ISTOBAL is a leading multinational group in the design, manufacture, market and service of vehicle wash and care solutions, headquartered in Valencia (Spain). With over 70 years’ experience, ISTOBAL harnesses innovation and the latest technology to provide products and services that generate high returns for the car wash business and high added value for users.

The company is committed to innovation, technology, sustainability, digitization and customer orientation for the development of comprehensive, flexible and global solutions that respond to the needs of customers, increase the profitability of the sector and improve the user experience.

The GROUP has 10 subsidiaries in Europe, America and Asia, four production and final assembly plants in Spain, the United States, Brazil and China, as well as a wide network of distributors throughout the world. International sales currently account for 75% of the production.

Interview with Antonio Martínez, General Manager at ISTOBAL Group.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Antonio Martínez: Our integrated solutions and services cover the entire wash and care sector for all types of vehicles: from cars and motorcycles to trucks, buses, subways, trams and trains,

One of our differential values is that we control the entire value chain, from R&D, manufacturing, marketing and installation of wash equipment, to the formulation of our own line of chemical products and the manufacture of water treatment.

We also develop all kinds of services related to the wash and care business, from maintenance or connectivity systems, to equipment leasing formulas or marketing services focused on the profitability of our customers as well as the user experience.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

A.M: We have just launched our innovative rollover in series: ISTOBAL M’WASH4, has transformed the car wash and care sector through more efficient, intuitive and connected technology, boosting productivity and profitability in the car wash and care business.

ISTOBAL M’WASH4 enables higher quality car washing and drying in less time, sustainably with lower water, energy and chemical consumption, and also providing a faster, easier and more fun user experience.

At the level of equipment for industrial wash, ISTOBAL HW’COMPAK and ISTOBAL HW`INTRAWASH stand out. ISTOBAL HW’COMPAK is a faster, more efficient and sustainable automatic rollover for external wash of commercial vehicles. It reduces electricity consumption by 35%, optimizes the use of water and chemicals, saving 30 liters per standard wash in 18-meter trailers.

ISTOBAL HW`INTRAWASH is an internationally patented system aimed at the interior washing and professional disinfection of refrigerated trailers, truck beds, trailers and maritime containers. This equipment achieves an effective and safer disinfection in the interior cleaning of trucks compared to manual washing and reduces the average cleaning time by 60%.

At the level of water treatment systems, we enable consumption and savings of water, with a better final quality of the wash. Some of the large consumers of water are the car washes of industrial fleets, buses and trains, which are increasingly investing in the reuse of wash water, and where ISTOBAL is providing solutions such as our new MBBR biological recycling system.

Among the latest ISTOBAL innovations, our biological purification and recycling equipment by ultrafiltration also stands out 4R2D2, capable of treating 100% of the water from external vehicle washing. Through this system, the highest quality water is obtained for its subsequent reuse in all wash phases, including osmosis in the final finish, which achieves savings of up to 2 million liters of water per year in last generation rollovers. 

In reference to accessories, we have developed ISTOBAL 4AA1200, the first smart vacuum cleaner with connectivity, pay-as-you-go and standby mode.

Likewise, it is worth mentioning Smartwash by ISTOBAL, a complete connectivity system that turns the car wash business into a fully connected, autonomous, controlled and monitored facilities.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.M: In the last 6-7 years we have completely renewed our product range. We cover the entire value chain, a comprehensive offer of products and services that includes customized advice, automatic wash (rollover and tunnels), pressure jet wash solutions, accessories, recycling systems and water treatment, chemical products, as well as technical assistance services, spare parts, leasing formulas and consultancy for the development of marketing plans. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.M: The new scenarios of mobility, connectivity and digitization are playing a determining role in our sector. More technological and digital facilities are demanded, which offer greater productivity and profitability, washing with maximum efficiency and a pleasant experience for the end user. Similarly, sustainability is another factor on the rise.

At ISTOBAL we are pioneers in the development of comprehensive technologies that reduce water consumption, as well as chemicals and energy, promoting a sustainable vehicle wash industry.

We provide the sector with solutions to deal with water scarcity and enable the activity of car washes in periods with water restrictions derived from drought, since they allow recycling, saving and decontaminating water in wash facilities. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.M: In our opinion, digitization, connectivity and sustainability are the big trends.

We are moving towards 100% connected wash facilities that allow digital management of the washing process. With this, it is possible to know all the accounting data and the state of the wash spaces with remote supervision and management of the machines, in addition to having information on consumer behavior that allows us to personalize the service and offer a better customer experience. washed.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

A.M: At ISTOBAL we have more than 30 registered patents in different countries. We have our own innovation department with more than 40 professionals, covering different specialties (mechanics, electronics, chemicals, etc.). In addition, we have developed an internal and external innovation program in collaboration with universities, start-ups, technological institutes, companies, etc.

Among the most innovative products recently launched on the market, those mentioned above stand out, such as the ISTOBAL rollovers M’WASH4 and ISTOBAL HW’COMPAK, among others.

E.E: What estimates do you have for the rest of 2022?

A.M: At the company level, we foresee continued growth in the coming years, driven by a strategy based on innovation, digital transformation, internationalization and a value proposition. with comprehensive, flexible and global products and services that increase the profitability of the sector and improve the user experience.

We also continue to bet on connectivity and data intelligence with a wide range of products connected to Smartwash with which we mark a new generation of washing equipment and lead the digital transformation in the sector.

In addition, we continue to focus our efforts on the development of products focused on respect for the environment, prioritizing the final quality of the wash, the user experience and the profitability of the operation. Through our teams, the company will continue to enable efficient consumption of resources, maximum reduction in water, energy and chemical consumption without affecting the final result of cleaning and prioritizing the safety of end users and operators.

Our commitment is to position ISTOBAL as a leading technological company that knows how to take advantage of opportunities, is open to innovation and capable of adapting to new scenarios offering comprehensive and global solutions.

As for the vehicle wash sector, it will continue to move towards digitization, the incorporation of new technologies and, without a doubt, sustainability.