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Innovation in Cleaning Equipment – Reducing Cost – Increasing Performance

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The need for professional and mechanised cleaning of any premises arises out of the necessity to maintain an organised and clean work environment which provides a strong foundation for quality communication, effective management and increased work efficiency of any business. While it has been proved beyond doubt that the traditional modes of sweeping & swabbing cannot yield effective cleaning results, it is important for facility heads to primarily understand the need for professional cleaning equipment, tools and chemicals as an essential pre-requisite for better work environment and efficiency; and secondarily, to know whether the products engaged by the end users or the service providers are the right ones.

One of the most common equipment used for commercial application in any premises is the vacuum cleaner. The most important aspect that directly relates to the performance of the machine is the suction motor which converts the electrical power into mechanical power in the form of suction with airflow.

The horsepower, a guiding factor in choosing the equipment, determines the suction power which contributes to cleaning effectiveness. Constant innovations in vacuum cleaners have resulted in the making of wet & dry vacuums, single phase vacuums, bagless, upright, canister, compact, hand held, backpack, industrial… and many more versions. Each of these types are determined by aspects like filters, nozzles, hose, cord, tank capacity, chemical dispenser, cables, noise levels, battery recharging… These aspects directly influence the cleaning application and cleaning effectiveness. A hospital will not prefer vacuums with high noise levels … a mall or airport will not want people tripping over cables of vacuums …  a hotel will never want a wet floor owing to improper suction power …  an office will want nozzles that can reach corners and under the tables…

The spending on right cleaning solutions is as essential for a healthy work environment as much as the right food is for the healthy functioning of the body.

Power-saving, low noise vacuums

In a new innovative energy saving model, Roots Multiclean Ltd is launching dry vacuum cleaners which are eco-friendly and make less noise.  While most of the cleaning requirements can be met with the low power option, the operator can switch the suction motor to high performance, if required. When switched off the unit always starts in the e-save mode.

Multiple recharging of battery for long lasting operations

One major challenge with any battery operated cleaning machine is the recharging time. Most machines are recharged approximately for eight hours once in 24 hours for a two-three hour operation. This restricts usage especially when larger areas have to be covered like that in the airports or malls. Breaking barriers, Roots Multiclean Ltd has innovated long lasting batteries that can be recharged several times. The new battery operated walk-behind scrubbers available in two sizes are eco-friendly and designed to perform with the least water required for optimal cleaning results. The new battery system gives three to six hours of run time per day. This battery can be charged as many times as possible in a day – be it between working times or when the operator is engaged some other tasks. For a complete battery life, the battery needs to be charged once for eight hours continuously in a 24 hour period. This innovative battery recharging system can reduce the hardships of service providers who are forced to switch to cable machines once the battery runs down.

Water saving and energy efficient scrubber driers

Scrubbers come in varied models like scrubber-drier, ride-on, walk-behind, battery-powered, industrial and so on. Eureka Italy has designed the new Eco Line scrubber-driers in a range of nine models equipped with the exclusive Eco System (patented), which breaks water economy and detergent saving barriers. It has won several awards (among them, the Veneto Sviluppo award issued by the University of Padua).

The Eco System allows the reuse of washing solution after the first cleaning cycle, with a series of benefits from greater run time, shorter loading-unloading of water and rationalized use of water & detergent necessary to wash.

The detergent solution used during the first clearing cycle gets collected through the squeegee into the recovery tank. On activation of the eco system through the press of a button, the recovered water passes through a special filter and reused for further cycles of cleaning.

In comparison between direct costs involved in hand and mechanical scrubbing methods, if a company is spending as little as 10 hours per week on cleaning, even a small walk-behind scrubber drier can show savings and also meet the growing health and safety standards.

Thus, unnecessary waste of water and chemical products are avoided, entailing saving in terms of productivity, labour and cost.

Similarly, like vacuums, scrubber-driers find multi-application in many sectors – industries, schools, offices, hospitals, public buildings, airports, harbours and shopping centres.

Another ecofriendly innovation, Ecoray scrubber designed by TSM Italy can wash, dry and sanitize using UV light. A traditional scrubber drier equipped with Ecoray uses UV ray emitter to reduce significantly the number of bacterial colonies on the surface to be cleaned. The UV lamp does not produce ozone. The tests show a staggering reduction from 660 to 90 colonies of bacteria in only two steps, even without chemicals cleaners. This helps to sanitize all types of floor equipment and is ideal for hospitals, kitchens and clean rooms which require thorough cleaning and can .

Treating floors the right way

One of the determining aspects in floor cleaning machines is the brush which comes as metal head or disc or roller… The size of the brush, the material and its effectiveness determines the cleaning effectiveness. The end result also depends on the kind of floor and type of stain that needs to be treated. At times a cleaning machine may not give the required cleaning effect. A concrete floor, for example, in an automobile company will not yield cleaning results by running a sweeper or a scrubber over it. The floor needs to be treated and polished before it is taken up for cleaning. In this process, the concrete pores are opened mechanically &filled and then polished. This increases the density and hardens the concrete, making it less susceptible to cracks and more effective to cleaning. It also reduces the instance of deep stains being left behind on the floor.

Glosson Solutions has introduced one-of-its-kind versatile six-head planetary revolution polishing machine that can also be used on concrete floors besides marble, granite, terrazzo and other hard stone surfaces. It is equipped with double pad drivers for cross rotation to ensure no mis-grinding and higher efficiency. The thickness of the resin bonded and diamond bonded abrasive pads and facility of adding weights enables heavy grinding which is much required for effectiveness.

In the floor pad range, Americo supplies eco-friendly manufactured out of recycled pet bottles and industrial recycled waste. These pads use no phenol-formaldehyde resins in the binding process. About 38 water bottles or 12 two- litre soda bottles go in the making of five 20inch floor pads, which are manufactured in an energy-efficient, eco-friendly and non-polluting process. Other than pads and brushes, removal of stains especially from surfaces like carpets requires agitation before it can be taken up for shampooing and drying process. The new remedy for hard-to-remove stains is to treat them with enzyme based solutions which are much more effective and eco-friendly than chemicals made of borax. These not only clean but also remove all the bacteria and odour.

According to the ISSA Standard of washroom cleaning, it takes an average of three minutes to clean a fixture.

Clean Sweep

Among the floor cleaning machines, sweepers are widely used for external and industrial cleaning. They come in different sizes and types in ride-on, walk behind and truck mounted options — floor sweeping machines, road sweeping machines, hydraulic sweeping machines, airport runway sweeping machines, industrial ride-on sweepers, etc. One of the important aspects of sweeping machines is the unloading of the hopper. Roots in a joint venture with Hako, Germany, will be launching a sweeping machine that can empty the hopper without getting in touch with the dirt.

Sweeping brushes, another important aspect, come in steel wire, natural fibre or nylon for varied applications. Whether in street sweeping or industrial application, the appropriate kind of brush and reach is essential for better results of cleaning effectiveness.

High pressures in the eco line

In the eco product line of high pressure jets, Karcher GmbH & Co has launched eco!gic, made of 60 % recycled material & more than 90% recyclable and eco!efficiency, that can run on eco-mode, using less energy & water. They do not contain PVC and phthalates.

While high pressure washers are known to consume a lot of water and can leave water streaks if not dried properly, the new steam generators from Inventa Cleantec Pvt Ltd has been designed especially for the automobile industry. Inbuilt with an RO system, the water gets treated before being converted into steam, thus leaving no marks on the surface. Unlike cold water, the cleaning effectiveness using steam is much higher as it is known to displace heavy grease, wax or fats much effectively. Steam also reduces the need for more water. The special feature of this machine is that it can produce totally dry steam, as well as wet steam for special car detailing where excess water can damage the components.

Making things simpler for cleaning places that require more than one cleaning equipment, UniClean’s Easivac System, is a combination of indoor pressure washer, wet and dry vacuum, automatic de-foamer and extractor. The actual cleaning process involves spray cleaning solution on soiled fixtures, walls and floors, then blasting soils off the floor using pressurised water and finally, vacuuming the floor dry to remove soils completely.

This breakthrough technology with greater cleaning effectiveness also allows the operator to deep clean the surfaces and sanitize without having to touch them directly. With additional features of chemical metering system, direct water supply and direct waste water discharge, the operator can do multiple cleaning within a working distance of 200ft in a shorter period of time.

Easivac systems users in the UK have been able to reduce time taken for cleaning to one minute per fixture. The multiple floor heads enables operator to suck up the solution from the surface, remove grime/grease from grout lines, nooks and crannies simply leaving the floor dry, clean and odour free. By changing the floor head, one can deep clean carpets and soft furnishings also.

In another revolutionary system of multiple operations, designed exclusively for public restroom cleaning is Santoemma’s Foamtec which can do foaming, rinsing and vacuuming of all surfaces using a single machine. Ideal for deep cleaning, this system provides better cleaning effectiveness, sanitizes, saves on water & chemicals and reduces working time.

In many cases, offices that opt for solutions available off the shelf in an attempt to curtail cleaning expenses do not realise that modern day work environment require specific solutions for ensuring healthy working conditions and productivity.

Time saving hygiene solutions

Any public toilets at railway stations, bus stations, highways, malls, multiplexes, industrial units, hospitals and all high traffic areas are faced with the choked sewer lines and strong odour preventing users even from entering them. Putting an end to public toilet woes, Vijay Biotech has introduced a unique technology that culls bacteria formation, eats away sewer waste and also filters wastewater!!! Toilets fitted with bio-tanks are fed with enzymes that eat up all the solid waste and the through the filtration system in the bio-tank, the wastewater gets filtered and made toxin-free before being released safely. This eco-friendly bio-technology based system eliminates the need for a sewer tank or sewer line and issues of choke ups. This system has also been fitted in e-toilets, a unique toilet that cleans of its own.

In order to eliminate odour in common toilets, facility heads resort to air fresheners but some common air fresheners leave fragrance that tends to affect people. It even turns counter-productive if installed in the work environment. Doing away with the harmful effects of such fresheners, the cleaning market is upbeat on eco-friendly air fresheners that are made up of pure essential oils and filled in recyclable cartridges (EVA: Ethyl Vinyl Acetate).  MystAir has introduced Enviro Senz Duo, a range of odourfoyl technology driven air freshener, with its unique abilities to deodorize up to 6,000 cubic feet of space and a matchless feature of dual scent. The Odourfoyl is a malodour technology that effectively neutralizes unpleasant odour. While fresheners lighten the working ambience, the use of incorrect cleaning solution, leaves an odour which in the long run affects the efficiency of the employee.

In sync with the modern day requirement, Global Excellence has introduced ion-emitting CFL bulbs that neutralise the contaminants in the air. The negative ion technology has been successfully proven to remove bacteria, viruses and microbes present in the air. Its application in odour emitting toilets has been very effective and many schools, hotels, malls and other places with high traffic areas have opted for this technology. Even when used commonly in a work environment, it improves the air quality resulting in healthy work conditions.

In order to check the contamination levels, especially in the operation theatre of an hospital, clean rooms, food processing units, pharma units and other industries, the traditional swab tests are conducted. While the testing itself requires a period of time, the lab reports cannot be generated instantly. Cosmic Healers of the Global Excellence Group has brought to India, Hygenia, the first turnkey cleaning delivery and measurement system. The new SystemSure Plus measures Adenosine Triphosphate, the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacteria, yeast and mold cells. Through a simple, precise and proven process of rubbing a solution with a swab on the surface to be tested and placing it in SystemSure Plus, the results are made available in just minutes.

Besides, these CIP 2011 will also have accessories and innovative tools like the smart dosing system, eco-friendly chemicals, dispensing systems, batteries and so on.

What is Watts?

The most commonly supplied specifications for vacuum cleaners are: Amps, Watts, HP, Airwatts, Miles per hour. In short, it is the volume of air per minute drawn into the intake when it is unobstructed or the suction (vacuum) produced when the intake is closed. Amps or ampére is the unit of electric current flow. The current in a 100 watt light bulb is just a little less than one amp. Vacuum cleaners have current ratings running from 5 amps to 12 amps.

Watts usage can be measured by multiplying the current rating by 110 (volts). About 5 amps is equivalent to 550 watts, and so on.

These two measurements though not very meaningful in absolute terms but may be of limited use for purposes of comparing one machine to another. It will enable the facility head to assess the power consumption of the machine. The implications is that the higher the ‘power rating’ the better is the machine. It’s like emphasizing that a car uses a lot of gasoline without telling how fast it goes or how much it can carry.

HP or horse power spells the power of the motor. Provided that the motor is 100% efficient – which no motors are – there are theoretically (800 watts*) in 1 HP. Here is a sample calculation:

•    An 8amp motor uses 880watts.
•    So 880/746 * 90% [assumed efficiency] = 1 HP.

Airwatts is the (cubic feet per minute) x (inches of water suction) / 8.5. Overall efficiency = airwatts / input watts.

Miles per hour refers to the speed of the air. Airflow speed is different in different parts of the machine – speed in the fan, at the exhaust port, through the filter, through the hose and through the tool attachment are all different – and are all dependent on each other. For example, if you take the tool off, the airflow speed through the hose will increase. Take the hose off and the airflow speed out of the exhaust port will increase. What is also true is that other things being kept constant, the airflow through a narrow opening is greater than through a larger one. So a tool with a small opening will have greater flow than through a larger one. All of this matters because it is the speed of the air through the tool when in contact with the surface to be cleaned which determines cleaning effectiveness/power.


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