Customers want clean garments and with the move toward spending less time on chores and more on leisure, the market for cleaning and pressing of shirts is growing. But how should laundries tap into this market? What equipment should they deploy to cope with customer demand? Adam Bernstein takes a peek
Barbanti has been producing shirt finishing equipment for over 20 years and are authorised to be distributed by TexID. Tabish Aiman, managing director at TexID says: “Barbanti’s approach is to make all of its equipment scaled to the production needs of the garment processor. All Barbanti shirt finishers use soft finish production, saving valuable energy in the unnecessary heating of hot plates as well as fine tuning the correct amount of steam and hot air to achieve dialled in perfection shirt after shirt.”
“A major benefit of the soft finish approach is the long life of the padding material. Gone are the days of routine padding changes due to wear from hot plates. The tensioning nature of hot air blowing means every seam is perfectly finished minimising and/or eliminating the need for post-production touch up. Heated front blades, shirt tail, front and side tensioning are achieved with dedicated stretching clamps to provide a f lawless shirt body every time.”
Barbanti equipment has intuitive operator controls via a touchscreen control panel which enable a new operator to be up and running within minutes, using both pre-set and custom programmes.
The multi garment machine – model 451 – provides high production rates of up to 25 shirts per hour for wet shirts straight out of the washing machine. The 451 can also act as a form finisher for jackets and coats saving the need to purchase and locate two separate machines.
For a larger capacity the model 484, a dedicated single buck shirt machine with optional heat recovery. The 484 can process up to 40 shirts per hour and can be fitted with rounded cuff clamps, full electronic touchscreen control and can handle polo shirts and blouses.
Aiman concludes: “The undisputed production leader from Barbanti comes in the form of the recently redesigned model 883 double buck shirt machine. This powerhouse boasts a product ion capacity of up to 80 shirts per hour. The enclosed cabinet design creates a reliable humidity and temperature environment for unrivalled quality while at the same time provides a best in class, energy consumption savings.”
James Holt, managing director of Parrisianne Dry Cleaning Solutions Ltd, has seen the market for laundered shirts constantly increase year on year since the early 2000s. In his opinion, 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 instead, jeans and a good shirt on a night out, and the retail shops selling shirts in offers of four shirts for a low price.”
As a result, Parrisianne has seen “a massive increase of sales for the Sankosha range of shirt finishers, widely acknowledged as the bench mark in the industry.”
Holt adds that Sankosha takes great pride in producing a machine that not only “does the job it is built to do but has a long-lasting working lifetime.” He reckons that it’s reliable and because of these factors, “is 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 Holt says that Parrisianne’s relationship with Sankosha has grown to the extent that, according to Holt, “Parrisianne are in the top five Sankosha dealers in the world, with sales of almost 500 units installed in the UK.” Because of this growth, a massive amount of knowledge of the shirt industry has been acquired and this in turn has, claims Holt, helped Parrisianne guide people down the right path when investing on market entry or when seeking to increase their share of the shirt market.
Holt illustrates the point when he refers to one of his customers – M and H Cleaners. It already had a shirt unit, but it was old and causing many problems, with breakdowns, shirts requiring touching up and a very slow process. “The owner, Assad Shaker, was recommended to Parrisianne by a friend. We talked and offered some options to help improve his production and quality. After the first visit Shaker was advised of the best way forward, which was the removal of his old machine and installation of a Sankosha LP560E single buck shirt press and LP690E collar and cuff press with tensioning and a foot print of 660mm wide and 1000mm deep.” Holt says that these would prove to be a great space saver compared to the old collar cuff press. Further, the new Sankosha shirt system units “would allow an increase in steam pressure from the normal 4.5 bar to 6.5 bar”. This, says Holt, would allow the shirts to be dried much faster and so would increase production. (All Sankosha shirt units can be used, Holt says, with steam pressures of up to 6.5 bar.)
The delivery to M and H Cleaners took place several weeks later and the changeover was completed in a day, with shirts being processed first thing the following day. “Within one week,” says Holt, “the operator was producing between 38-42 shirts an hour and the amount of touch up was greatly reduced.”
Another of Parrisianne’s customers, Akbar Mohammad of Concord Cleaners, had a different problem according to Holt. He was pressing about 400 shirts a week, but had no shirt unit, so was having to press shirts on a utility press and iron table. “He had come to realise that this was costing too much time and money,” says Holt.
Mohammad called Parrisianne. Following detailed analysis, it was recommended that Mohammad installed the Sankosha LP590E and LP690E (which was financed by Parrisianne). As with M and H Cleaners, Holt says the machines were installed very quickly. “Mr Mohammad,” says Holt, “could not believe the ease with which his shirts were now being finished. This has also allowed staff to finish the garments that have been drycleaned, with time to spare and not be under pressure to get the day’s work finished on time.”
In summary, Parrisianne offers a range of Sankosha products ranging from the MF350 multi shirt unit, LP560E and LP590E single buck shirt finishers, the LP190E double buck shirt finishers, and collar and cuff presses to match the production of the shirt finishers. (continued in full magazine article).
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