As is a custom with CINET trips for (inter)national visitors a number of company visits were organized in the Shanghai area. For this trip three visits where organized. The CINET delegation was the first to visit the new state of the art laundry factory from Fornet, one of Fornet’s 1200 dry cleaning shops and one the ILSA cleaners in Shaghai.
NEW Fornet Industrialized Laundry facility is setting a high quality standard for garment service
The new Fornet laundry setup with all latest technologies is located in Shanghai and about to start business. In this laundry about 15000 items will be cleaned and finished every week. These items are brought back to the customer within 24-36 hours.
Some special items will even be returned faster within 8 hours. Quality and on time delivery are the key goals of this operation. Building trust, delivering high quality and cleanness is the main motto of the Fornet company and they put this in practice with this new laundry. CINET visited the company after the Texcare Asia Show on November the 27th 2015.
Extendable loading platform for efficiency
RFID technology to ensure optimal flow
The laundry is equipped with an in house lane for fast unloading of the trucks. After unloading the carts will enter the process through a RFID portal. All garments have UHF RFID chips. The first portal confirms that the garments and cart are arrived at the laundry. By using RFID technology the internal logistics can be optimised, the process of sorting of the soiled and cleaned garments are automated to optimise the efficiency of the process. By having an automated flow of the laundry with the right cleaning, finishing, packaging and delivery process the tight time schedule can be met.
Automated detecting and measuring of garments
The garments entering the laundry process will be unloaded on a conveyer belt. The garments will be scanned by X-ray equipment to sort out foreign items like pens, tools, key’s, etcetera. More especial this equipment will also determine the weight of the fabric by the density and volume of the fibres. By doing so the sorting process can determine the right load for each process. After the first control station the garments are transported by a conveyer to the automated sorting station. Here the garments are delivered to the right carts. Items that are not chipped will be collected here as well. When the cart is full a process ticket is printed with the weight, type of process and program.
Selecting the right cleaning technology
The cleaning process is divided into dry cleaning, wet cleaning and laundry. The dry cleaning process exists of 1 Perc machine and 2 Hydrocarbon machines. The laundry is performed by 6 wash extractors, 4 of 77 kg and 2 of 55 kg. In total 5 dryers will dry the garments. The wet cleaning process is done by 4 machines of 14 kg and 1 machine of 6 kg with the matching dryers. Based on the RFID scanning process the right cleaning technology is determined. Based on the determined weight the dosing of the chemicals is adapted.
Setting the benchmark for sustainability
The waste water of the process is collected in an underground storage and treated by pre-filtration and RO membrane filtration. By doing so up to 80% of the water can be re-used in the process. Fresh water is added to the treated water for the other 20%. After the filtration 20% of the water is discharged as waste water. Also the cooling water of the dry cleaning machines is stored in isolated tanks and reused in the washing process. By this process the company is setting the benchmark for sustainability.
Optimal flow by automated rail systems
After the cleaning and drying process the garments are placed on an conveyer belt and placed on hangers. The garments on the hangers will be scanned and processed by an automated rail system. The garments will be delivered to the finishing process they require. The finishing department is divided in different sections: an ironing and shirt-finishing section, and topper and ironing section, a form finisher and ironing section and a tunnel finisher. After the finishing the garments are placed back on the hangers an transported to the quality control station.
Full automatic transportation systems throughout the factory
Guarantee 100% high quality
The quality control is based on an 100% inspection. When the items are rejected the are transported back to the process for the right treatment to upgrade the quality. Items that need small repairs, like buttons, are repaired in-house. More time consuming and specialised repairs are outsourced. With every repair the value of the garment and the cost of the repair is evaluated. Therefore more time consuming repairs are not performed. When the value of the garments does not justify repair, the items are discharged.
High delivery service
After the quality control a second sorting and collecting area is entered. The garments a sorted on location, style and size. When transportation the ready the garments are prepared and slided on the transportation bar in the right order. The truck is loaded in the internal loading lane and before entering the truck the carts and garments are scanned by and UHF RFID portal to check them out of the laundry.
Building on optimal service, quality and sustainability
This whole unique system is designed to set the benchmark for quality, sustainability and service. The whole laundry will be operated for 14-16 hours a day. The shifts are following the process, starting with the sorting and cleaning shift, followed by the finishing and sorting and packaging shifts. Each shift will work for approximately 8 hours. The laundry can be operated by 35-40 people. Optimal working conditions are provided and the people are trained and educated in-house to achieve highly motivated and qualified employees. Optimisation of the quality and service is also achieved by the data management, one of the most important items in this laundry. By collecting and analysing the data the service, quality and process will be optimised the coming years.
ILSA Cleaners Shanghai
After the Texcare Asia show on November 28th, CINET organised a company visit to one of the ILSA cleaning shops in Shanghai. The shop was exploiting the standard formula, equipped with one PERC dry cleaning machine, one wash extractor and two ironing tables. As an additional service the shop also offers a shoe cleaning option. The shop was clearly branded according the ILSA cleaners concept and showed the awards and recognitions their received for their support to the society.
ILSA cleaners is a franchise organisation with over 500 textile cleaning locations in P.R. China. The company started in 1990 and in 1996 the ILSA equipment was imported from Italy to be the leading supplier of the company.
The company has extensive experience to tailor the shop formulas to the market opportunities and developments. The franchise concept are offered in three different shop formulas differentiated to the needs of the local market: the standard model, the elite model and the top model. The standard model targets about 2000 households with an income up to 10.000 yuan and standard quality. The elite model offers a higher quality and targets 2000-3000 households with an average to high income. The top model shops offers high quality to over 3000 household with an high income of 12.000 yuan or more.
Fornet: One stop shop; Trust, high quality and cleanness
Another stop of the CINET delegation was the Fornet office and location in Shanghai after the Texcare Asia show where the franchise concept of the 1200 dry cleaning shops from Fornet was explained Zhu Lijun, general manager of Fornet.
CINET visits Fornet shop and office
The visit to one of the shops in Shanghai by the CINET delegation after the Texcare Asia show, showed the philosophy as discussed in the Fornet office in Shanghai in practice. The, according to the Fornet style, designed shop looked clean and bright. Two dry cleaning machines, one with PERC and one with HCS is operated in the shop. Also two wash extractors are present for laundry items. Also the shoe cleaning and leather restoration was incorporated in this shop. The cleaning, restoration and recolouring is and delicate craftsmanship done by hand. Additional services like pick-up and delivery are offered to customers who request these services. The price level of the shops depend on the specific area where they are located.
Based on an extraordinary experience
The Fornet company was established in 1997 based on an extraordinary experience of its founder mr. Pai Pinchou. Spilling wine on his shirt during an business diner was supposed to ruin his evening. The restaurant offered a new shirt and brought his shirt to a textile cleaner. Before leaving the restaurant his shirt was returned, cleaned and finished, as new. The exquisite service triggered the idea to bring this concept to P.R. China.
A wide spread franchise organisation
From that day on the Fornet company is building on trust with high quality and service. These core values are incorporated in the concept of this company. From the fresh and modern design of the shops, to the additional services offered to their customers. As an franchise organisation about 600 franchisees are operating over 900 dry cleaning shops and 300 collection points. Some 140 shops are owned by Fornet themselves in the major key cities of P.R. China. They are represented in 13 provinces of P.R. China and in 300 cities. Only in Beijing 200 Fornet shops are located.
Offering the services and solutions the customers require
Fornet started as a dry cleaning company offering high quality services to the customers. They operate with selected suppliers and when necessary developing their own products. Meanwhile the product range has expanded to shoe cleaning, leather restoration, carpet and furniture cleaning and their own cleaning products like wipes and soaps. Ms. Zhu Lijun explained; “we focus on textiles and cleaning and offer the services and solutions the customers require”. New developments are the establishment of alteration shop under the brand Manuela. These shops will be located near or included in the Fornet shops. Also the development of an smartphone APP to offer tailored services and communicate with the customers on delivery and pick up is developed and tested these days.
Ms. Zhu Lijun explaining their new cleaning products