Saturday, 13 September 2008

Breaking news: Xeros waterless cleaning

Post number 7:
Breaking news:
Xeros Waterless washing and dry cleaning as developed by Leeds University in 2007: Please note Contacts: Mr Martin Gregson on 07828 573 827 and Dr Rob Rule on 07917 584 354.

Post number 7:

Breaking news:

Xeros Waterless washing and dry cleaning as developed by Leeds University in 2007: Please note Contacts: Mr Martin Gregson (previously, technical director of Johnson Cleaners and failry familiar with CCCC's new improved Perc technolgy) on 07828 573 827 and Dr Rob Rule on 07917 584 354.

The press release is a godsend to the long awaited and difficult problem of replacing Perc as the dominant solvent in commercial dry cleaning. Hydrocarbon (early 90s), Liquid CO2 in the last few years (Fred Butler in Germany and Holland), and GreenEarth (UK in 2004) have found it difficult to replace Perc. Will Xeros succeed while others haven't?

DEFRA has given Perc a lease of life for another 2 decades or so until suitable replacements are found. Our findings reveal that Perc’s failure to clean adequately and new technologies not succeeding to replace it, caused panic in the fashion industry. The latter has almost turned its back on dry cleaning altogether and produce washables in ever more volumes.

We phoned Dyllis Williams of the London College of fashion last year who stated that an after care fit for purpose is of prime consideration for the fashion industry before they attempt manufacturing any thing that needs dry cleaning. Hence, the prevailing collapses of the British and world wool and silk industries, as is evident.

The unsatisfactory performance of new technologies and Perc’s failure brought to the fore the need for the introduction of a suitable technology instantly to restore confidences in fashion and garment industries. The consumer must also sorely miss the lack of alternatives to jeans and t shirts such as pleated skirts, jackets and suits.

Nearly 5,000 Perc machines need to be replaced in the UK at the drop of a hat to remove suffocating bottle necks. Therefore, Leed’s innovations are indeed timely, or are they? We had a closer look:

We phoned Dr Rob Rule on Monday 28 July this year to find out more. He stated that the technology is not for commercial use. More plastic chips is required than the volume of clothes in the ‘washer’ drum to achieve results that are indeed comparable to results achieved in the current domestic washers. Chips also remove stains fairly effectively.

We note at first glance that Xeros’ commercialisation for dry cleaning purposes, if considered, would require larger drum sizes and hence wider and taller or deeper machines. Space requirements in all the existing 5,000 shops may not permit instant machine replacements. The application would seem to be suited for new installations with larger floor areas, and/or higher ceilings, one would imagine.

Also, care labels in use such as P and P_ were devised for cleaning by Perc, White Spirit (phased out long ago), and Fluorocarbon, also phased out. Strictly speaking, fashion and garment industries may have to work with a new set of care labels to be designed by Xeros.

In conclusion, it would appear that CCCC and it’s improved 'segregated', and public health oriented technology is the only option to come to the rescue of all concerned, instantly RIGHT NOW and at the drop of a hat; and still worth investing in, until teething problems with Xeros and other technologies in the pipeline are sorted out.

Domestic users of Xeros will be given more pressing/ironing/steam finishing to do on their dry cleaning needs just cleaned by Xeros. It may be that existing ‘non segregated’ dry cleaners of today will get busier in offering ‘press only’ services, or there may be growth in businesses for man/woman with vans offering pressing and ironing services.

‘Segregated’ work from the domestic sector ending up in the 'non segregated' shops and vans will cause cross infections to occur (spotting table practices). Future public health regulations and byelaws (to be devised by CCCC, local authorities and NHS’s NISE) will ensure Xeros’ home cleaning to end up in the CCCC 'segregated' licensed shops for pressing/finishing needs. Who knows? May be CCCC and Xeros will end up working side by side. We at CCCC can do that right now and help Xeros plan ahead.

Feed backs are welcome.



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