REPORTAGE — A new concept of cleaning unites suppliers, industrial laundries and clients



Restaurant table cloths made in fine fabric and controlled origin towels for hotels. Quality standards are growing everywhere we look thanks to more and more advanced technology, including separate batch washers, new solvents and complementary application of dry and wet cleaning

Trade fairs like HOST that just ended in Milan constitute perfect occasions for us to witness radical changes both cultural and technological of the sector. They often involve important values, e.g. well-being and environment. Consequently, perhaps less obviously, changes have also started for industrial laundries where the new concept of cleaning has become dominant.

“Cleaning in industrial laundries means treating garments by eliminating that extra substance that does not make part of them, and that due to hygienic or aesthetic reasons should be removed. Today, we can do it in a more efficient way.” According to Alessandro Rolli, the Managing Director of Kannegiesser Italia, a German multinational company, it is crucial to start from here in order to discuss the new concept of cleaning. “The result – continues Rolli – can be measured by analysing the fabrics and, first of all, by the bath press water extraction analysis. The quality of the water measured by conductivity tells us about some important dynamics of the process and reveals the efficiency degree of the so called, rinsing stage”.

“As a matter of fact – Rolli explains – washed linen transmits water towards next stages of the treatment at the ratio of 0,4/0,5 litres per 1 Kg of linen. The more similar the characteristics of the water to the initial ones, – called the entry water – the more efficient the removal, through rinsing, of the chemical products used in previous stages.”

“Modern washing technology with the use of separate compartments fully realised by Kannegiesser in the design of VARIO – Rolli concludes – becomes decisive in obtaining excellent, guaranteed results in terms of PH and salinity control, as well as fibres durability and fewer interruptions during the ironing stage”.

One of the most fascinating aspects concerning industrial laundries in XXI century is the outstanding connection between big and small, quantity and quality, impressive masses and differentiated objectives. Such impressions arrive while looking at the gigantic tunnel washers designed to treat hundreds of kilos of linen per day. “in order to be fully efficient, these impressive machines need to perform at the highest flexibility level possible, which is what clients ask for today” says Matteo Gerosa, the Sales Director of Jensen Italia, a Danish Multinational company that produces laundry equipment.  “One of the technologically advanced aspects of the machines is the static bath rinsing, which turns out to be crucial for the differentiation in the care for various linen colours we treat. Jensen is fully aware of the success the FlexRinse system has had ever since we started providing our washing tunnels with it.”

The concept of flexibility combines with differentiation. Without doubts, the industrial laundries of today need to meet much more varied market requests than in the past, such as making the tones flatwork of linen coexist with garments worn by nursing homes patients, or workwear. This means that the number of machines needs to increase and inevitably, vary according to their dimensions or type.

Marco Niccolini, the Sales Director of Renzacci, the producer of washing machines for laundries based in Città di Castello (Perugia), presents his views on industrial laundries: “Until a few years ago, dry-cleaning was considered to have been declining almost everywhere.  Today, thanks to new solvents, dry cleaning has come back. It counts in industrial laundries of today, where in case of certain types of cleaning performance it keeps being the only optimal solution while in some other cases, the obtained results are superior to wet cleaning. We can say for sure that the big and bulky dry-cleaning machines, unsuitable for certain market segments, are long gone”.

“Today, thanks to the new SENSENE™ machines that are smaller and more manageable, – Niccolini continues – the scenario has radically changed. Industrial laundries, just like dry-cleaners, have discovered the complementary use of wet and dry cleaning. Such progress has been made possible by targeted technology deriving from the new philosophy of cleaning. It means new knowledge, skills and competences. Clients, who are the first to be informed, will most likely search for the industrial laundries that work with dry-cleaning as well, meeting the requests of everyone”.

Maurizio Moras is in charge of Industrial Laundries at Imesa based in Cessalto, Treviso area. Imesa produces washing machines for laundries. “The initial data – he says – is a revolutionary thought that involves both suppliers and clients in the same way. We can witness it in the horeca sector where, as far as food sector is concerned, an excellent menu at a restaurant cannot be separated from high quality table cloths on which the courses will be served”.

“Also hotel managers are decisively turning towards quality that is spreading everywhere, starting from linen. We realise that when we see controlled origin towels in hotel rooms”.

“Consequently, – Moras continues – industrial laundries should align to such a demanding market by proposing new and technologically advanced machines. I believe that those who work with old machines, will be able to reduce prices still for a short time. The new generation of businessmen that are taking over their family businesses tend to have very clear ideas on the future.   The most important one concerns the idea of quality cleaning which they expect in their private lives, too. And that they are committed to guarantee to their clients”.

“The concept of cleaning has been a core question of such a dynamic and clear evolution that we cannot ignore it nor disconnect it from big investments in research anymore” starts Stenilio Morazzini, the CEO of Montega, a producer of chemical products for laundries based in Misano Adriatico. “High temperatures are only memories now. – Morazzini continues – They are linked to times when producing constituted a priority even at the price of energy waste, which is unsustainable today. Green and eco-friendly issues that constitute much more sensitive and important topics today than they did in the past, have inevitably triggered a research that, apart from washing at low temperatures also comprises washing detergents and solvents.  The efficiency these products offer is based on high environmental compatibility enzymes and surfactants.” “Today, cleaning is equivalent to sanification more than ever, – concludes Morazzini – e.g. the combination of an oxygen molecule with an acetic acid molecule: the first one guarantees high quality of white colour obtained while the second one eliminates alkaline residue, which makes the final user extremely satisfied”.

It is clear that, in case of industrial laundries, given the end of economic crisis, there has been a sharp increase in quality levels. “Including the effect of a more and more differentiated offer” comments Livio Bassan, the Managing Director of Christeyns Italia, a Belgian producer of chemical products for laundries. “It is a competition – Bassan continues – that triggers excellent laundries to take over specific market niches and provide machines placed side by side the big, continuous batch washers.  This is the reason why we will be dealing with more and more complex structures that will reflect the growing importance of environmental protection and energy saving. These topics constitute a commonly spread concern of everyone today including suppliers, textile businesses and final users.”

Detergo Magazine – November 2017