Over the past 3 months, I have featured presentations of the newest offerings by shirt pressing equipment manufacturers.  The new and exciting machines were, undoubtedly, the best that I’ve seen.  Nearly every manufacturer had something truly awesome to show.  It has been my format to cap off my clean show equipment columns with a column about the new products for shirt launderers.  In the past, this has ranged from absolutely nothing to a cornucopia of goodies.  2015 is one of those years.  I have a lot of things to show you, so if this column seems to end abruptly – like in the middle of a sentence or in the middle of a word – its because my editor figured that you wouldn’t read that far and ran out of print space.  Sigh.  That’s how they get ya!

 

It isn’t too often that Unipress is in this column, but they are, for two things

Cleaner’s Supply is always here and this year is no exception

Covers, Etc seems to always sneak in something particularly appropriate

How about an American made hanger?

And speaking of hangers…. My Christmas column a few years ago pinned for a shirt press that made its own hangers, one by one as shirts were being pressed.  Do you think that I’m saying that this has come to fruition?  You’ll see.

And then there is my favorite new product ever!

 

Not every new product will be about packaging or presentation, but Cleaner’s Supply introduced a full line of eco-friendly products.  These days, many drycleaners want to be ecologically friendly.  They use Convert-a-bags, GreenEarth solvent and solar panels.  Some will save a tree by emailing your receipt instead of printing it or not use twisties, and of course, the recycling hangers thing.  Cleaner’s Supply has introduced so many eco-friendly new products, all made out of 100% recycled materials, that it makes you feel as though we had only been scratching the surface of eco-friendly before.  Hanger tags, pop-ups, shirt bags, garment covers, tie boards an more.  By the time that you read this, Eco2Go.com (the new brand name for these items) will probably already be in use at your plant.  I think that it is forseeable that a drycleaner will soon be viewed as one of the most eco-friendly types of businesses rather than the other end of the spectrum.  Don’t be the last cleaner in your town to use Greenearth, convert-a-bags, recycled hangers and the complete line of Eco2go products.

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Have you had enough of hangers that come from places like Vietnam, Laos and China?  How about hangers from Peoria, Illinois or Nashville?  Indy Hanger was born out of Innovative Fabrication, a precision sheet metal company, where tight tolerances and reading specs is what they live and die by.  The hanger industry, domestic and overseas, has earned a bad reputation for inconsistent hooks, neck twists and hangers in genral.  The poor formation quality of these hangers result in jam-ups that cause garments to rain down from your conveyors costing you time and money.  They check roughly every 200 hangers for formation quality and other defects.  They are currently shipping over one million hangers per day!

The hangers are made of galvanized wire, so there is no paint to chip off and they always look new.  This will give you a higher use percentage of the hangers returned for re-use.  Their pants hangers are coated with a Clear Coat Latex that keeps the trousers in place but don’t collect lint.  Indy Hanger is worth a look!

Not many equipment manufacturers ever reverse-engineer their products. That is, going back to their past products and allowing you to make them better.  Understandably enough, when they make improvements, they make them on their new models with the sincere hope that you buy a new machine.  I think that its quite notable that Unipress is offering two new products that allow you to make the machine that you have now better and more trouble-free.  No matter the company, it says something about their integrity.

Are the hoses on your NT2, AP2 or LS2 aggravating you?  Too many splits and failures?  For about $300, you can replace nearly all of the hoses with specially made pipe –  kinda looks like muffler pipe.  And $300 is probably less than you spent of hoses, but now it’s a permanent repair.  And if you have one of the older machines that relied on an actuator (you know, those black tires) to squeeze the steam chests closed, you can now make them last much longer.  You can buy a Teflon “donut” that you can easily slip on between the two bladders to keep them from rubbing together.  Research has shown that a leading cause of failure of the actuators has been the rubber halves rubbing against each other.  Good thinking Unipress.

In December 2012, in my annual Holiday Wish List column, I wished for a shirt press that would make its own hangers.  I shared this fantasy with those that are more inclined to think like engineers rather than visionaries.  The hanger-maker idea is theoretically possible, but the cost may be other matter, it seemed.  A motor required to pull heavy wire from a spool to then form the hanger would be very costly.  Well, not so fast…. About to be released and years under development, is a hanger-maker machine for your own use!  It isn’t integrated into a shirt machine (yet), but I will guess that this is on the horizon once this machine is perfected by the maker, EZ-Products.  This is way cool!

Covers Etc manages to make this column every now and then and that’s rather difficult when you’re in the business of making pads and covers for someone else’s machines, but check this out:

Similar to the steam hose insulators for your all-steam iron, CEI offers an insulator for the handle on your irons.  Simple, effective and sure to please your pressers, this is available from your Covers, Etc. distributor.

Now, my favorite new product from Clean2015.  We are all familiar with the damp boxes for shirts, and many of us also have 4 bushel carts to keep lots and or stores segregated and even use these as damp boxes.  These all have a flaw that has never been brought to light.  Their footprint is too big.  We’ve never thought about it because its pointless if you don’t have a solution waiting in the wings.  Trevil does!  This is awesome.  They have a damp box that has an elevator spring-board built in.  This makes it possible for the dampbox to have a smaller footprint.  And the spring board allows you to use the previously wasted space below the dampbox to good use.  With the high rents these days, it makes good sense to get the most out of every square inch that you rent.  Furthermore, the Trevil damp box is sized to fit directly under the collar/cuff press.  I love this!

Now, if an iPhone app counts as a new product, then DLI’s new app is going to very hard to beat as not only my favorite product, but also as every drycleaner’s best friend.  Go to the AppStore and search “DLI”.  It’s a free download, but be certain that you are a Silver member or higher to activate it.

Using the app could not be easier.  All you do is click on the stain category (Food), then the stain (coffee), then the fabric type and the app gives you all of the step by step instructions on how to remove the stain.  Pretty cool!  Like most other apps, you will receive regular updates.  A client offered a minor problem with this concept so I will present the solution, as I did to them.  They prohibit cellphones in the plant so they thought that it would be tough to enforce such prohibition if the drycleaner was often seen on his phone – presumably, but not definitely – on the DLI app.  I suggested an iPod Touch or an older, otherwise archaic, iPad, either of which can be had on eBay for very little money.  Whichever you choose, it can be permanently mounted nearby the spotting board.  The DLI app is a must-have app for your plant!

Hey, you know what I always say….

 

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