In 2008, JENSEN introduced the CleanTech concept and pioneered a new approach for the laundry industry. The objective of the JENSEN CleanTech concept is to increase the efficiency of the primary energy and to reduce its use with gas-operated laundry machines. When developing laundry machines, the JENSEN-GROUP concentrates on achieving high performance and minimum energy and water consumption. In addition to direct gas operation, this involves the integration of internal energy and water recovery systems. When JENSEN machines achieve higher process temperatures, the drying and finishing times are dramatically shortened, which increases productivity.
JENSEN-GROUP is committed to sustainable laundry automation and to supporting laundries in increasing their performance with equipment and solutions that guarantee more output with fewer resources used.
Dan Munch, Product Development Manager with JENSEN Denmark, explains how all engineering activities have become greener in the excerpt below from an interview which was previously published in “Bornholms Tidende,” a publication from the Danish island of Bornholm. Munch has been working with JENSEN Denmark, the JENSEN-GROUP’s competence center for flatwork finishing technology, for more than 20 years. He is in charge of Product Development and the ideas he created together with his team are used in JENSEN’s flatwork finishing machines.
Dan Munch reflects for a brief moment before answering the question of what it would have looked like for JENSEN if the company had not been at the forefront of the development and launched the CleanTech strategy, which runs throughout the company:
“We would not be able to meet the needs of our customers,” says Munch. “Many years ago, we had no urgent reason to do anything about energy optimization, but we could see the need for such a development coming. That’s why the JENSEN-GROUP laid out a strategy for sustainability, which is compiled under the name CleanTech.”
Initially, most markets were not asking for CleanTech solutions. However, within the past couple of years, it has really caught on, especially in Southern European countries. Local regulations have been imposed on laundries, and that’s what drives them to seek the solutions now. They must be able to document to the authorities that their suppliers meet the new requirements being set. We have sent a lot of documentation detailing our processes. In reality, we knew all along which direction the wind was blowing, so we were early to ask our customers if they would benefit from the company’s new initiatives.”
“We are satisfied that the market has opened up to green solutions. We have been continuously analyzing: Would it create value for our customers if we launched more energy-efficient products? Would they pay for it? Laundries are increasingly seeing the need, also because governments are giving pressure”.
CleanTech is not just about the function of the industrial laundries JENSEN supplies equipment to, but about the whole process behind it, Dan Munch explains:
“We generally think about energy efficiency and work with high-efficiency motors. Every year, we strive to improve on all products in terms of gas and air consumption – which consumes a lot of energy – and electricity in general. We also look at where the steel we use comes from. What quality does it have, how is it manufactured, is it produced in countries that have a completely different standard than we use here?
In addition, JENSEN Denmark invests in recycled plastics for its production process. This has proven to be a challenge: In Denmark, 400,000 tonnes (881,849,000 lbs.) of plastic are produced annually, while only 50,000 tonnes (110,231,000 lbs.) are recycled. This is not enough to meet the demands of JENSEN Denmark, and therefore their suppliers must retrieve recycled material in Sweden and the Netherlands, where plastic recycling is much further ahead. We also have to consider transport costs – green as well as economic – against the effect of recycling. That calculation is still correct, though there is no saving to reuse.
The price of new plastic compared to recycled is the same. There is no difference. So, we do not do this to save money, but because it is our goal that we want to recycle as much as possible.
The long-term strategy is now catching up with customers, which is why the development manager is still working to find new solutions that can improve the company’s green competitive environment before being overtaken by regulations.”
CleanTech in the 20’s and beyond
“We must prepare for what is to come. We are the market leaders, so we must also be the leader in green solutions. We are very conscious of our position and the task it gives us to be a leader: We need to help push development forward, and because of our size, we have the opportunity to increase the speed of that development,” says Munch.