: Shyju Skariah, Selwyn Burchhardt, David Stevens, Rod Nutter, Chris Kingsford, Stuart Boyd.

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