REPORTAGE — Dry-cleaning machines and products that make a difference

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Scanning the horizon of the producers of dry-cleaning machines and “chemistry for dry-cleaning”, we came across companies whose philosophy differs a lot, a sone of the main features of competition. The common thread is represented by technologically advanced machines with a “washing cycle” as the focus point, without, however, leaving the machine design behind nor the advantages of a touchscreen, a real control panel. Not to mention the machines and products whose characteristics can be customized following any type of a request, with the attention to the market of reference. Dry-cleaning is the most traditional way of cleaning delicate fabrics. Its main difference from wet cleaning is that a solvent is used instead of water. Garments cleaning is carried out in a dedicated dry-cleaning machine that applies specific processes with the use of chemical substances. The main element of the dry-cleaning process is solvent

Cole & Wilson, a division of Christeyns, a Belgian producer of chemical products that include textile cleaning, with the Italian headquarters based in Pessano con Bornago, near Milan, has developed a dry-cleaning solvent called HiGlo. Easy to use, the solvent works with all the hydrocarbon and multi-solvent machines.
The product does not require the machines to undergo any specific modifications and it is not necessary to use any additives, apart from cleaning detergents or the pre-brushing products. It leaves an exceptional touch on the treated textiles. Also, it is odorless which constitutes a great advantage if compared to other solvents.
HiGlo is a green alternative to Perc. It has been analyzed by the CTTN, an independent textile cleaning research institute of public interest. Thanks to its great cleaning results in both hydrophilic and lipophilic grounds, the product has been well implemented by numerous dry-cleaning shops in Europe and it is entering the Asiatic market, too.
HiGlo is supplied with a range of especially formulated additives. Nevertheless, Cole & Wilson also offers additives for clients who work with different solvents. Cole & Wilson is one of the divisions of Christeyns in Europe, Morocco and the United States, and it is expanding to the Middle East and Asia. Christeyns international operative headquarters and carefully chosen distributors offer simple, yet efficien service to the growing number of Christeyns’ international clients through professional sales and a dedicated team of experts who readily offer technical support.
How does Cole & Wilson see the future? Steven Van de Walle comments: “The future we see is bright in spite of the changes in the way we dress and consequently, in garments treatment. Fabrics get soiled and need to be cleaned. Whether it is dry or wet cleaning, our business offers multiple solutions for both. Due to our deep knowledge of chemical products, systems and programs designed and introduced onto the market by a dedicated team of ex perts, Cole & Wilson is an ideal partner in terms of any kind of professional detergent for textile treatment.”
Marco Boccola, Business Development at Ilsa S.p.A., based in San Vincenzo di Galliera near Bologna, illustrates the philosophy applied to the development of dry-cleaning machines, “we are working on very compact and fast machine lines. We are particularly focused on solvent extraction systems and innovative safety systems. “Micro-machines” is a line of extremely compact and fast machines that have been fully re-designed in terms of layout and components.
This constitutes the most important development channel in the fiel of textile care without, however forgetting about our high capacity industrial lines. Compact machines, especially when it comes to the space they need, have been provided with “smart” systems for all the maintenance activities.
They guarantee high safety level and can also be used by non specialized operators. This latest range will accompany our other line,  iPURA, also revisited, that is going to be presented in its “version 3.0” starting from the end of January 2020.”
Eugenio Boni, the Sales Director at Italclean S.r.l., a business based in San Giorgio di Piano, near Bologna, explains: “as far as dry-cleaning machines are concerned, the technology is rather stable. We are observing a product maturity even if the development and adjustments are still in progress. For instance, we have provided our product lines with a new touchscreen computer which allows for a more functional and friendly management of the machine.
In detail, we have equipped the entire range with even more sensitive probes. Also, we are constantly consulting solvent producers so that they can develop the most suitable products in relation to the characteristics of our machines.
We have two lines of machines for dry-cleaning: perc and hydrocarbon. As far as perc machines are concerned, the first model is called Premium. We can define it as “large” while Liberty is “narrow and deep”. The large model canget to 90 Kg while the “narrow” machine is more limited as it has been conceived for “smart” situations. Also, it is more convenient economically. 95% of our production is destined to foreign countries. The tendency is growing and it refers to the developing countries more than the developed ones. Within the hydrocarbon range, there are two types of machines: with distillation (Drytech) and without distillation (NS – No Still). The latter ones are much more convenient economically both in terms of purchase and further management. If there are no particular cleaning needs, we recommend the No Still machines also due to the characteristics of some good solvents present on the market.
Finally, as transversal to the models mentioned above, we offer machines with and without dampers. We have equipped some of the machines with dampers because the solvent, having lower specific weight if compared to water, allows us to use the velocity reducing the washing cycle time.
UNION S.p.A. a traditionally outstanding business in the international dry-cleaning market, exports to more than 120 countries. The company’s special attention goes to “product innovation, advanced work tools designed to meet the needs of dry-cleaning professionals”, as explained by  “Operating in such a vast market with requests that vary from country to country, the strategic choice of UNION”, Cuppini adds, “is offering an absolutely complete range of models designed to work best with all the available solvents on the market today.”
In order to face the market of tomorrow, UNION’s offer is not limited to multi-solvent machines.
The business is going to present a line of particularly innovative machines with some of the characteristics that could be defined as revolutionary as they overturn the concept of current machines by focusing on their maximum flexibility in terms of use.
As a matter of fact, their design will allow them to change over time following the needs of clients, which will secure the maximum value of the investment over time. In order to offer the maximum flexibility, the machines have been designed as single modules, easy to transport and install in the shops. It will be possible to change the characteristics of a machine, should the need arise in the future, by replacing it partially and not completely.
Marco Niccolini, the Sales Director at Renzacci S.p.A. based in Città di Castello (PG) is telling us about the advantages of the new Excellence series “that focuses on the bio dry-cleaning in which the business is investing significantly.
We are trying to capture the “consumer’s sentiment” through the line of these machines, consumers who are looking for products that will guarantee eco-compatibility, bio-degradability and washing techniques that eliminate problems relating to water pollution, the microplastics waste, etc. The new Excellence series distinguishes itself for three main characteristics. The first one is the fast time of a wash cycle that greatly increases the standards if compared to the wash cycles of machines working with traditional solvents.
The second feature relates to costs saving due to water, solvent and energy saving. The third and last characteristic feature refers to the Renzacci’s system called MyBrain. It allows to manage the machine remotely. Thanks to the system, it is possible to monitor the processes of the machine, its performance le vel and to interact with it at all the stages.
“For Firbimatic, a company based in Sala Bolognese, it is important to underline the engage ment in reaching the results at all stages, from the design to the construction and after-sales.
Firbimatic is a company of tradition and technological in novation where machines are developed following clients’ needs, and where the value is constituted by the results of our design intelligence and by our specialized manufacture of advanced machines”, says Mirco Mongillo, the Sales Manager at Firbimatic. 
“In the 20.000 square meters of our factory, we make every single part of the product. We are the only business of this sector proceeding this way. We verify and thoroughly analyze every piece in detail guaranteeing a total quality of products.
The foundations of our production are:
Sustainability: reducing the environmental impact has always been very important to us starting from the top of the
productive process, e.g. the responsible use of energy and water, and the quality in waste and air management.
Design: the customization of the plant also through dedicated images in order to create a comfortable work place. It has been proved that people who are happy and satisfied by their work environment are more efficient and enthusiastic.
Technology: new construction and washing systems are exclusive in the sector. They make a difference in the final quality of all the treated garments. Not to forget that an ideal machine should not only be productive but functional as well”.
Finally, Giacomo Fontana, the Sales Manager at Maestrelli S.r.l. from San Giorgio di Piano near Bologna defines what is, to his belief, a predominant tendency today: “a dry-cleaning market is oriented towards hydrocarbon and multi-solvent machines (mostly Europe, North America and India) while other markets, e.g. the Middle East or south-east Asia are still using perc machines a lot.
We greatly focus on machines without distillation because we believe they are more eco-compatible. They present a reduced consumption of water and electricity”. Multisolvent hydrocarbon machines without distillation are the winning formula for Maestrelli as they reflect a fully advantageous machine type. The machines are equipped with a double filtering system based on a nylon powder filter and an active carbon filter. The filters allow to clean the solvent in absence of the distillation” adds and concludes Fontana. •

 

by Marzio Nava

Detergo Magazine Dicembre 2019