“MATRIX” smart box by Algitech, an added value for industrial laundries

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“When a few years ago, during the EXPOdetergo International trade fair 2018 edition, we presented the “Matrix smart locker”, it wasn’t yet the appropriate moment to think about the “widespread” automatic distribution of linen made by industrial laundries to small customers such as guesthouses, home sharing, B&Bs,” we are going to discuss about this with Alfonso Caselli, the manager of Algitech, a company specialized in producing machines for the feeding, ironing and folding of flat linen, as well as automatic sorting systems and complete management of the finished product.

From where does it come the idea of designing the “Matrix” smart box?
“As I have already mentioned earlier, we started working for the design and implementation of the Matrix project a few years ago. However, today the market is mature enough, and more and more industrial laundries are adopting it because it offers several advantages. Indeed, it is a fact that guesthouses, B&Bs, and private accommodation facilities have experienced a significant growth in Italy. Just remember the famous foreign platforms that have invested in our country precisely on the possibility of renting your own room and/or house.

The growing trend of home sharing is undeniable and is also noted by a research study conducted by World Capital Group with Nomisma, which analyzed the intentions of Italian tourists on a national scale: while hotels remain the most requested type of accommodation, the percentage of those choosing for non-hotel solutions is exponentially increasing, with B&Bs experiencing a 900% increase in requests compared to 2019. It is now clear that the boom in nonhotel accommodations is no longer a short-term trend related to the post-pandemic period but rather a globally consolidated fact, the consequence of travellers’ increasingly flexible approach.

All this has concretely given rise to a new need. Looking ahead, but which is already a reality today, let’s focus on the distribution of linen to private individuals”.

Technology in terms of energy saving and eco-compatibility is also giving us a big helping hand. Which applications could Matrix have in this sense?
“Let’s consider, for example, a 5-floor apartment buiding, where tenants, instead of personally washing their own linen, choose for partial rental: this would mean eliminating at least 10 washing machines (and a few dryers) – one for each household – and would guarantee significant energy savings and a lower environmental impact. These are two aspects towards which we are increasingly sensitive to, thanks to the differentiated water purification systems provided by industrial laundries. Furthermore, this system is unique in the world because if the linen is getting lost, which is one of the most important assets for a laundry, the laundry gains.

The real challenge will be to move rental services from B&Bs to private individuals, and for both us and laundries, there will be new opportunities to seize. Furthermore, why not create a connection between industrial laundries and the extensive availability of self-service laundries? The self-service laundry, in addition to providing all traditional services, can offer a locker managed by the industrial laundry with territorial punctuality, which would guarantee an added value. Through an app or a smart card, OTP code on their smartphone, customers are promptly informed that their kit is ready for pickup”.

Briefly, the main advantages of automatic distribution can be summarized as it follows:
– Continuous monitoring of laundry to prevent its loss, as each customer profile includes a deposit that prevents withdrawal beyond the available credit.
– Distribution is not manned and allows for pick-up at any time with a card and a mobile app.
– Through the software it is possible to be always aware, for each individual customer, of the time status and rotation of the items used, and at any moment monitor the flow between the delivery of dirty and the return of clean items.
– Higher margins for the industrial laundries on individual items.
– Less global pollution with linen washed and ironed, perhaps even by certified laundries.

How does automatic distribution work?
“Practically, the customer can visit the nearest distribution point at any time and, after identifying themselves with a card, can pick-up the clean linen they need from individual compartments: for example, a kit for a single or double bed, or a set of towels. The customer selects the chosen items via touchscreen and adds them to their “cart”, the locker then enables the opening of the corresponding door and the customer can collect their linen. The rental can be managed for each individual customer, and the maximum number of pieces that can be retrieved can be set based on the deposit that has been paid.

Both the software and the composition of the distribution cabinet can be customized, allowing for the selection of the number and size of individual opening “compartments”, as the dimensions of a towel kit are obviously not the same as those of a single or double bed kit. The implemented system is expandable at any time by attaching additional modules as needed. An important note is that depending on the type of distribution, one can choose to have linen with or without UHF technology detection microchips”.

“In its dynamic nature, Algitech is always striving to be ready for change and especially for the evolution of the market, and with Matrix we also try to respond to new needs”, concludes Alfonso Caselli. •

ALGITECH S.r.l.
Via dell’Industria 1
64014 Martinsicuro (TE)
T. +39 0861 760653
info@algitech.it www.algitech.it

by Marzio Nava
DETERGO Magazine # April 2024