Never before, as in this post-Covid-19 time will we need to reconsider, redesign and reorganize our businesses to withstand the impact deriving from the reduction in work volumes and the pressure of the market with all its variables linked to prices and business relationships with clients. It could seem paradoxical but the general orientation of the sector is going to privilege companies able to guarantee high hygienic and quality standards, those able to create business models that will intercept market requests assuring support in business growth, that we hopefully wish for it to be strong and sharp in 2021.
Also, machine manufacturers will need to be able to follow and sustain this process of growth through the development of solutions leading to a positive effect on our clients’ revenue accounts. Automation of processes might not be a choice but a necessity linked to greater difficulties in sourcing labor, and most of all, to the need of valuing the existing labor by offering answers that would make the performance easier and, consequently, raise the profitability. The future is all around the capacity of increasing the productivity index through targeted solutions, ergonomic and efficient ones.
Let us think about how many times a linen piece is handled by an operator and how many times this operation could actually be avoided. Also, during the finishing stage (just like in the washing area) there are passive phases/times that will consequently influence the operative results of processes in a negative way: the handling of trolleys, batches identification, linen sorting, ironer waxing, feeding clamps downtime when linen pieces are unavailable, re-washing, etc. Thanks to the new EMR SynchroRemote feeder and a belt feeding system, most of the downtime examples mentioned above are transformed into higher throughput. Based on our experience in the field, we noticed an increase in productivity in comparison to traditional feeders.
The EMR SynchroRemote feeder with its servo-guided feeding system and a compact buffer storage for of up to 40 pieces have defined new feeding standards for large and medium pieces: + 30% productivity in case of mixed sheets and an average hourly productivity of 330 sheets per operator in single-lane operation; 40% increase in case of duvet covers and heavy pieces. The new spreading clamp is faster than the previous one by 250 milliseconds in the opening and closing stages. If we considered the opening and closing stages alone, we save 900 seconds per hour. Every second “counts” in an industrial process. On the other hand, downtime has a negative effect on the operating results: let us only consider how many times operators wait for the available clamps with the linen ready in their hands. The waiting time, a performance waste in itself, combined with the weight of the linen piece will negatively influence the physical wellbeing of the operator.
The new feeder Synchro Remote EMR with the intermediate storage buffer allows to carry out the operations smoothly and without interruptions even under varying work conditions: lack of linen, full feeding clamps, temporary absence from the work station, speed variations of flatwork ironers, program changes, etc. The real industrial revolution is to create a perfect synergy between “man and machine” with operators taking the central role. Work stations need to be designed around the operators and their necessities: work stations with adjustable height, adequate visibility of the surroundings, a well-lighted working environment, quick recognition of information and low noise levels.
A 4-station ironing line with EMR SynchroRemote and feeding belt combination can replace the output handled by two traditional 3-station lines with linen loaded from trolleys which results in the saving of 2 operators per hour as well as steam and electricity.
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edited by Marzio Nava