IMG_0145The Clean Show of 2015 is in the history books. It will always be a memorable one. It has been a long time since the show made Atlanta its base, for one thing, but its more than that that will make this show memorable. This edition of the Clean Show featured a veritable cornucopia of new shirt equipment, amazing enhancements to existing equipment, new solutions to old maintenance problems and awesome new products for shirt launderers. This has been the best show ever.

I have made it a tradition to showcase the Clean Show on my website, complete with movies and photographs of all the new innovations – equipment and products – that are relevant to those of us that are in the business of washing and pressing shirts. Check it out at www.tailwindsystems.com or scan this QR code with your smart phone.

It completely amazes me how much innovation has occurred in my lifetime. There is a part of me that does say – for occasional brief instances – what in the world was wrong with the “old” technology? After all, the “old” technology is only a year old! How can it already be antiquated as beeper? The 57 year span of time that I’ve been on this planet has been an extra-ordinary segment of time. The innovation has been, and continues to be, astounding. TV had just barely been invented when I was born and its introduction was surely mind-blowing to those adults of the 1950’s. But 30 years ago, a TV set was still a large piece furniture in the living room and “remote” was barely a word, never mind a thing that you have 10 of at home. But now a TV can be mistaken for a picture frame on the wall and the iPad that I’m watching a television show on as I type this could be misunderstood to be a TV. In some ways it is a million times more intelligent than anything Phil Silvers ever played on.

Like every other kid my age in the 70’s, I bought vinyl phonograph records which where practically unusable after a few dozen plays. Now I only need to do slightly more than think of a song, artist or album and it is on my phone, ipad or computer (oops, scratch that… it is on my phone, ipad AND computer) within a couple of minutes and will last forever. And I have my entire music – what would be the world’s biggest imaginable jukebox – downloaded into the radio in my car, not to mention my phone.

So nothing surprises me anymore. Just when I think that something that I imagine is impossible, a passing thought, not only is it possible, but its long been under development and is on the road to planned obsolesce within a decade or half that. Within 10 years, you will be watching the Super Bowl in holograms where the players will be on your living room floor – virtually. Don’t believe me? Do you think that’s impossible? You’ll see.

So why then, am I so astounded that the new Unipress unit has a TV screen on which you can watch training films, monitor production, read the owner’s manual and connect your smart phone to it?

But there is so much more. When the Clean Show was last in Atlanta in 1987, FujiCar (now FujiStar), introduced the first rotary double-buck (although FORSE had dabbled in that years before), now PONY has entered the rotary double-buck market. Most notably, their version has a feature that I asked Santa Claus for in my December 2006. That month, I wrote this:

• “Perhaps it’s just a coincidence, but it seems that there are a lot of short shirt pressers. If I stand at a shirt press, I have to consider that the presser that is usually operating this machine is a foot shorter than me. How can I expect this person to be able to see the mirror to check the back? Or reach around to wipe the box pleat? Wouldn’t it be cool if the shirt machines had bucks that could be raised or lower – perhaps pneumatically or hydraulically – to assure the most comfortable working height for the operator? Seems like something could be done to make the job of pressing shirts as comfortable as possible. Shirt pressing need not be a back- breaking job.”
Thanks to its adjustable height on the PONY TWINS it is possible to set the form at a minimum height of 30” from the floor, making dressing the body much easier.

BANG! BANG!

My editors are pounding on my office door because it is deadline day in the newspaper business, so I gotta go. But its ok, nothing that I can write here today will do either of these units the slightest bit of justice. There is a lot more to say about them and many others. Watch my column throughout the summer where I will showcase an amazing array of new products and never-before-seen shirt press features.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.”