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Streamlining factory cleaning

Ten building blocks of successful rationalisation programmes

Increasing pressure of competition intensifies the pressure to continue developing technical infrastructure services for production and logistics facilities in an efficiency-oriented way. With improvement concepts in mind, facilities managers take a special interest in cleaning services. This multi-faceted and labour-intensive area of work often holds a rewarding savings potential. This article summarises the key aspects that should be prioritised in rationalisation projects or long-term continuous productivity improvement programmes relating to cleanliness.

Cost transparency

A reliable information basis is an indispensable springboard to successful rationalisation. Proof of resource consumption is concentrated on those input factors that depend on workload, cleaning intensity and efficiency and therefore reflects in direct costs:

• Personnel deployment (broken down by wage groups)

• Cleaning agents, care agents, disinfectants

• Materials and accessories subject to wear and tear

• (Hot) water, including sewerage fees

• Energy (electricity, fuel, batteries)

This list should be available in duplicates, as a quantity structure referring to material factors such as hours, numbers of units, physical units and as a value structure with amounts in rupees. Since auxiliary wages usually account for 80% of cleaning costs it is advisable to break down personnel hours in detail so that every cleaning measure is recorded by –

• Time taken to clean a specific area

• Setting up time (e.g. filling the scrubber-drier with washing solution)

• Transportation time (transfer of equipment and material back and forth)

• Waiting time (e. g. because the area is temporarily in use for production processes)

• Additional time (e. g. for clearing the area to be cleaned).

Cleaning programme

Cost-efficient cleaning presupposes precisely coordinated measures. The cleaning programme should therefore be thoroughly analysed and, if need be, refined. It is centred on on-going cleaning, the design of which is guided by four basic questions:

• What soiling requires early intervention?

• What measures (sweeping, wet-wiping, vacuuming, etc.) are suitable for this?

• At which frequency (For example: Per shift, per working day, per week) and on what occasions (For example: When storage areas are cleared) should they be carried out?

• Which partial area (For example: Lobby, shed sector, work station) should be covered in each case?

Periodic intensive cleaning must be designed to cope with soiling that can be tolerated in the medium to long term. While interim cleaning is concentrated on stubborn dirt marks such as rubber skid marks, paint splashes, etc., deep cleaning is increasingly in the nature of renovation and rehabilitation. To avoid unnecessary actions, as a matter of principle one should supplement the conventional cyclical system (whereby cleaning measures are carried out at regular intervals) by an inspection system (whereby the cleaning requirement is established by inspection).

Technology concept

Methods and equipment must be matched to conditions at the premises to be cleaned, particularly in terms of size, content and soiling. As a rule, manual and mechanical methods complement each other. For example, in mechanical workshops where drying coolant emulsion usually has to be tackled, ultramodern automatic scrubber-driers (which wet, scrub and vacuum in a single operation) will prove their worth in corridors, while the familiar trio of mop, edge cleaner and twin bucket on wheels is often unbeatable around work benches.

To adopt the most favourable solution, you should evaluate the specifications of the various machines on offer systematically with the help of a strictly function-oriented specification of requirements. In the case of scrubber-driers, for instance, the test will include the following criteria:

• Working width (measured on the suction beam)

• Speed of travel and manoeuvrability

• Fresh and dirty water tank capacity

• Battery capacity or fuel tank volume

• Setting up functions (Example: brush change)

• Range of uses (Example: renovating coatings, polishing)

Road sweepers, industrial vacuums and stationary high-pressure cleaners warrant an equally detailed check-up.

Process optimisation

For each cleaning process to produce the optimum result at the most favourable cost, it is advisable to analyse work processes from time to time and if need be to redesign them. Therefore, the relevant process parameters must be recorded in detail and adapted to the respective requirement. In the case of pressure washers, for example, the following factors must be coordinated:

• Operating pressure and water flow

• Water temperature or steam consistency

• Spraying distance and spraying angle

• Contact surface (of nozzle width or rotary jet)

• Type and dose of cleaning agent/disinfectant

• Additional equipment (washing brush, splash guard, etc.)

• Associated work (For example: Pre-spraying of cleaning agent)

The efficient work process is defined in relation to every object to be cleaned – the floor, mechanical plant, pipework and packaging. This data is incorporated into the work descriptions and forms the basis for instructions to staff so as to ensure that it is put into practice. In the context of this optimisation work, there is also an opportunity to try out new accessories, chemicals and possibly machines and to try varying operating routines.

Ten building blocks of successful rationalisation programmesIncreasing pressure of competition intensifies the pressure to continue developing technical infrastructure services for production and logistics facilities in an efficiency-oriented way. With improvement concepts in mind, facilities managers take a special interest in cleaning services. This multi-faceted and labour-intensive area of work often holds a rewarding savings potential. This article summarises the key aspects that should be prioritised in rationalisation projects or long-term continuous productivity improvement programmes relating to cleanliness.Cost transparencyA reliable information basis is an indispensable springboard to successful rationalisation. Proof of resource consumption is concentrated on those input factors that depend…

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