Alfred Karcher GmhH has all along been bringing in innovations specially focusing either on high-end market or low-end market segments. However, this time Karcher won the ISSA Interclean Innovation Award at Amsterdam for designing a MopVac, manual tool with automation. Delivering solutions of such kind, especially to countries like India, China and Brazil, Markus Asch, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Management, Alfred Karcher, Chairman of the Cleaning Systems Association of the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) and President of EUnited, the European Engineering Industries Association and Ruediger Schroeder, MD-Karcher India, talk about many more products in the pipeline in this range.
Markus Asch: Innovation often indicates that the product is something complex and complicated with IT and a lot of technology. There are ranges of machines with fantastic technology, but our understanding of innovation is something that provides value to market segments. We introduced a product in the borderline of two markets – between manual and automatic machines.
When B60/10C MopVac was developed, there were challenges and concerns as it was something that existed nowhere. On the one hand, we found it opening up new market possibilities and on the other hand, we knew it was simple. But, we were so enthused when the first customer saw it and said “that’s what I need”. When customers reflect and try what we do, we already have the first possibilities of the locations where this product is needed. So we had the courage to invest and to say, we don’t come with a freaky fantastic innovation, we come with an innovation that opens a totally new category and a totally new possibility. I honour the statement from the jury of the Innovation Award: “Nobody ever has thought of a similar system”. Looking at India and other similar countries where there are people to clean, the need for electronics or batteries or even machines is least. But here we have a system that will improve productivity so heavily.
Ruediger Schroeder: The main targets for Karcher India, right from the beginning, have been shopping malls, airport, hospitals, etc. In the coming years, in a lot of these places, especially malls, we will see mops being replaced with B60/10C MopVac, as it is more efficient and cleans better. The product looks more like a system than just a mop.
Markus: There are two major differences between the two mops: A regular mop just evenly distributes the dirt. It is a tough message but it’s what it is. But the new Karcher mop system applies water on the surface and takes it off too. So at least, we get a permanent injection of fresh water and not always a detergent-water-dirt mixture on the floor. Secondly, the biggest challenge with regular mopping is wet floor and it creates a safety problem. A huge amount of development has gone into the new B60/10C MopVac based on revamping the usual movement of mopping to generate a pneumatic that takes away majority of the water and after a very short time, the floor is actually dry and safe.
Sophisticated system for India
Ruediger: Today, we have different market segments with customers who are looking for newer and better solutions and are willing to spend that money rather than the ones who find them too expensive and continue with manual labour.
The market is big enough and we see a good success in the near future with this system, especially in the BSC sector. These systems do require after sales service but less on a machine and more on the mop.