The National : THE NATIONAL Issue 2 2009
There is a general move to linen with a higher cotton content, which is therefore heavier, and a lot more difficult to feed manually than the blends. Feeders have to be equipped to feed these heavier products correctly to ensure that their weight does not cause them to shift or slide on the machine. Attaining targets on sheet finishing is not usually a problem as sheets already can be finished at high speed but when handling duvet covers, the line has to cope with a double layer that absorbs more water and is therefore heavier. Jensen have moved with this trend by developing an ironer which has an energy consumption that is very low in relation to the amount of water evaporated, so that it can achieve a high production, even on duvet covers. The question of quality is one that must be considered in relation to the whole of the laundry production line, not just individual machine performance. Quality starts in the washroom and processing errors (such as poor stain removal) affect the finished result. The finishing line is in effect the last-stop in quality control, the final chance to reject items that are not up to specified standards. There have been major developments with regards to quality control scanners, which are an important part of the finishing line. The Jenscan, for example, uses twin cameras to detect holes and stains as well as misshapen pieces. Those pieces that do not meet customer requirements are automatically separated and either rejected from the finishing line to rewash/repair, or sorted at the stacker to 5 Star, 4 Star, 3 Star etc. However, it is so clever that logos can be programmed in and recognised! We have developed and marketed for some time now, a feeder which has a correcting device that senses whether the leading edge is straight and if it is not, automatically adjusts it with moveable plates. The correcting device also allows linen of different sizes to be processed in the same program. Laundries are now dispensing with the pre-drying stage in the tumbler and using the ironer to evaporate the extra water as this is cheaper. The higher moisture content makes the linen heavier and this has a positive effect as wet linen is easier to feed correctly. Laundries may be tempted to go for a compact multi-purpose folder equipped with all the options, but it may be wise to weigh up which options will actually be used and consider whether it would be more cost- efficient to buy a folder that has been specifically developed to handle certain types of linen. While many smaller laundries may not be able to afford a wide range of specialist equipment, those that deal with high-class restaurants or hotels may need more advanced machines that provide a high-quality finish and can perform the folds required by the customer. Manufacturers too have realised that they need to have a wide product range so that they have models to suit the needs of each customer in terms of productivity, quality and price. Manufacturers also need to be able to respond to additional concerns such as the need for space-saving designs. The extent to which automation is being adopted may depend on the region or country and the size of the laundry. In the past highly industrialised countries with high labour costs required a greater number of automated processes but in countries with less expensive, labour manual feeders were often preferred. However, despite the economic recession, we are seeing a demand for greater automation in countries where labour is cheap. We are developing and seeing more touchscreen micro- processors. The combination of graphics and touchscreen provides the customer with easy-to- interpret parameter settings and allows a high level of interaction 36 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER, VOLUME 59, #2 2009 Alsco Family Photo! Employees and former employees of Alsco and its subsidiaries... Janine and Roger Williams, Kerry King, Garry and Barbara Sywak, Megan Iowe, Paul and Susan Shillabeer, Janet and Paul Hill, Sue and Steve Callinan.
THE NATIONAL Issue 1 2009
THE NATIONAL Issue 3 2009