Kannegiesser supplies machines to this German laundry (headquartered in Landshut) that guarantee record-setting workplace numbers: 400 employees from 35 different countries, 100 tons of goods washed daily, robotic ironing lines that fold every piece perfectly
Endless rows of hangers dance above your head, continuously carrying hundreds of shirts, jumpsuits, pajamas and overalls. All that’s missing is background music by Paul Dukas (from the famous Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment of “Fantasia”), but with the orchestra provided by one’s own imagination.
Impossible not to turn one’s thoughts to such adventures when faced with visions of the Factory of the Future which, needless to say, never stops.
Simply because no tomorrow is impossible to imagine without a present that prepares the way.
Find this factory; that is what matters. A task sort of like trying to win the lottery, given the complexities and contradictions of the present landscape.
Which explains why, at Detergo, we are particularly proud not only to have found it, but to have seen it in person: the Factory of the Future.
It is the Urzinger Laundry which, in the late 19th century put down its roots in Landshut, the most productive and futuristic heart of Bavaria.
The road leading to this find began in Germany. And, to be precise, in a very special place: at Kannegiesser, industry leader in laundry machines, known and appreciated around the world.
From its headquarters near Hanover, Kannegiesser engages with Urzinger in an ongoing, intricate relationship, obviously leaning toward a future to be conquered through a shared purpose and vision.
Just visit the Urzinger Laundry, and the reasons for such a successful partnership leap into view.
Indeed, if the whole world (and not just Germany or Italy), is currently looking for places, people and signs of an economic recovery with all the proper ingredients to make it truly innovative, it is hard to imagine anything better than Urzinger.
The laundry has been founded in 1897 by Maria Fisch.
That’s the name of the laundress who one fine day decided to go into business, acquiring a machine capable of breathing new life into the collars of the many shirts entrusted to her care. That courageous act, so extra-ordinary for a woman of the 1800s, set the course for a brand that, three generations later, entrusts its reputation as a leader in the German market to not one, but three women. They are the great-granddaughters of Maria Fisch, the Urzinger sisters: Annette, who is in charge of production, Claudia, external relations, and Dagmar, sales.
Thus, from Maria to her heirs, the epic story of a company unfolds, currently considered a model of innovation, and not only in Germany. Starting with the energy savings contributed by the photovoltaic systems mounted on two of the five plant buildings, the philosophy of re-use in place of the disposable polyester bags used for transport, and the low noise level throughout such a large facility.
And the numbers support such positive impressions. Here is what they reveal.
117 years of history that the trade magazine Textile Services describes as “A Masterpiece of Productivity”, intending with the word ‘productivity’ not just a simple sum of financial gains, but a virtuous system where the business integrates its own purposes with those of the natural and social environment with which it interacts.
5 plants among which the 17,500 square meters of the factory are currently divided, and expanded around the machines in which Paul and Anna, the parents of the Urzinger sisters, invested.
100 tons of fabric washed every day, divided into almost equal parts among three sectors: hospital, hotel and work wear. These are enormous amounts, guaranteed only by highly automated systems, like those manufactured by Kannegiesser: true technological marvels that anyone can admire on the Urzinger premises. One of these is the aerial linen transport system, perfectly in step with the washing, drying and ironing times.
The dryers that open and release laundered items on exact, scientifically orchestrated rhythms, based on values that take into account both energy savings and the maximum extraction capacity of each machine. In keeping with the perfect harmony between production numbers and environmental quality that at Urzinger is considered the company’s true business philosophy.
Super-advanced standards of automation contribute to finishing thousands of pieces ironed by each of the totally automated (and in no way science-fiction) lines that are, instead, splendidly ‘real’, and designed to accomplish perfect feeding, ironing and folding, piece by piece.
400 employees, from a total of 35 countries. A true tower of Babel, recomposed in harmony, where the work functions primarily consist of control tasks, like the one right after drying. That is, when staff check the condition of each garment, deciding if it can go on to the ironing station or, if an irregularity is detected, be sent through the wash again or on to be repaired or replaced.
43 drivers, whose job it is to deliver the superior product guaranteed by the perfect functioning of the Kannegiesser machines all over Germany.
It is a success also written in comments that fill the guest book signed by visitors to the Landshut company, where groups from around the world leave their enthusiastic impressions about the daily, magnificent show produced by the Urzinger laundry.