Your guide to the machines that finish shirts beautifully and quickly

With the work from home culture fading for many, the return to the office means new opportunities and potential profit for those who offer shirt finishing and similar services.

The quality of the work and the ever-increasing efficiency and versatility of shirt finishers on offer means operators have the chance to capitalise on the latest trends. Whether you are a drycleaning shop, a laundering service or a combination of the two, shirts finished to a pristine standard will always be popular with commuting customers.

Jean Anderson reports.

The Pony Quad available from Renzacci UK is a compact design with a quadruple rotary press. It can press up to 240 shirts per hour

RENZACCI and PONY

The latest finishing machines from best-in-class finishing equipment manufacturer, Pony, reduce costs, increase productivity, generate more profit and have a significantly reduced environmental impact, says Jason Alexander, managing director at Renzacci UK.

As the UK’s exclusive Pony distributor for the past 50 years, Renzacci UK has 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 Pony Quad, a compact quadruple rotary press capable of pressing a staggering 240 shirts per hour. By combining steam heated bucks and cutting-edge technology with easy-to-use PLC touchscreen controls, this machine delivers optimal and efficient results.

But Pony hasn’t held back on further releases of energy-saving shirt machines. The Pony Angel 3.0, renowned for reducing energy consumption, and its powerful 3HP fan, guarantees faster shirt drying. It features a patented Hot Air Recovery System (HARs), designed to efficiently recapture hot air, resulting in a 20 per cent decrease in steam consumption. In addition, it reduces the blowing cycle time, improving productivity and the temperature of the working environment. With significantly reduced energy consumption and impeccable finishing quality, the Pony 3.0 eliminates the need for final shirt touching up, delivering an uncompromised high standard and consistent finish.

The Pony Eagle 2.0 also uses the patented HARs technology, recycling the hot steam and air to reduce energy costs, while efficiently handling large volumes of shirts and similar garments. With a reduction in energy consumption by 30 per cent, alongside increased productivity and faster drying times, it makes a state of the art finisher affordable for any shirt laundry. “The Pony Eagle 2.0 is the only shirt finisher in the world capable of pressing the yoke and the tucks simultaneously, using Teflon press heads to avoid marks on dark fabrics for a pristine finish”, says Alexander.

Renzacci UK offers machinery suitable for smaller, medium and larger loads. The Pony Kite machine series, capable of producing 36 shirts or blouses per hour, is available in both steam and electric versions, with the Eco mode of the electric version operating with just 9.85kW of power.

Alexander concludes: “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.

“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!”

The Macpi 389.41 shirt finisher’s features make it 60 per cent more energy efficient than steel plate designs

TEX-ID and MACPI

The UK market has stagnated with the same shirt finishing options since the late eighties, says Tabish Aiman, managing director of Tex ID, the new official distributors for the Italian company Macpi in the UK and Ireland.

“Back then, said Aiman, “customers had a strong preference for, an almost heavy starch, hard finish. Far Eastern manufactured shirt machines achieved this using a pair of steel press plates on the front and back of the shirt body, with the sleeves blown with steam and hot air.

“This, over 40-year-old design, has not kept in touch with the demands of today’s consumer and garment care professional’s changing needs,” he said. Fixed size press plates do not adapt well to modern shirt shapes, namely fitted, slim fit as well as completely unable to process smaller sizes or ladies’ blouses, said Aiman. The padding wears out relatively quickly causing expensive replacements and down time. Steam and energy consumptions are high as the metal plates are constantly heated. Several moving parts for the plates mean that many more things go wrong.

“Macpi, through their decades of experience providing finishing equipment to the international garment manufacturing industry, recognised the need to adapt the design on shirt finishing equipment to become much more flexible, energy efficient and low maintenance,” he said. A prime example of their modern thinking is their 389.41 single buck shirt finisher. This powerhouse of a machine puts finish quality and energy efficiency at the forefront of its design. Starting with automated tensioning, gone are the days where sleeves of shirt bodies are overstretched. The buck and sleeve clamps automatically stop once the optimum stretch has been reached.

An amply sized steam battery ensures that there is enough thermal mass to be very energy efficient, as well as eliminate the need for an electrically heated element. A side benefit of a properly designed heating system is faster processing times (as little as 1½ minutes per shirt). Doing away with the steel plates in favour of a blown soft finish system, the buck forms to the shape of the shirt perfectly. Gone are the days of ‘c’ shaped shirt fronts from a fixed buck shape. All manner of fashion cuts, sizes and fabrics, such as knit polos, can be accommodated by this innovative buck style.

Said Aiman: “The combination of these features makes the 389.41 60 per cent more energy efficient than steel plate designs. The service intervals are reduced to a quarter of the traditional designs, saving on landfill.” Ergonomics have not been left out. The front paddles turn and retract for effortless loading and unloading. The heated blade, which finishes the button and box plate, retracts completely at the end of a cycle.

When loading a shirt, suction is used to aid the operator to easily position the garment. Collar and cuffs are locked into place and the shoulder (yoke) angle adjustment is achieved through an air operated foot pedal.

“Perhaps most importantly is the quality of finish achieved by Macpi finishing equipment,” said Aiman. “Macpi has to work to a higher standard as they are a leading supplier to the garment manufacturing industry. No consumer will accept anything less than a perfect finish when purchasing a new shirt. Now, garment care professionals can provide this quality, as well.”

Barbanti’s Model 494 is latest evolution of their shirt finisher

MACH 1 ENGINEERING and BARBANTI

Barbanti’s Model 494 represents the latest evolution of their highly valued shirt finisher, says Ashley Cadman of UK supplier MACH 1 Engineering.

“Thanks to our over 30-year-long experience with this kind of machine, Barbanti have reached the highest union among high hourly productivity, perfect finishing quality and energy saving,” he said.

These are the benefits of Model 494 highlighted by Barbanti. The optimal heat flow control allows faster drying and flawless finishing quality, eliminating almost completely the need for touch-ups even on the most critical areas, such as seams and multiple layers. The workspace is made healthier and more pleasant by the low noise level and the room temperature in front of the machine.

The high productivity allows for lower cost operation and faster recovery of the initial investment from the beginning, even without qualified staff. The machine features several patented systems that achieve significant energy savings. The heat recovery system (standard), with a new larger hood for higher energy saving, recycles hot air and reintroduces it into the finishing cycle, with conspicuous advantages for the operator, such as a significant reduction in energy consumption and reducing the introduction of hot air in the workplace. The condensate recirculation system (standard) allows condensate residual heat to be reused by reintroducing it back into the circuit. The stand-by function is also available as an option, which allows you to pay only for the actually consumed energy.

The adjustable oblique sleeve arms, moving on bearing slides and carriages, allow all types of fabric to be evenly and gently tensioned, eliminating any wrinkles.

The machine is height adjustable for the operator’s comfort and its reduced dimensions allow it to get through a 90cm wide door.

And finally, maintenance is made very easy by the computer on board, with its diagnostic programme, and by the rational construction, which allows easy access to the maintenance areas.

Barbanti’s Model 883 is the double version of the 494 shirt finisher. In addition to all the advantages of the single model, it provides for the execution of the finishing programme inside an enclosed cabin, making the workstation even healthier and more pleasant, and allowing hot air to be recovered and reused, being fed back into the cycle, further reducing consumption and increasing productivity.

Sankosha LP5000E and LP6000E models installed by Parrisianne in Wapping, East London

PARRISIANNE and SANKOSHA

Parrisianne is an Essex-based drycleaning machinery and equipment supplier, as well as providing ongoing servicing and maintenance.

Here the company’s managing director James Holt highlights the Sankosha models they supply and support. “In the wake of evolving work patterns and a return to bustling commuter routes, the drycleaning industry in the UK is witnessing a resurgence in demand for shirt finishing services,” said Holt.

“As professionals transition back to office attire, the need for efficient, high-speed solutions becomes paramount. In this article, we delve into the cutting-edge Sankosha LP5000E body and sleeve finisher and LP6000E collar and cuff finishers series, revolutionising the landscape of shirt finishing with their exceptional speed, energy efficiency, and ease of use.”

The Sankosha LP5000E and LP6000E series stand as beacons of innovation in the realm of shirt finishing equipment. With the capacity to process up to 60 shirts per hour with just one operator, these machines epitomise efficiency. Gone are the days of prolonged processing times and labour-intensive operations. With a single shirt fully finished in a mere 12 seconds, from wet to dry, businesses can streamline their operations, reduce labour costs, and enhance productivity exponentially.

The impact of these state of the art machines extends beyond mere efficiency; they also contribute significantly to energy conservation. By reducing energy consumption and optimising workflow, businesses can achieve substantial cost savings while minimising their environmental footprint. The introduction of the ALP5400E model further exemplifies Sankosha’s commitment to sustainability, with enhanced energy recycling capabilities and reduced energy consumption of just 22.5kg per hour. Real-world case studies underscore the transformative power of the Sankosha LP5000E and LP6000E series. From RS Drycleaners to Dane Laundry in Colchester, Crystal Cleaners in bustling London, and East Dulwich Dry Cleaners, businesses across the UK are reaping the benefits of these cutting-edge solutions.

“With the ability to process 60 beautifully finished shirts per hour with minimal operator intervention, these establishments have witnessed a paradigm shift in their operations, achieving higher throughput, reduced labour requirements, and increased customer satisfaction,” said Holt. “As local trade and community associations rally behind efforts to support small businesses, the Sankosha LP5000E and LP6000E series emerge as indispensable allies for drycleaning shops and laundering services. By embracing these innovative technologies, businesses can not only meet the demands of a returning workforce but also position themselves as leaders in efficiency, sustainability, and customer service.”

In conclusion, the Sankosha LP5000E and LP6000E series represent a quantum leap forward in the field of shirt finishing equipment, said Holt. “With their unparalleled speed, energy efficiency, and ease of use, these machines empower businesses to thrive in an evolving landscape. As the very first ALP5400E prepares for installation in the UK, the stage is set for a new era of efficiency and excellence in the drycleaning industry

The Trevistar CR3 from AGS offers a five clamps tensioning carriage, a small footprint and a SideDry system for side seams

The TreviTandem offers adjustment of shoulder width and sleeves angle and electronic control of sleeve and hem tensioning

AGS and TREVIL

For the last few years AGS have been in collaboration with Trevil, a leading company in finishing equipment, says Louise Simons of AGS.

“Trevil has been developing professional finishing equipment since the 1980s and uses advanced technology, research and development to offer the very best at the right price, and recently Trevil has presented several brand new products… the latest in shirt finishing equipment which will help a variety of outlets grow their business offering a top-quality finish with a very quick turnaround therefore becoming a very profitable business.

“This apparatus has been created to keep up with the most demanding tasks and reach high levels of productivity; shorter drying times and excellent finishing quality and without any further touch ups,” says Simons. Here are just some of the newest editions to the Trevil range. Trevistar CR3: The latest in the generation of blown air shirt finishers.

The new Trevistar CR3 like all the other shirt finishers by Trevil has excellent productivity but what makes the Trevistar CR3 different from the rest to mention a few is the small footprint, it’s a master of space with only 0.8m2 floor space needed. It has an exclusive SideDry system for side seams allowing faster drying.

The Trevistar CR3 has a five clamp tensioning carriage which is perfect for even tensioning around the shirt hem. The side expanders have an anti-stretch device which automatically finds the size of the shirt avoiding any distortion. The touchscreen interface is extremely easy and comfortable to use. TreviTandem: Double buck blown air shirt unit.

This is the first with devices for faster drying of seams. This rotary machine offers the same high-quality finish as the blown air shirt finisher with increased productivity. The TreviTandem uses only 38kg of steam to finish 60 shirts/hr and requires only 5kW of electricity. A skilled operator is not required to operate this machine, any operator can learn to use this in a few days.

The touchscreen interface is extremely easy and comfortable to use. PrestoTandem: Double buck hot plate shirt unit. With PTFE coated plates to reduce shine on dark colours. This machine not only offers productivity but also reliability. The PrestoTandem uses only 36kg of steam to finish 70 shirts/hr and requires only 4.5kW of electricity. This form is available in two sizes and like the TreviTandem it does not require a skilled operator. The touchscreen interface is extremely easy and comfortable to use.

The perfect blown shirt finisher for drycleaners, combining ease of operation with the high level of technology expected of the Fimas range

Pegasus Pro is the best solution for the pressed finishing of shirts, polo shirts, chef’s and nurse’s jackets

DANE REALSTAR and FIMAS

“With a complete portfolio of equipment sourced directly from two well-known Italian manufacturers, we offer a combination of technical innovation and our many years of experience with high quality, energy efficient finishing equipment; we supply outstanding shirt finishers for everyone’s needs and budgets,” says Dane Realstar’s Sheila Higgs.

Here she explains what they have to offer.

Dane Realstar M-951 shirt form finisher: This universal shirt finisher is the simplest model with manual tensioning, suitable for the drycleaner who wants to promote the shirts service among its clients. Ideally designed to process small quantities of shirts, it can also be used for finishing outerwear (jackets, coats, etc). M-951 can process 20 or more shirts per hour and it can also finish coats, jackets, raincoats, outerwear with automatic adjustable cycles controlled by microprocessor.

Dane Realstar Easyform shirt and universal form finisher: Thanks to its functionality and upgraded technical features, excellent finishing results are obtained not only on shirts, white coats and uniforms but also on traditional garments, with a simple reset of the machine. With a pneumatic trolley for fast and accurate alignment with the shirt hem, clamping front paddle, steam heated and vacuum counter-paddles and a manual collar clamp system, the working cycles are managed by microprocessor and the unit can be operated with manual cycles.

Dane Realstar 379.31 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 in the Fimas range gives superb value for money. Designed with the operator in mind, it is energy efficient, easy to use and gets a great result every time. This is the ideal unit for processing both wetcleaned garments, shirts and drycleaning requiring form finishing.

Dane Realstar Magic Pro blown shirt finisher: The Magic Pro has a wide range including men’s shirts, women’s blouses, polo shirts, medical uniforms, and chef’s uniforms. This machine meets the ultimate goal of reducing energy consumption and machine size. It makes a state of the art shirt finisher affordable for every shirt laundry. It is the only shirt finisher in the world pressing both the yoke and the tucks at the same time, says Higgs, with Teflon press heads to avoid marks on dark fabrics.

Dane Realstar 389 blown shirt finisher: This is the perfect blown shirt finisher for drycleaners, combining ease of operation with the high level of technology expected of the Fimas range giving superb value for money, and many energy efficient features. Designed with the operator in mind, it is easy to use and requires the minimum of training and fuss. This is a blown shirt finisher for wet or dry shirts (dry shirts will need extra finishing). For access this machine will fit through a standard doorway.

Dane Realstar Pegasus Pro shirt finisher: This is the go-to pressed shirt finisher. Pegasus Pro is the best solution for the pressed finishing of shirts, polo shirts, chef’s and nurse’s jackets. It combines the successful features of the previous version with new innovations in the latest model. The state of the art touchscreen interface allows complete management of this equipment, from customisation of the operational cycles to analysis and diagnostics even with remote access.

Dane Realstar Fimas 296 single buck pressed shirt finisher: Higgs claims that this 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.

Dane Realstar collar cuff press: With a steam or electrically heated polished head top buck and safety rail, the machine is timer controlled, has full vacuum, and push button controls for closing.

Impress your customers with immaculate shirts from a BÖWE shirt press

BÖWE

The Black Forest. What jumps in to your mind if you hear that? Mysterious forests, gigantic mountains, rapid rivers and of course the new Black Forest finishing editions from BÖWE which revolutionise the way you finish your garments, says BÖWE’s Max Ziermann.

“Through the rapidly changing fashion industry and more and more detailed tailoring of the garments, laundries and drycleaners all around the world had problems finding an adequate and efficient solution for the finishing of their shirts. Not with BÖWE. “That’s why we developed the new 10 second machine. Yes, only 10 seconds for a shirt!” said Ziermann. The company showcased this feature at CleanEx 2024 in Ascot on 28 and 29 April.

Through a mixture of blowing and pressing of the shirt. BÖWE found a way to blow the ‘problem areas’ and press the areas which usually need the most amount of time.

“Through that, BÖWE can guarantee an excellent quality finish, even in problem areas in a fraction of the time of a normal blowing machine. Which means more that 50 shirts an hour are possible.” He continues: “Ever had problems with shiny spots on your dark shirts? Not with BÖWE. “We developed a special Teflon coating on the press heads to prevent shiny spots on dark shirts.

“Installed with an integrated heat recycling system, sucking air from the back of the shirt creating an energy saving of 22 per cent, because the frontside and shoulder is closed by press heads, air can only escape at the back at the sleeves of the shirts. This is the area where the big heat recycling system takes the air.” Do you think we only did these developments for the shirt press? Not with BÖWE. Ziermann explains: “With the new cuff and collar machine with Teflon coating and stretching function or the new pant press with automatic cooling after pressing and one of the strongest vacuums on the market, BÖWE is equipped to revolutionise the way you think about finishing.

“No breakages, no leakages, no ironing after pressing or blowing, no headaches. That is why BÖWE gives a three-year warranty on every finish product we sell,” concludes Ziermann

CML offers Trevil’s Presto FC, a hot plate unit that provides high productivity

CML EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS and TREVIL

Chris Lambourne of CML Equipment Solutions describes the range of Trevil shirt finishing equipment he can supply.

He says: “Trevil Trevistar CR3 is the latest generation of blown air shirt finisher by Trevil, fruit of two decades of experience in automatic shirt finishing and is equipped with the exclusive SideDry system,” said Lambourne. “Not only does it provide vertical tension to the side seams, but it also conveys hot air on them, for faster drying. The result is a perfectly dry shirt, in less time.”

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.

Trevil’s TreviTandem uses many of the proven qualities of the Trevistar in a double buck shirt finisher. “Leveraging Trevil’s 20 years of experience and excellence in shirt finishing, they have developed a rotary machine that offers the same high-quality finish of the Trevistar air shirt finisher, while increasing productivity. The TreviTandem is also equipped with the exclusive SideDry system,” said Lambourne. The main features of the TreviTandem include; double presses for front pockets drying; sleeve tensioning arms with anti-stretch control; adjustable shoulder width; five-clamps’ carriage for perfect and even tensioning of the shirt hem and an economiser for energy saving and faster overall drying, thanks to hotter air.

Said Lambourne: “The Trevistar and TreviTandem do not require skilled labour to be operated, any operator can learn to use and produce excellent results within a few days. The intuitive TreviTouch touchscreen interface and ergonomically optimised work position make both machines extremely easy and comfortable to use. The screen can be set up on the right or on the left of the operator, thus adapting to different store layouts.”

He continues: “The Presto FC is a hot plate unit that provides high productivity, up to 60/70 shirts per hour, with exceptional quality due to Trevil’s attention to detail. The layout of the machine allows for fast loading because the operator does not have to change position. The rear plate reaches the hem of the shirt, providing uniform ironing along its entire length. A special device located inside the shape ensures that the rear hem is stretched to improve the quality of ironing.

“Sleeve clamps are designed for fast set-up and quality finishing of both long and short sleeves. Cuff plackets presses are covered with anti-shine material. “Presto FC takes special care of the rear of the shirt: the full-size rear plate provides an even finish, and the pull-down mechanism tensions the fabric. Positioning of the tail is made easy by rear suction.

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