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Scrubber Dryers in Industrial Applications

Cleaning of industrial floors in production shops, assembly areas, warehouses and logistic centres has multiple objectives besides maintaining a clean work ambience. It ensures accident prevention, protection of health and environment standards as well as maintaining the value of the floors and the building as a whole. Many companies in India are still unaware of the advantages of investing in mechanised cleaning or neglect these facts “to save money for the company”.

The important objectives of floor cleaning of course involve certain costs which have to be minimised without making any concession in respect of standards of cleanliness. Nowadays, this dual objective can be achieved only by using scrubber-dryers. Manual cleaning will always be considerably inferior and international cleaning standards can never be achieved with manual cleaning methods.

Improving the image of a company by way of cleanliness is, however, not simply a question of neutral aesthetics. One of the first impressions a customer gains of a company is its high or low level of hygiene and cleanliness. Visible cleanliness also has a positive effect in terms of employee motivati¬on; the willingness to make a personal contribution to hygiene and economical use of materials in the company increases in a clean and tidy work environment.

One of the main objectives of floor cleaning is to avoid accident risks. For example, think of the danger of slipping on oil-stained warehouse and workshop floors; even settled dust can greatly reduce the anti-slip properties of hard floors. Some 15% of all industrial accidents reported involve falls. But also it is important to avoid getting dirt into or onto the machine tools or the manufactured components and products.

Another objective of floor cleaning is to maintain a high standard of hygiene, which goes without saying in sanitary areas (WCs, washrooms, changing rooms and showers) in particular. After all, endangering the health of employees by exposure to germs, bacteria and dirt is not acceptable under any circumstances. In the production shop it is primarily fine dusts that enter the lungs which can impair employees’ health if not cleaned regularly.

The benefit of cleaning involves a certain expenditure which increases directly proportional to cleaning intensity. Cleaning costs themselves are made up of about ~ 60% labour, ~5% administration, ~10% materials (detergence and care products, consumables) and about 25% for buying and maintaining the cleaning equipment.

In cleaning with a scrubber dryer, for example, the costs of daily cleaning should be well below one Rupee per square meter, of course depending on the type of floor covering to be cleaned, the method of cleaning, the expected standards of hygiene and cleanliness and so on.

Scrubber-Dryers are used for wet cleaning of hard surfaces and resilient floor in mainly indoor areas. So how does a scrubber dryer work: the machine can be a walk-behind or ride-on, electric or battery-operated. It has a fresh water and collection (dirt water) tank. Chemicals depending on the application are added to the fresh water and the fluid is channelled to the brushes which by rotation scrub the floor so the loose dirt and the water are vacuumed by a following squeegee back into the collecting tank. The cleaning result is determined by the driving speed, the brush contact pressure over surface, brush rpm and bristle material as well as the right detergent. So an experienced salesperson will advise the right combination.

The next question that is asked is how to choose the right machine. This starts with making the right decisions when building or converting a production shop or warehouse building: For example, a straightforward floor plan is beneficial for the use of cleaning machines; there should be a storeroom for cleaning materials and equipment on every floor with water supply, drainage, air went, as well as electricity.

Once all preparations have been made at the building stage to make cleaning as efficient as possible, one should focus on choosing the most suitable scrubbing techniques.

There is a growing trend to offer scrubber-driers with a choice of either a roller brush or disc brush scrubbing head. Which technology is the best? A well-known theory suggests that the scrubbing action of a brush improves as the weight applied to it is raised, i.e. by increasing its so-called contact pressure. However, since the weight of the brush head cannot be increased ad infinitum – in such a case the brush drive would have to be strengthened to take account of the higher friction on the floor – the only way to achieve the desired effect is to reduce the brush’s contact area. The contact pressure of roller brushes is therefore many times higher than that of disc brushes, as the following example shows:

The speed of the brush has an equally important influence on scrubbing efficiency: The faster the brush rotates, the greater the floor contact of the bristles per unit time. The kinetic energy with which the bristles act on a stubborn dirt particle is therefore higher. Since roller brushes rotate at a much higher speed than disc brushes, they are superior to disc brushes in this particular area.


Venu Madhavan.K
(National Manager -Business Development)
Karcher Cleaning Systems Private Limited

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