Grenzland laundry in Ahaus, Germany, is a very special type of laundry: It has the declared target to employ persons suffering from severe disabilities, in particular those affected by combinations of conditions, providing them with qualifications, and accompanying them at the workplace. This implies increased levels of attention within the context of safely operating laundry equipment. JENSEN also takes user safety very seriously.
"We employ a workforce that makes mandatory social security contributions and around 40 percent of our employees are affected by severe disabilities. A part of our workforce has been categorized as requiring particularly high levels of support. For this reason, we provide qualified contacts for social support", facility manager Martin Kock explains.
Our 90 employees have ten different nationalities – they include displaced persons from Iraq and Afghanistan. We process almost nine metric tonnes of laundry for hospitals, retirement facilities, and social enterprises. Hotels and commercial customers are also very fond of our services.
New Perspectives for Grenzland Laundry
Grenzland laundry is not only committed to integration: modernization measures have also triggered investment in technical systems. "Our tasks continued to grow, our customer base was becoming significantly stronger. We aim for a balanced mix of our workforce, both with and without disabilities, to secure productivity and long-term employment, perform well on the market, but also to create improved support and integration options. This is another way to intensify mutual support at the workplace", Ditmar Junk, Technical Manager at the laundry, says.
A perfect match for JENSEN's approach, offering new perspectives in laundry automation, thinking globally and acting locally to determine the ideal demand and increase productivity together with customers. Matthias Schrader, Sales Manager at JENSEN and contact for Grenzland laundry, provided his support from the outset to demonstrate how JENSEN technology could prepare the company for a successful future.
Beyond the Horizon
Ditmar Junk, textiles laundry specialist Martraud Leeners, and Matthias Schrader inspect the Jenfold Butterfly Fox MF folding machine in on-going operation to immediately see the added value: "I am impressed by Jenfold Butterfly Fox MF's flexibility, we can now fold even more laundry items that would have previously not been processed by the finisher. This is enormously helpful for our employees", Ms Leeners gladly reports. "We can also be proud of our production boost to around 10 metric tonnes per day".
From the washroom section, the garments are transported into a tunnel finisher via the automated conveyor system for garment handling, JENSEN Metricon. A Metricon conveyor system is customized to individual customer requirements and built to offer optimal solutions A unique system for buffer accumulation of garments further ensures synchronization between the various workstations. The computer control system can be designed to control all movements and handles the sorting of garments by delivery route, account, customer, size, locker bank, and wearer. As such, there will be no mix up of the garments.
The Jenform Omega Pro tunnel finisher guarantees a top quality finishing of garments. The conveying system is based on the Greek letter Ω. This simple and simultaneously ingenious solution considerably decreases the processing time. The drying zone and the air circulation system have been noise-insulated, and the thermal insulation minimizes the heat loss. The air from the drying zones and outlet zone is recirculated into the inlet zone: incoming garments are heated up in the inlet zone using recirculated hot air The exhaust air is reduced to a minimum. Once finished, the garments are folded and stacked in a Jenfold Butterfly Fox, an automatic folding machine with a consistant high performance. This versatile, highly reliable system is capable of processing up to 1000 garments per hour.
Overcoming Boundaries while Ensuring Maximum Safety
Work-related injuries have significant impacts on the balance sheet. In addition to direct, monetary consequences, such as compensation, medical treatment costs, and increasing insurance premiums, there are also some indirect costs, that are not always correctly calculated and considered.
Costs for reappointments, for instance, or loss of productivity, effects on moral at the workplace, all elements with the potential of quickly triggering a downward spiral with a very costly end. For this reason, an increasing number of laundries have started adding a new category to their balance sheets. It centers around ecological and social costs and benefits within the context of providing clean laundry at the correct time and in the right place. At the same time, we consider the well-being of the people that use the laundry, as well as the safety of employees handling it.
When JENSEN-GROUP machines leave the plant they have completed comprehensive risk assessment and evaluation processes that take into account anything that could pose a danger. This work has been accurately documented and saved in the technical dossier of each machine type.
Integrating People and Processes
JENSEN is a reliable partner in terms of safety – for large companies as well as locally operating laundries, such as the Grenzland laundry in Ahaus. In this process, the company is always ahead of industry trends and already develops safety components before they are made statutory requirements. However, safety is not only important for the machines themselves, but also during machine delivery and commissioning: "thanks to parallel production we were able to maintain operation throughout the entire commissioning phase to fully prevent downtimes. Our customer was enthralled", Matthias Schrader reports.
People not only aim to earn money: they also expect a pleasant, safe place of work. This increases productivity, especially within the context of persons with disabilities. JENSEN is convinced that machine safety must go beyond statutory regulations and the company simultaneously works with an eye on the future to solve the issue of safety solutions and achieve levels of overall sustainability for each laundry.
Last, but not least, investment reliability and success are paramount to laundry managers: "we need to live up to the challenges of the market and competition with top quality in terms of cleanliness and hygiene. We must not be too expensive. And we need to reliably keep to the deadlines."