Smooth operator: irons and presses

‘Right first time’ is the aim of those using irons and presses who want to ensure their businesses run smoothly.

To keep the flow going and happy customers returning, they need equipment that is swift and easy to operate while turning out perfect results. The same applies to premises such as hotels and care homes with inhouse laundries and limited staff. Fortunately for all these hardpressed people the irons and presses market has seen some splendid developments in recent times to make their working lives easier. The message from many of our specialists is that of energy efficient solutions with innovations that improve automated finishing and hold it to a high standard. Jean Anderson reports.

Renzacci UK

Equipment that’s easy to operate, requires little human interference, profit-enhancing, capable of withstanding the most demanding production environments and, crucially, are energy-efficient, is something every business needs, particularly in these challenging times where energy costs are soaring.

On top of this, says Renzacci UK managing director Jason Alexander, purchasing behaviours of consumers has shifted. With thoughts of the environment in mind, businesses across the country are starting to introduce energy-saving finishing equipment into their facility. Renzacci UK, the UK’s distributor for Pony for nearly 50 years, has been instrumental in introducing their vast range of garment finishing and pressing machines to ensure their clients are best-placed to thrive in an increasingly challenging time.

One example of Renzacci UK and Pony’s drive to implement more energy-efficient solutions for their clients is the introduction of the HARS heat regeneration system on many of their machines. HARS takes heat, which would otherwise be expelled to the atmosphere, and reuses it in the cycle, saving vast quantities of energy. The Pony Eagle and Angel machines feature this revolutionary system.

A slightly more traditional machine, but nonetheless still energy-efficient, is the Pony SP-U press. This manually operated machine boasts a balanced head, using special self-adjusting springs, allowing optimal alignment of the head and buck. Other exciting features include a built-in vacuum and boiler with varying size and power, a blowing device on the buck on the CP model and the instant production of steam to both the head and buck. Like other Pony machines, the SP-U range is compact in size, simple to maintain and easy to use, making it the ideal fit for the traditional drycleaner. It also includes new insulation on the boiler, bucks and steam pipework in order to reduce energy wastage, and to help promote a better working environment for the operator.

Alexander comments: “Pony continues to roll out some incredible pieces of equipment, which are very competitively priced and incorporate all of the low running costs you would expect. Particularly now, it’s so important for manufacturers to release machines that incorporate energy-saving features which will save business owners money in the long run. Thankfully, Pony is doing a great job already!” To reinforce Pony’s eco credentials of their finishing and pressing machines, the installation of a solar panel system on the roof of their production plant in Italy means that all Pony machines supplied by Renzacci UK will be produced with the help of solar energy.

The system will produce about 300,000 kWh/year and is an important step that will guarantee almost total energy autonomy (about 90 per cent of consumption) and a decrease in CO2 emissions of 150,000 kg/year.

The Pony Eagle range from Renzacci UK features the HARS heat regeneration system

The Pony SP-U range from Renzacci UK is compact, simple to maintain and easy to use, making it the ideal fit for the traditional drycleaner

Barbanti’s revolutionary P650 trouser creaser, from Tex ID, is able to take trousers from the TP67 topper and add the creases for a perfectly finished pair of trousers. By adding pleat clamps to their TP67 trouser topper, Barbanti is able to precisely control the pleated creases with their TP67 trouser topper.


Traditionally, garment care professionals have used either a heated/steam sole plate iron and/or a padded utility press (commonly known as a Hoffman Style press) to remove creases introduced during the cleaning processes as well as counteract the effects of thread shrinkage wrinkles.

Tex ID managing director Tabish Aiman tells us: “In the hands of a seasoned expert, very high-quality standards of finish were possible. Alas, this skilled workforce is diminishing and the added demands of newer cleaning processes (wetcleaning, CO2, etc) have seen these pressing options diminish.

“When we examine what we are achieving by pressing, the goals are fairly simple. Remove wrinkling and creasing, establish existing creases (such as trouser legs) as well as relax the fibres of the garment so they return to their intended shape. “Irons and utility presses are great at putting in required creases but more challenged when facing anything but flat textiles. The human body is three dimensional. Flat bucks used by ironing tables and utility presses are, well, um, flat. To counteract this, modern pressing equipment has emerged using ‘body’ shaped forms to match the shape of the garments being finished.

“Typical examples of this are form finishers colloquially known as ‘Suzie’s’ and trouser toppers. By more closely matching the shape of the garment, these finishers not only finish the garment but return them to their originally intended shape.”

Aiman continues: “Barbanti leads the industry in these type of machines by adding precise ‘tensioning’ controls. These allow users to pre-set both the amount of steam used to relax the fabrics as well as control the flow and amount of hot air used to tension the garment back to its original shape.

“We now have to examine how to reinstate the required creases. By adding pleat clamps to their TP67 trouser topper, Barbanti is able to precisely control the pleated creases with their TP67 trouser topper. Barbanti’s revolutionary P650 trouser creaser is able to take trousers from the TP67 topper and add the creases providing a perfectly finished pair of trousers, without the need of manual finishing with an iron or utility press.”

He concludes: “Coming back to form finishers, the integrated vent clamps on the Barbanti 467 form finisher means that operators do not have to have a separate set of clamps to attach and remove during the finishing process. The immense height range of the 467 allows suit jackets, puffa/down jackets, trench coats, hoodies and even dresses to all be finished on one machine.”


CML Equipment Solutions Ltd offer a full range of Trevil professional finishing equipment. Trevil are one of the worlds leading suppliers of finishing equipment using innovation and technology to ensure long lasting, easy to use equipment which is efficient and robust at the right price, says CML’s Chris Lambourne. “We offer a full range of manual and automatic presses for drycleaners and launderers, standard utility shapes and hot head presses, many come as fully self-contained with vacuum and boiler or central supply which can be connected to existing services.”

He adds: “Pantastar is the first automatic machine able to completely finish a pair of trousers, ironing the top just like a topper and the leg just like a press. “Until today, in order to reach proper quality, two machines were needed: a topper and a legger. With the Pantastar there is no longer a need for two bulky pieces of equipment. It is not necessary to remove the trousers from the topper, handle them, sometimes hang them, and then transfer them to a second machine for the crease. “There is no longer a need for a specialised presser, you can achieve excellent results using semi-skilled staff with more production due to the ease of use.

“The advantage of Pantastar compared to other products is the patented TreviXpand system which finishes the top part of the pants in a round position, just like a topper, thus reaching a much higher quality than old ‘trouser finishers’ which used to finish the top already in the folded position; automatically prepares the trousers folded and ready for the high quality creases to be pressed. Moreover, during the topper phase, the TreviXpand system allows to adjust the roundness of the waistband according to the style of the trousers (flat for jeans and casual pants, rounder for trousers).” CML also supplies the Trevil range of finishing tables. Lambourne said: “The Trevil range incorporates, vacuum only, vacuum and blow or the utility table which has vacuum blow and up steam.

“All can be self-contained or supplied with its own 2kW- 6kW boiler, many have height adjustment for the comfort of the operator and come with a selection of work surface shapes to suit your needs. All tables have a number of options which may include light gantry, swinging arm and stainless steel spotting arm.”

Pantastar, the first automatic machine able to completely finish a pair of trousers, was recently installed by CML at Redmond Dry Cleaners in Ireland.

Dane Realstar supplies a complete range of Fimas equipment including the latest single buck and double buck units Dane Realstar has a demonstration unit so prospective customers can try out their range


New equipment is always great, and a positive programme of reequipping ageing items within a business is a good policy to have, says Dane Realstar’s Sheila Higgs.

Finishing equipment is a key part of the garment care process in any business, be it a laundry, drycleaning, wetcare or ironing service. Dane Realstar supplies a complete range of Fimas equipment with support, service and spares for all other makes.

“We promote the sale of finishing equipment to enable us to offer the customer a complete package,” says Higgs. “Dane Realstar offers competitively priced equipment backed up by excellent after sales. We offer prompt full service back up by our experienced engineers and carry a full range of spare parts for total customer care. We also offer a full installation service and our engineers are available to assist at the time of boiler inspections.”

Fimas, well known in more than 60 countries worldwide, have been producing high quality well-built equipment since the 1980s. Now part of the MACPI Group, a world leader for over 50 years, with a very extensive selling network, Fimas has a strong range of robust, efficient equipment for garment care, offering quality and reliability and durability. Included in the range are ironing tables, manual and automatic presses, spotting tables and ironers.

“New to our Fimas range in 2021 is the 104.45 electrically heated ironing table, with steaming, blowing and vacuum functions. This will sit alongside our existing 307 table which has a steam heated bed. Both models are available as central steam or with built-in boiler, and a long list of options.” says Higgs.

“At Dane Realstar we have a demonstration unit dedicated to offering prospective customers the opportunity to visit us and use the machines before making a purchase. Choosing the right product first time is important, alongside the relationship with your supplier and the service provided – we provide the best choice of equipment and support available,” Higgs concludes

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