REPORTAGE The buyers empty the stands The Clean Show to frame


Exhibitors are talking about a record edition where the dominant topics include the
success of new solvents, the booming of Made in Italy ironing products, the growing
collaboration with Europe and the high technology of remote control systems.
An outstanding number of deals signed during the show


In clover at the Clean Show in Las Vegas. The big number of business deals signed during the show has become the news on the Made in Italy ironing products booming, the widespread success – and perhaps a bit wild, too – of new solvents together with massive investments in laundry management systems.
A ripe harvest, indeed. It struck us after having collected the impressions and comments directly from
Las Vegas booths and after having seen the break the bank facial expressions while going home from the city of casinos and gaming. The significant difference, however, points out how gambling matters very little with business results obtained by companies that have built their successful Clean Show take off lane on sacrifice and planning. Where the wind in the sails of American economy and the advantageous dollar exchange contributed to awarding the quality investments maintained over time

“I believe that Pantastar is a perfect example of what this exhibition means to us – says Corinna Mapelli, the co-owner of  TREVIL from Pozzo d’Adda (Milan). – After ten years of a steady rise, this pants ironing machine is playing the main role at our stand in Las Vegas today. What I think is that it is a sign of a consolidated link between the high Italian technology with its permanent artisan imprint, and a more and more flexible American market inclined to focus on the quality of products’ details.
As long as, obviously, one recognizes and follows  the particular characteristics of this country, e.g. large
sizes and pants creases that stop at the height of crotch inseams”.
Trevil’s story started long ago and it is reflected by what they are telling us at UNION, a producer of dry cleaning machines from Sala Bolognese. Gabriele Cuppini, the Sales Director explains: “This edition of the Clean Show has been extremely positive. Union could see and enjoy the results coming from our efforts made all over the American territory over years. Here, the dry cleaning seems to be having its peak moment as far as perspectives go. It is enough to think about Tide, a store chain launched by Procter & Gamble, high quality, million dollars structures. In order to meet the requests of American
market, one certainly needs to be strong: here, an average machine treats 25 kg of linen and not 15 kg like in Europe. Therefore, the work rhythm is really intense and the necessity for changing machines and parts is rather short term”.
The word “changing” calls for A13, a company from Milan that produces a wide range of accessories for laundries.
“It is true, we have been exhibiting at the Clean Show since 2005, but this year’s edition is actually the
best one – reveals Daniele Ceretti, the International Sales Director at A13. He focuses on details: “The times of huge, water wasting bulldozer machines is over in the USA. The main focus now is on the advanced, niche technology that customizes the production. As far as ironing sector is concerned, the sharp rise in Made in Italy products is rather obvious today. A13 can certify it through high quantities of parts sold here in Vegas. Un doubtedly, the impression we are getting is that we are no longer inside a closed, local market, but the business is more and more open towards Europe”.
The transoceanic meeting point is another repetitive topic at the show in Nevada. Where also KANNEGIESSER, a German brand, one of the world leaders in industrial laundry machines production displays their recent creation in the USA, Kannegiesser-ETECH, followed by
the acquisition of E-Technic from Minneapolis, a supplier of monorail systems for linen transportation. Good and happy news that appeared in Kannegieser’s recent press release traces this recent unification
together with otherh ightech jewels such as the ergonomic Synchro Remote folding system and Vectura, a transport system based on linen logistics management. Marco Niccolini, the Sales Director at RENZACCI, a producer of dry-cleaning machines in Città di Castello, expresses his views
on the topic. “This year’s edition of Clean Show – Niccolini says – has made Renzacci proud. Our always full stand and a considerable number of signed deals have solidly awarded the investments started 2014 that translate to the creation of Renzacci USA. Where, mind you, we did not limit ourselves to sending the machines but first of all, we exported our philosophy relying on the guideline by Brent Padon, our Sales Manager. It has been a happy planting season. We witnessed it at the  Clean Show watching the success of our SENSENE™ machines. The solvent is becoming more and more requested which would also explain our policy that aims at laundries strongly orientated towards the environmental
protection and bio factors”.
Also Ilsa, a producer of dry-cleaning machines in Galliera, Bologna area has planted its deep roots in the United States thanks to the acquisition of the Columbus in Long Island. ILSA, too, confirms the growing consensus of SENSENE™ through the words of Claudio  onvicini, in charge of Sales: “Today, it seems to be an established fact that as far as performance goes, we are talking about the most serious and undoubtedly efficient competitor of PERC in a country, where the latter one does not have a great opinion in terms of ecological measures”. “The whole business sector has been searching
for new entries – Bonvicini continues – and Ilsa verified it through the rising success of Ipura machines,
that use an alternative hydrocarbon solvent. The machines work without the necessary steam connection and highly contribute to the environmental protection”.
In such a market, open to the infinite number of stimuli, the role of a supplier cannot just be limited to signing a contract. Instead, suppliers actually need to become partners. Eugenio Boni, the Sales Director at ITALCLEAN, a producer of dry-cleaning machines in San Giorgio di Piano, Bologna area, reminds us of it. “Here at the Clean Show, we have seen a huge number of requests for wet cleaning. They actually lacked some basis at times – Boni explains – and were expressed by clients who would simply ask for a wet cleaning machine without specifying why. We know that this type of clients should rather be directed towards a more sensible purchase, in the name of companies’ credibility. Moreover, as far as solvents go, we should remember that it takes three years after they are launched on the market for us to be able to talk about reliable testing provided by the market itself, and not only by the laboratories”.
Boni’s words are echoed by Giacomo Fontana, the Sales Director at MAESTRELLI that also produces drycleaning machines in San Giorgio in Piano. “I need any type of a machine as long as it is not a PERC one … This is what one of our clients said to us when he came to our stand. It is a general request, definitely not in favour of knowing the market even if Maestrelli knows how to deal with this kind of situations. Surely, PERC’s time seems to be running out in America. One of the PERC machines
producers kept giving the first recharge of PERC for free if you purchased a machine here in Las Vegas”.
The final picture of the washing sector is undoubtedly positive even if some future, unknown variable remains.
However, the widespread sensation deriving from the ironing sector is triumphant. “I am coming back to Italy without taking back any load onto the plane – reveals Walter Cividini, the CEO of FIMAS, a producer of ironing machines from Vigevano. – It means that we have sold everything. Emptying a stand during a show is actually the maximum result for exhibitors. It also means that the Clean Show has acquired global dimensions, unknown until the last edition in Atlanta. I noticed it while watching
the high number of visitors coming from South America and Far East. It is obvious that, in a more and more open field, the comparison becomes more and more decisive, and the beauty of Made in Italy products wins”.
The concept has been picked up by PONY, a producer of ironing machines in Inzago, Milan area. “The Clean Show has been a success for highly technological machines – one of Pony communications reads – such as the new line of shirt finishers. Non-stop life demonstrations of the running machines extended over the whole duration of the exhibition which points out the incomparable value of a direct contact between suppliers and clients”.
If this is how present looks, the future of the Clean Show could be captured through the words of the visitors and observers at the show in Las Vegas. One of them, Moreno Torra, in charge of technical
department at BIAR, a producer of chemical products for laundries from Senago, Milan area, says: “We have witnessed a growing request for more specialized lines together with e.g. SENSENE™ machines in
the fields of pre-stain removal and brushing”.
Another visitor, Lauro Bortot, the Export Director at IMESA, a producer of laundry machines
from Cessalto (Treviso), explains: “Clean 2017 has marked a sharp increase in the field of laundry management systems, especially the remote ones, in the name of a more and more complex
and real time dialogue between laundries and clients, including tumble driers’ Happy Hour”.
All of this makes us think about the next edition of the Clean Show, where we will certainly see another ripe harvest. •


by Stefano Ferrio

Detergo Magazine July/August 2017