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Forecast For The Future

After being a part of this industry for over 30 years, I’d like to take a look past day-to-day operations to offer a forecast for our industry within the next 20 years.

Laundry Management: Large organizations that support laundry operations, government, institutional, hospitality, and linen rental must escalate the training of personnel that are responsible for production and management in order to be competitive in the next 20 years. Laundry managers who are very competent, experienced and well educated by the industry are starting to become a thing of the past.

Web Based Linen Management and Laundry Production Programs supported by many textile companies and applicable consultants should be the norm in each highly productive laundry plant.

Equipment: The use of steam heated flatwork ironers will soon become a thing of the past as these systems that require expensive boiler operations and operators will be replaced by highly efficient self contained gas and or oil fired systems. The use of steam may become a thing of the past in laundry operations.

While the basics of automation have been here for several years, mostly supported by Continuous Batch Tunnel Washers, I believe that methods of extraction will change the way we wash and finish textiles. While I would like to forecast drastic improvements in soiled sorting and conveyance, to date nothing spectacular has caught my attention.

Chemicals: Service is the key. Those receiving poor or even average service should simply change suppliers, managers should never place themselves in a situation of just not changing, it is really very simple.

Textiles: Bio-Based products may be the future providing the industry can develop these products economically. The next 5 years will be critical.

I forecast a very unique move by laundry managers responsible to purchase items that provide the best value to the operation in lieu of low cost. Education is essential.

Clean Show: I feel that The Clean Show will remain status quo and stable. It will continue to influence the market place in a positive way.

Education: All organizations responsible for such endeavors must expand horizons to match the state-of-art emphasis on process. However, educating in areas such as production methods for different systems, maintenance and systems design must receive a renewed emphasis. Managers need to learn how to build on their operations.

Regulatory Issues: I forecast that many states will incorporate the requirement that healthcare laundries be certified by some process, absent the involvement of other regulatory elements like OSHA, EPA, CDC and JCAHO. For this to happen someone needs to make a political push.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.

“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”

“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”

Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.

“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”