The approach path to the next edition of EXPOdetergo International that will take place at Fiera Milano from 21st to 24th October 2022, continues, as well as the reflection about the major issues revolutionizing the industry, to which the event will give voice and attention through the exhibition and training proposal. Leader event in Europe and around the world, dedicated to machines, technologies, products and services for laundry, ironing and textile cleaning, EXPOdetergo International is already working to offer a project that talks about the story of innovation in the sector and for all operators – from small laundries, to Ho.Re.Ca. and industrial structures – can represent an unique opportunity to update, diversify and strengthen their own business. In this issue, we will talk about ergonomics and digitalization, two of the great challenges that machine manufacturers are facing
daily, and that represents an important dimension of technological development in our industry.

4.0 Industry has now become reality, and thanks to digitalization, today the process of industrial washing and textile maintenance, generally, has entered into a new phase. The complete and automated line, starting from the linen to be treated, and arriving to the ironing line, packaging, and distribution, thanks to the presence of connected technologies on board of the machines, can reach new levels of efficiency, time saving, energy, detergents, and at the same time contribute to the improvement of the working conditions of the employees. Data becomes the key element, whose collection, reading and correct interpretation opens new scenarios in terms of potentiality, efficiency and quality of work.

Automation and digitization of processes is not only helping to make each step faster, but also to save energy, chemicals and work of the operators, while the combination of hardware and software turns automated distribution more controlled, making the entire system more efficient. Briefly, innovation becomes the key of development and sustainability. Thanks to the connected machines, every element of the line – starting from the linen tracing and monitoring their real life cycle, the status of the customers warehouses, daily accounting of the laundry waste, the workspace, and arriving to the management of the regular and special maintenance of the machines, and also to the relationship with the end user – can be traced and optimized through a proper data evaluation.

Connected and interconnected machines, are improving the performance, but above all are reducing or even eliminating potential human error, ensuring efficient operations and keeping personnel costs constant as productivity increases. This applies to both large and small businesses. Is enough thinking to the customer’s database and the classification of garments. One of the possibilities offered by the new digital processes is that of managing data in the best possible way, reporting all the characteristics of the garments received, identifying any defects before washing, avoiding like this possible claims during the redelivery phase.

Data management software, M2M systems, user-friendly interfaces, APP, identification via QRcode, RFID and NFC, are just a few examples of the new way of working that will be presented and explained at the fair to those who really want to take up the challenge of starting a modern laundry. Because innovating and updating processes and products, means putting yourself in a position to acquire new market segments.

Ergonomics is the other side of digitization. With Industry 4.0, it becomes important to rethink and design workspaces and machines upon the needs of the operator helping it to express its potential to the fullest (operators/hour). Every second in an industrial process “counts”, inactive times affect negatively the operative result, as for example: in the field of ironing, the operator may be waiting for the availability of the machine pliers holding the garment in its hand, is a useless wait, it is a loss of performance, and moreover it is worsened by the weight of the garment, with negative effects on the physical wellbeing of the employee. The proper positioning and performance of the equipment, and the compliance of ergonomic criteria, not only protect the health of the operators, but they are the key aspects for a higher productivity and an optimized workflow. More productive efficiency, less risks, are equivalent on medium term to reduction of the operating costs.

Ergonomics is therefore a key factor in the field of the work planning. Studying and

designing systems that respects physical ergonomics criteria, is a benefit for the company, as well as for the individual worker. Innovation, in this field, means going beyond the traditional concept, creating tasks in which the worker’s position changes frequently during the production cycle. This reduces task repetitiveness and static posture, improving the well-being. Ergonomics is good for the individual, but it becomes a positive goal for the entire company, as it decreases production times, increases productivity, eliminates wasted work, or unnecessary movements, and also allows a reduction of errors.

Better knowing the opportunities offered by new technologies is therefore an occasion for all any kind of laundry, from the smallest ones, which can get valuable help in managing data and customers, to the most structured ones, which in the reorganization of internal processes can find an opportunity to optimize the times, materials and resources. EXPOdetergo International 2022, in just over a year, will allow a better understanding about how work changes and improves when this type of systems are applied. The exhibition of exclusively new machines and lines, and the possibility of seeing them operative will guarantee to the visiting operators a realistic representation of the possible future of the sector and, simultaneously, will offer to exhibiting companies the opportunity to talk about the potential and advantages of their machines, but especially to enhance and highlight the achievements in Research and Development.

The journey towards EXPOdetergo International 2022 has begun. To support the companies that decide to “get on board” fast, the show has provided the early booking 2022 stage. All the companies that will sign up within the 31 October 2021 will be able to take advantage of a particularly convenient fare. The incentive that is undoubtedly in favor of the anticipated registration, will also allow to have a clearer idea on the participating big brands, and present therefore, EXPOdetergo International 2022 and its main characters, its points of strength and contents to the global market soon. •

By Marzio Nava
Detergo Magazine – Number 9, September 2021