Team player scores in the back of the net24 September 2020
There’s a new player in the game supplying heavy duty laundry equipment to all sectors and Industrial Laundry Equipment is already turning heads and scoring goals with its performance
Industrial Laundry Equipment (ILE) is the exclusive supplier of a complete range of high quality laundry equipment suitable for industrial and commercial laundries of all types.
With more than 15 years’ experience in the industrial laundry sector, working with small independent laundries through to large corporations and Government bodies, the directors of ILE have the knowledge and ability to deal with all types of customers and projects.
Full service capabilities offering same day-next day service and a large UK parts holding, means ILE can get you up and running quickly, in the unfortunate event of a breakdown.
As the exclusive supplier of ILE ownbranded high-quality laundry equipment to the UK and Ireland the company works closely with its manufacturing partners to ensure the highest quality and reliability.
ILE manufacturing partners are professional laundry equipment manufacturers and laundry solution providers committed to providing factory and project planning, production line layout, equipment configuration, laundry operation guidance and complete service support. With a young team full of energy and passion ILE’s elite engineers and product designers are highly educated and comprehensively trained, thoroughly mastering the core technology.
Having made a substantial investment, ILE is in the position to provide one of the widest ranges of laundry equipment and offer more comprehensive solutions to customers at home and abroad. The product range includes smaller stand-alone machines through to complete tunnel and ironing lines and the target customer base covers coin-op and on-premise laundries through to large industrial installations.
According to Richard Brown, owner and managing director of ILE: “We utilise three production bases, two in Shanghai and one in central China, incorporating some of the world’s most advanced processing equipment including the largest hydraulic press, the most advanced CNC equipment, welding robots as well as coating and assembly lines which offer technology of assembly and production that reaches the highest international standards.
“My industry experience told me that many customers were looking for a change and a little more choice. We have the established big boys and a handful of people who import products from various countries with varying amounts of success/support. The idea behind establishing ILE was to become the viable and safe alternative choice that could offer the best of both.
“The process officially started at the end of August 2019 and has seen numerous visits to different manufacturing plants and trade shows as part of a thorough quality control process. Various restrictions were in place as a result of past employment, so while we were unable to approach customers, we used the time and a significant amount of money to develop and grow behind the scenes.
“We have taken engineers to the production facilities and overseen design modifications that ensure our equipment is built to a recognised European level and is not the ‘cheap Chinese equipment’ that some people stereotype. The premium range is fantastic, and while it isn’t a cheap range due to the components and build additions, it certainly competes with any European machine on the market. We have also got a range of economy washers that allows us to cater for all budgets, but we have still worked to ensure that even the economy range is a good quality robust and reliable machine.”
Michael Saul of M Saul Electrical, one of the first engineers to visit the factories and work on the development, comments: “It is a bit of an eye-opener because you have certain misconceptions but then realise how high the quality can be and how responsive the manufacturers are to change. I have also been mightily impressed by how we can get instant technical response from around 11pm – 4pm (often in minutes). Having worked on many different brands over the past 40 years and I can say with complete sincerity that this is as good quality as most and the backup is great.”
Debbie Brown, ILE’s service director, had three years’ experience working in service for Girbau UK’s industrial division and has a firm understanding of the requirements of a commercial or industrial laundry. Debbie Brown says: “I know how important it is to be able to get a customer up and running quickly, so having access to engineers and spares as well as being able to keep a customer updated on the status of a repair/ breakdown, is all extremely important. It is essential that we can support our customers and reduce any downtime, so with the majority of parts being known brand and available on the shelves in the UK, combined with our comprehensive parts holding, we are happy that we have things covered and have already proved that we offer a same day/next day service.”
Debbie Brown tells of an early example of ILE service when one of the three Economy 54kg washers supplied to Nottingham City Hospital “had a bath”. “A non-machinerelated water pipe over the washer burst and resulted in a wet machine and fault codes. Within three hours of the call, we had a new motor on site. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the problem as first thought, so we got technical advice from the factory and returned at 7am the following morning with a new inverter from stock and full parameters. Problem solved.”
With the pandemic hitting, the strains and pressures on the industry at present are harsh, but despite that ILE has a couple of positive success stories to report.
Mark and Ashley Johnson of A1 Laundries, the North East’s newest commercial laundry, have recently become customers of ILE and seen first-hand how good the equipment is, reports Richard Brown. Mark Johnson said “I used to be the production director at Watford Laundry and have experience with all of the main manufacturers on the market. I also worked for Girbau UK until quite recently, so I certainly know laundry equipment. I became aware that something was happening at ILE and made contact. We have now bought a 120kg tilting washer, a 60kg, a 100kg gas dryer and then a 3-roll belt ironer, folder and stacker. The washers are the premium range and I can certainly say that they are just that. The folder is fantastic and as good as any I have seen in past in terms of its build and the finished product it gives. Finally, the ironer is a revelation as it is half the price of a calendar, still utilises thermal oil and allows us to produce high quality at much higher speeds than if we bought a return feed or more compact machine.”
JLR Commercial Laundry in Brentwood took the lockdown as an opportunity to move and expand their operation. Mitchell and Jake Gordon had been scouring the market for months, and making contact with ILE were pleased at what they found. Mitchell Gordon says: “We were unhappy with the service levels from our existing supplier and obviously this was also a bit of a worry when talking to a new company, but our fears have been allayed because the service we have already received is fantastic. We get regular calls to check that we are OK and have seen a very professional, hands-on approach from ILE and its associated installers and engineers. We initially needed a couple of big washers and a dryer and took delivery of 100kg premium models, which we love.
“The 100kg washers even have heating elements to allow us to hold our temperature and achieve thermal disinfection after filling with our new Rinnai hot water system. We were so impressed with the washers and dryer that we gave ILE the opportunity to quote on a new ironing line that we were close to ordering elsewhere…Again, we have gone with ILE and while the equipment was not cheaper than comparable units elsewhere, we feel that we have got a better overall offering. Instead of a gas 2-roll 800 calendar ironer, we have a combination ironer that has the 2 x 800mm chests but also an additional 800mm roller to act as a preconditioning roll. This setup speeds up the line no end. The folder is great and the manual feeder with suction, spreading bar and brushes is very impressive compared to others I’d seen. What really struck me is that, I am not an engineer but, even I recognised components such as Riello burners, Schneider, Mitsubishi, Chint, Bonfiglioli gearboxes and so on. This combined with the visible build quality and comments of numerous independent engineers has really filled me with confidence for the future. I cannot recommend ILE or their products any more highly and we are very happy customers.”
For more information on ILE please visit www.ile.ltd