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Selection Criteria

Application – Before selecting a machine product mix, the first point looked at is the application for which the contract has been designed. For an industrial contract, the cleaning need may be for shop floor, wash rooms, stores, admin block, etc. The products to be decided and needs of cleaning are variant in each of the areas.

Frequency of cleaning – Secondly, one has to consider the frequency of cleaning and decide on the number of machines needed as well as the duty cycle of the product concerned. Thus, a shop floor needing continuous cleaning and having oil spillage would need heavier duty machines as well as spare sets of batteries in case of battery models.

Atmosphere and lay out – We have to understand the kind of environment the machine is going to be utilised. If cleaning need is floor scrubbing only, the environment completely varies from a shop floor to a public place to a work place/ office/ hospital. Lay out of the place is also crucial, for example, one may have a large shop floor to clean which by itself can make one think of a large ride on scrubber, but the same may not be feasible as the machine lay out may the congested making the same difficult for larger units to be manoeuvred.

Importance of cleaning and its effect on the end product – While cleaning need is universally important, its role to end product varies. For example, in a steel plant, a sweeper may suffice for cleaning levels desired but in a pharma / health sector, they would be very conscious of not only free dust (thus needing special filtration) but also embedded dust thus needing scrubber driers, high pressure (with hot cold and steam facility).

Budget – If one is all the time trying to fit in to customer budgets, the compromises made may bring long term losses and even loss of contract as customer would never be satisfied. At times, it is better to do the hard part first in educating a customer and thus highlighting the importance of investment on right technology, than agreeing upfront and running the risk of a dissatisfied customer.

Aesthetics & brand consciousness – Again, the need for image and aesthetics are variant in different segments. A star category not only desires high level of cleaning but is also conscious of the brands on display in their premises, especially in public area. The moment one steps into back areas, the need diminishes.

Returns – A housekeeping company needs to be wary of the period they are looking to invest for and consider returns accordingly. A cheaper product may be economical at the point of purchase, but a higher price product may give better returns in terms of its life cycle, maintenance cost as well as productivity.
Some common points while selecting a particular model are as follows:

  1. Scrubber driers – Productivity of the machine; brush pressure; tank capacity; motor rating; safety features like – auto start stop, lights, squeegee lifting in case of machine backing, beckon lights; weight; sound level; ease of cleaning the unit itself; kind and quality of tyres (anti skid wheels really help in avoiding accidents); operator comfort; design of the machine (ease of reaching all important controls); ease of drainage post; job completion; kinds of brush availability and prices thereof; level of electronics in the system and its longevity as well as maintenance expertise.
  2. Vacuum cleaners – Body construction; type of motors and quality there of; filtration levels and capability to handle micron size of dust; features like wheels, mobility, sound level; safety points for motor and operator protection; tank size and actual usable capacity; run time duration. In short, the two most important factors are motor (single phase/three phase/explosion proof) & filtration and kind & quality of accessories, etc.
  3. Single disc – Most points are common to scrubber drier barring the solution tank / suction part. However, important feature to note in these are the quality and kind of gears used and also to see whether the unit is gear driven or belt driven.
  4. Sweepers – While some points are common to scrubber driers like productivity, tank capacity etc; there are host of other features to be considered from the basic technology itself, whether the side model is mechanical sweeper or vacuum sweeper. Kind and quality of hydraulics are very important in ascertaining the ease of operation the sweeper is going to provide.
  5. High pressure jets – Bar and pump pressure; design and construction of the pump – stainless steel or steel; machine design – horizontal or vertical; motor rating; kind and quality of nozzles/accessories; body construction.
Puneet Mishra, Vertical Head –
Cleaning Technology Solutions,
Forbes Professional,
Eureka Forbes Ltd.

High Pressure Cleaner

There are different types of high pressure cleaners and the selection is entirely application based.

  1. Electric operated cold-water high pressure cleaners (single phase and three phase machines): Generally contract cleaners use these kinds of machines depending on the number of hours the machine has to be operated. Three phase machines are mostly recommended, as they can be operated for longer working hours uninterrupted. Such machines are used for outside properties for general pressure washing applications, water tanks cleaning, etc. Also, such machines are used by car cleaning contractors.
  2. Electric operated and diesel heated hot-n-cold water high pressure cleaners with steam generation facility: These are specific machines which are used for de-greasing, washing of dumpers, loaders, cranes, high quality cars and steam cleaning of car engines.
  3. Electric operated and electrically heated hot n cold water high pressure cleaners: Here, there are no diesel emissions, so highly recommended for food preparation areas, hotel kitchens, food industry and pharma industry.
  4. Diesel/petrol operated cold water high pressure cleaners: Used in places where there is no electricity such as construction sites where dumpers and loaders and parked used for army tanks.
Sunil Kapoor,
Deputy General Manager,
Manmachine India Pvt. Ltd

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