Wientjens BV – the Dutch water company with a worldwide reach Gerry Wientjens, director of the family firm beside the classic image of a ‘green’ Dutch landscape which shows: a village church spire, lush meadows and drainage ditches with a herd of contented Friesian/Holstein cattle beside a washing line with pure, white, laundry
Irving Scott reports
hen Gerry Wientjens joined the family firm of Wientjens BV in 1986 at the age of 27, he was not to know that his world was set to undergo a life and business changing experience. Founded in 1957 by Gerry’s father Theo, the Wientjens business had established itself throughout Europe as a sophisticated designer and developer of, very productive, 100Kg, solventbased, machines for leather processing businesses and industrial textile cleaning. These machines are among the most advanced solvent systems yet seen having enhanced solvent distillation and separation abilities which reduced the percentage of solvent to less than two per cent remaining in the residue left after processing. The Wientjens’ designs took the company to a leading position in the tanning business worldwide in co-operation with Akzo-Nobel, but by the late 1980s and early 1990s the shift away from the traditional processing centres to manufacturing bases much further east, led to a consolidation of the ownership amongst the leather processors and new directions were sought by the Wientjens family firm. The pressures of changing market forces coincided with the early and sudden death in 1987 of Theo Wientjens, leaving the business in the hands of his wife and eldest son Gerry, who had then been with the company for less than one year. A new direction for the business was thus doubly enforced and the chosen path led Wientjens BV, over the next 20 years, to a leading position in the development of machinery, systems and processes in the world of water. For a small Dutch company to be involved with
water in a fundamental manner is not too surprising. For centuries the Dutch nation has fought, lived and in many cases, died, in the pursuit of control over the power and energy inherent in this essential component for the existence of all life forms on earth. For the people of Holland their very existence and quality of life is entirely bound up with harnessing and controlling the ever dominant presence of water. Windmills, dams, dykes and canals are the visible expression in the Dutch environment, of the nation’s continuous battle against the surrounding rivers and sea. The Wientjens business set about exercising control over more basic elements in the control of water. Utilising the emerging developments relating to energy recovery and water recycling which the Wientjens company had invested in, led to the successful production of industry-leading systems which took heat recovery efficiencies and energy saving, to new higher levels.
The Aqua series of Wientjens equipment has been developed with the needs of the world laundry industry in primary focus. Washer-extractors and continuous tunnel washers require large volumes of input water and the Wientjens AquaCycler© is designed to filter the recycled effluent from earlier wash processes and produce input water at between 25ºC and 45ºC with a filtrate level of as little as 115 microns (0.0115mm). Radical savings in heat required for a reduced level of ‘new’ fresh water input are thus combined with wash liquor recycled at acceptable levels of purity for the next cycle. The combination of energy saving and purification of the process water recycled, has been a hallmark of the Wientjens range of machines since the 1990s and the success of the Aqua series has led, through the combined experience from hundreds of laundry installations worldwide, to an enviable energy saving and performance standard which leads the water recycling
industry as well as the energy saving and carbon and water footprint reduction demands of modern industrial processing. Exemplifying and emphasizing the Wientjens’ determination to set new levels of performance in water systems management the AquaMiser© series has taken water quality delivery in production processes to levels not usually experienced in those businesses where quality is naturally expected. AquaMiser© uses a two-step, deep filtration system, which leads to the filtration of wash water to 25microns (0.0025mm). In parallel with this development the Wientjens AquaMiser© is designed to clean itself! This cleaning function happens automatically because the AquaMiser© senses contamination of the filters and dirty water automatically discharges to sewer outfall, while filter cleaning is enabled, using a reverse rinse pump which takes an average of eight seconds to clean the filters in
the system. This design feature represents a much improved cleaning performance when compared to the difficulties experienced in older and less flexible systems currently seen in this competitive market, when they are asked to deal with minute, particles and fibre structures in the process water. For those businesses where ultra high levels of water purity in their process is an absolute requirement the AquaUF© system by Wientjens, gives guaranteed delivery of highest quality water, combined with completely acceptable levels of effluent discharge where strict public water controls apply. Workwear laundries provide excellent examples of plants where the Wientjens AquaUF© systems provide economic and productive solutions to the twin requirement for input and output water quality. Energy efficient water heating for all process applications is of primary importance and the Wientjens range addresses these, with
Energy efficient water heating for all process applications is of primary importance
market-leading efficiency and effect, through a set of three systems which bring the concept of the ‘steam-free laundry’ within reach of every laundry now operating – even as a retro-fit option in existing plants. The Wientjens AquaHeater© range frees all plants requiring steam for washing as an energy source to finally move to an energy efficient and ‘steam-free’ future. Considered as a range of either interlinked or independent modules, the AquaHeater© system provides virtually instant heated water using a specially developed stainless steel heat exchanger which enables the cooling of exhaust gasses below their condensation point. This results in delivering efficiency levels in energy utilization in excess of 99 per cent and allows this small, footprint system to be installed very close to the point of use, thus enhancing the cost saving potential inherent in the steam-free energy-saving concept. There are no long runs of pipe work from the now redundant boiler house, with concomitant saving in costs in maintenance and annual inspection charges. In water recycling and in heat energy savings systems produced, delivered and installed by Wientjens BV the same attention to design excellence and production efficiency are built in to the delivered system. Wientjens – the Dutch water company provides much more than clean, hot, water. It does it to a standard and with an economy, which takes cost savings in production processes to new levels wherever the Wientjens systems are in use - in hundreds of laundry and many other installations, which feel the direct benefits on their bottom line. W ientjens – T he Dutch water company which makes water work for you.
February 2011 LCT 9