Meet GBPAP20’s Sustainability Winner (ITS Cat.): CHMS from Germany

The Sustainability Award for the Industrial Textile Service (ITS) category at The Global Best Practices Awards Program 2020 was received by Coburger Handtuch + Matten – Services (CHMS) from Germany, for unique achievements in terms of sustainable operation.

The Coburg towel and mat service is a pioneer in terms of energy and resource efficiency in the industry. That is why the specific water and energy demand in the existing operation is considerably below that of the industry. CHMS GmbH & Co. KG is a laundry for hand towels, dirt mats and mops in the district of Coburg (Bavaria). The family-owned business guarantees its satisfied customers in Northern Bavaria and Southern Thuringia that around 13 tons of towel rolls, 6 tons of mats and about 1 ton of mop covers are picked up, neatly cleaned and returned every day. The company has always endeavoured to work in a highly efficient way that conserves energy and resources.

The company plans to install an additional new machine. In this context, an innovative, cross- process, very efficient and holistic energy and water saving concept is implemented: the innovative networking of all water cycles results in considerable water savings. In addition to the use of rainwater and the treatment of wastewater, the process water from the washing and rinsing processes is used several times in terms of material, energetic and also energetic material.

In addition, the waste heat from wastewater, exhaust air from the dryer and part of the energy from a newly installed gas turbine-based combined heat and power plant is used. The energy requirements for the drying process are significantly minimized through a reduced process air requirement and the multiple use of heat. For a holistic use of heat, the waste heat generated by the various production processes is reused at the appropriate points throughout the entire operating process.

In parallel to the implementation of the holistic energy and water saving concept, RFID (radio frequency identification) technology is being introduced. In future, it will be used to label, assign and automatically wash individual items of laundry. The advantage: it can track, if required, the water and energy consumption in the washing process.

The Bavarian facility of CHMS

The CHMS GmbH & Co.KG from Rödental in the district of Coburg saves 12 million liters of water annually with the implementation of their overall project. That is almost 90 percent compared to the current level. The energy saving of 2,677 megawatt hours that has been tackled corresponds to a considerable reduction in the current total consumption of around 35%.

Associated with the savings is the avoidance of 657 tons of CO 2 per year, which also corresponds to a reduction of 67.5 percent compared to the previous technology with regard to climate protection. At the same time, the washing chemicals used are reduced by around 1.2 tons per year while maintaining the same washing quality.

CHMS intends to further improve energy efficiency by implementing the findings from the holistic view of energy and material flows. With the redesign of the washing and drying processes for the product groups mats and mop covers, the optimization of the most important supply processes that affect the overall operation, and the upgrading of a hall planned for purchase, efficiency increases are achieved compared to the existing operation. Through the cooperation with a partner company, the daily washing performance of the mentioned product groups is increased, so that only then is an economical implementation possible with high investments. The improvements CHMS have achieved in the sustainability field are the result of a continuous improvement process (CIP). “It is an endless project”, as Mr. Krause, the General Manager points out. “I was able to implement the changes only through adequate technical and process knowledge.


Degree of innovation – maximum

When processing dirt control mats and mop covers, the energy input – for washing and drying – is 0.243 kWh / kg of textile. In addition, 0.08 kWh / kg of textile was used for the entire operation . This corresponds to CO 2 emissions of approx. 0.049 kg / kg of textile for use with natural gas plus an additional approx. 0.043 kg / kg of textile. The CO2 emissions for electricity generation are to be reduced significantly through the predominant in-house generation of electricity.

In an industry comparison, CHMS is largely unique with its holistic energy and resource analysis and extensive use of waste heat from wastewater, dryer and ironer exhaust air as well as the direct use of slightly polluted process water. The standard equipment of the companies is limited to waste water heat exchangers and in rare cases to heat recovery systems from individual tumble dryers. The systematic optimization and linking of the processes across system boundaries can be called a unique selling point of CHMS.

Jochem Krause, CHMS’ General Manager

The 10-chamber washing line with overhead conveyor loading and laundry bag storage enables the processing of a constant flow of goods. The washing process is divided into three zones: pre-wash, final wash and rinse. The subsequent steps of finishing (usually neutralizing the laundry) and dewatering are only of subordinate importance with regard to energy and water consumption. Different types of process water are used in the process. Recovered water from the two centrifuges , fresh water and rainwater is used in the rinsing process. This rinsing water, which is heated in a “dewatering” tank, runs in countercurrent in the process section and is then collected in a “rinsing” tank at the end. For the main wash process, slightly soiled, detergent-containing wastewater from the towel roll process is used simultaneously and then also collected in the “Rinse” tank. The filtered water from the “Rinse” tank is fed to the pre-wash process. Because of the high pollution load, part of the process water is drained off. After several filter stages, the energy from this waste water is transferred to the fresh water used via a water-water heat exchanger. The cooled wastewater is cleaned in a treatment plant and the filtrate is fed to the pre-washing process.


CHMS’ profile, together with the profiles of all GBPAP2020 Official Nominees can be found on WOPCOM. More info – here!

GBPAP2020, a great streaming success!

Over 26.000 professionals from the industry followed The Global Best Practices Awards 2020 in an extensive program of some 7 hours on November 4 and 5 last and witnessed how the international independent jury of 20 professionals gave the Overall Awards to Oceanside Cleaners from the USA (Retail Textile Cleaning Cat -SME), Oxwash from the UK (Retail Textile Cleaning Cat Big) and GCS – BIH 77 from France (Cat Industrial Textile Services).