Ironing solutions in the Indian laundry scenario

When it comes to ironing solutions, India’s laundry industry has seen tremendous growth.  However, compared to our counterparts worldwide, there is still a long way to go in implementing the latest solutions. . Yogesh K Kandhari, Founder & CEO, Laundry Dryclean Finishing Solutions shares some insights into the world of ironing solutions.

In terms of technology, what are the most recent innovations in ironing solutions?

Flatwork irons have come a long way in India as well as in developed countries.  Oil heated machines, chest heated machines and roller heated machines are the technologies that are currently being used.  These have been made specifically for the Indian market; a small percentage of it is for export.  Stefab and Fabcare are the major players in the laundry industry who have been pioneers in this business, and they continue to bring innovations into the laundry industry in India.

What are the various machines being currently used?

At one point in time, only steam heated machines were in the market.  Now we have the oil heated machines, dry heating chest heated machines and roller heated machines.  Steam consumption is being gradually reduced. All launderettes are trying to use machines that can be suitable for all fabrics. In the Indian scenario, the material is 80-20 cotton-polyester fabrics. Hence these are some of  the current procedure being followed by the Indian laundry fraternity.

How is ironing speed being maximised without compromising on the finishing?

One needs to decrease the moisture content of the garment, instead of increasing any settings on the machine. Any garment that has less moisture in it gets ironed faster.  Once you decrease the moisture content and increase the speed of the washer extractor of the washing machines, this adjustment will get you the desired result.  India has just begun to manufacture washer-extractors to deal with this moisture content.

How can you increase the ironing speed?  

You cannot do such a thing. Nothing much can be done at the moment regarding ironing speed. If we had sensors that monitor on their own and regulate themselves, then that would be the ideal solution. In India, manual monitoring would be required as feeding of the machines still takes place manually.

How is overheating prevented?

There are different parameters which can be programmed in an ironing machine and overheating can be prevented. While monitoring, one needs to be sensitive and alert towards these readings.  This is the way to tackle this issue.

How does the machine design take care of operator safety?

There are either manual or automatic feeders or stackers at either end of a machine.  Safety also depends on the size of the machines. The feeders are the crucial factors that need special attention when dealing with safety issues.

What ironing solutions will trend in the coming days? 

Going forward, the trend will be towards a single, integrated drying, ironing and folding system, which can deal with a variety of fabrics.  This is already happening in India where we do not have the spreader and the stacker at the moment.  We still need to increase the output and decrease the manual labour involved in these processes.  Shubhram Laundry’s processing facility in Sonepat has a machine with all three systems working at the same time.