Issue Date: 4 May 2016
The Great Leap Forward - Scrubber Driers Innovations
There may have been a time when manufacturers were moving towards smaller ranges of scrubber driers when each new design was promoted for its suitability across a range of applications. But just like the car market there are signs that manufacturers are designing for specific niches with innovative machines aimed at particular parts of the market. The reasoning is that generalist machines simply cannot always offer the performance and productivity that cleaning teams need to get the optimum efficiency and value from their contracts.
A good example of this approach is the TASKI swingo 2100 μicro, launched by Diversey Care last year. As you would expect from the market leader this all-new scrubber drier is packed with innovations. Conceived from the outset as an ultra-compact ride-on machine for working in confined areas where pedestrian models are traditionally used it offers the highest productivity in its class, up to 22 per better than comparable alternatives from other manufacturers.
One of the most striking features of this machine is its unique new offset cleaning capability. This allows the machine to work right up to a floor edge against a wall or similar obstruction. More of the floor is cleaned with an efficient machine and there is little or no need for unproductive secondary cleaning along floor edges with mops. Another innovation is the use of LED lighting which not only consumes less energy but also provides a brighter and whiter light. This helps the operator see the working area and makes the machine more visible to bystanders for added safety in busy areas.
The announcement that probably caused the biggest stir in the market this year was the arrival of the robotic cleaner. Machines which drive themselves and need no operator are already widely used in the materials handling industry, and robotic lawn mowers have been available for over two decades, so it is perhaps surprising it has taken until this year for one of the major cleaning machine manufacturers to introduce one. With simple programming these machines operate autonomously to clean floors quickly and efficiently. Operatives previously engaged with cleaning machines can now use some if not all of their time on value added and problem solving tasks that make a real difference to, and get noticed by, customers and building occupants. This “hands-free” cleaning is likely to revolutionise cleaning operations in the coming years.
The emergence of robotic machines is a good example of the increasing use of technology and automation in the cleaning industry. One key function that all automated machines must have to work safely and efficiently is to know precisely where they are at all times.
This capability integrates extremely well with the machine tracking services being introduced by major manufacturers. These allows fleet managers to track the location and utilisation of their machine assets in real time using a combination of mobile technologies.
Knowing where a machine is at all times has a number of benefits but this is only the start. For example, under and over utilisation is readily identified so that machines can be deployed more effectively for economic cleaning and improved reliability. It also allows greater levels of contractual compliance because building care teams and their customers can access accurate and insightful information on machine and fleet utilisation. This might include for example, identifying when a machine is taken off station, when it is used out of hours, when it is involved in a collision, or the battery is being abused. All of this is useful information that helps managers make informed decisions.
All of this information is available remotely and in real time to enable fleet-wide metrics and insight. This is all part of a new framework and concept which Diversey Care refers to as the Internet of Clean. In addition to machine tracking this encompasses other technology-driven tools such as cleaning audit and verification services.
The developments seen this year deliver real benefits to contract cleaning teams and fleet managers now but they are only the start of a revolution that will undoubtedly take the industry into exciting and innovative new directions.
The groundbreaking designs of the TASKI swingo 2100 μicro and the TASKI IntelliBot Swingbot 755 were recognised when both were announced recently as winners of ISSA Innovation Awards for 2015 at the ISSA/Interclean event in Las Vegas.