How to Make Floors Safer During Winter

Wet and dirty floors can be a common occurrence during autumn and winter. Bad weather means building occupiers and visitors bring more water and soiling inside on their shoes. This increases the risk of the slips and trips which cause so many of the reportable accidents and injuries in the workplace and public spaces. The challenge facing anyone responsible for a building is to make floors safer during winter and ensure the floor retains its appearance and remains safe. Scrubber driers are effective and efficient at meeting this challenge.

Scrubber driers are ideal for keeping floors clean and dry to make floors safer during winter.

Slips and trip can be a significant problem. The latest figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are for the year ending March 2019. These show that slips, trips, and falls from the same level remain the biggest cause of workplace injuries. The HSE says these accounted for 29 per cent of all reportable non-fatal workplace injuries during the year. This is equivalent to 20,000 reportable injuries or around one every thirty minutes. The HSE also says slips and trips are the most frequent cause of reported injury to members of the public. Broken bones account for about 90 per cent of reported injuries. The total cost to employers each year is around £500m, according to the HSE. The total cost to society overall is over £800m. These figures are improving, year on year, thanks to efforts by regulators and the various stakeholders. But there is more to do.

REMOVE CONTAMINATION ON FLOORS

One of the biggest causes of these accidents is contamination on floors. Improved cleaning and floorcare can make a big difference in reducing the risk of slips and trips. They will also remove soiling that can be unsightly and cause long-term damage to the floor. Inevitably it falls on building operators and owners to take responsibility for mitigating the risk to their employees, guests, and visitors.

In most buildings, the biggest problem is likely to be just inside the door. This is because this is closest to wet outdoor areas and intensely used by people entering the building. Floors in these areas are typically hard surfaces such as vinyl, ceramic or stone. These can be particularly susceptible to causing slips when they are wet or dirty. But they are easy to clean and maintain with the right equipment.

SCRUBBER DRIERS ARE IDEAL FOR MAKING FLOORS SAFER IN WINTER

For many cleaning teams, the equipment of choice is the scrubber drier. These advanced machines, which clean and dry the floor in a single pass, are also ideal for emergency clearing of puddles and spillages.

Scrubber driers can make floors safer during winter by keeping them clean and dry.

One of the big benefits of the scrubber drier is that it actively cleans the floor, picks up debris and removes the soiled water with a combination of squeegee and suction to leave the surface clean and dry. The machine should be used with the correct pads or brushes and an appropriate cleaning product. This will remove all of the dirt while helping to protect the flooring material for a long life of low maintenance. Choosing the right combination will save time, reduce any need for repeat cleaning, and minimise costs.

CHOOSE FEATURES FOR YOUR APPLICATION

Not all scrubber driers are the same. The best designs will remove all – or almost all – of the water or cleaning solution in a single pass. This will mean the floor is clean, dry, and safely back in use as soon as possible. Battery-powered machines offer the convenience of total independence from local power sockets. Many also have the added advantage of having no trailing power cables although some of the smallest machines are mains powered for speed of use and convenience. Look out too for machines that can reduce consumption of water, energy and cleaning solutions. These will promote sustainability and save costs.

Reputable suppliers will have an extensive range of scrubber driers and be able to advise on the right model to use.

Scrubber driers come in all shapes and sizes. The smallest are no bigger than an upright domestic vacuum cleaner. The largest are the size of a small car for cleaning the largest floors in places like hospitals, supermarkets, transport hubs, and shopping centres. It is important to match the size of the machine to the proposed application. Too large and it will probably be underutilised and unproductive, ultimately costing more to own and operate. Too small, and it could be overused, inefficient and prone to more unscheduled outages.

Suppliers with the largest ranges make it easy to specify a model that is closely matched to a particular application. A wider range also helps customers to choose all their machines from a single source. This enables greater deployment flexibility and can lead to significant purchase, operating and maintenance cost savings.

CLEAN PROPERLY, CLEAN OFTEN

It is important to cleaning regularly throughout the day to remove the build-up of dirt that can increase the risk of slips and trips. It is also vital to clean up puddles or patches of water as quickly as possible because these often present the biggest risk of all. Reputable cleaning suppliers will work with end-users to identify the most appropriate products, tools and processes. They will provide advice on the best ways to make floors safer during winter and keep a building in tip-top condition.

Ultra-Concentrates: the Smarter Way to Sustainable Cleaning

A quick and simple way to improve the sustainability of almost any cleaning operation is through the adoption of ultra-concentrates. We offer these across a wide range of applications so that cleaning teams can quickly, easily and economically prepare solutions for equipment such as spray and toilet bottles, sinks, buckets or cleaning machines. The result is safe, simple and consistent high-performance cleaning while minimising wastage, packaging and chemical miles.

QuattroSelect is ideal for larger sites with centralised or intensive cleaning operations. Products are supplied in easy-to-handle pouches that are fitted into a wall-mounted dispenser. Four different formulations from the wide range available can be installed in each dispensing unit, allowing cleaning teams to select (and change whenever needed) the optimum combination for their particular application.

Solutions are automatically prepared to the correct dilution as they are dispensed into a bottle, bucket or cleaning machine by the QuattroSelect unit. Little or no decision-making or additional actions are required. All operatives need to do is press a button or squeeze a trigger and solution is dispensed directly into their bottle, bucket or cleaning machine. These closed systems also minimise the risk of people coming into contact with undiluted product, helping to enhance safety-in-use. Similar benefits are available on TASKI cleaning machines equipped with Diversey’s IntelliDose and IntelliFlow product and water management systems.

SmartDose is popular among contract and in-house cleaning teams who need ultimate convenience and portability. Its unique dual-dosing capability allows cleaning operatives to dispense two different amounts simply by turning the container’s cap to one side or the other. A single container can dispense the right amount of product into any two different accessories – bottle, bucket, sink, cleaning machine – depending on configuration. Operatives only need to carry one container to support two cleaning tasks. Processes are made even simpler – and productivity enhanced – if the product has multipurpose or multi-surface performance. A 1.4 litre container of SmartDose multi-purpose surface cleaner, for example, can prepare 280 standard 500ml trigger bottles.

One of the main reasons ultra concentrates deliver reduced cost in use is that solutions are prepared at the optimum dilution for superior and consistent performance. This reduces the need for repeat cleaning which cuts wasted time, delivering immediate productivity and efficiency gains. Considering the product contributes far less to the overall cost than the person doing the cleaning it makes sense to use products that maximise performance and productivity. Ultra concentrates also reduce the amount of product wastage because, unlike old-fashioned “pour-and-glug”, there is no guesswork involved in preparing solutions. Costs are reduced and predictable.

Ultra-concentrates also use less packaging than comparable bulk or ready-to-use products. This is because water is added at the point of use rather than the place of manufacture. A business using 100 cases of six 750ml single-use spray bottles could reduce plastic waste by up to 125.6kg (99.6% reduction) and up to 26.6kg less cardboard (98.9% reduction) by switching to Diversey’s ultra concentrates and re-usable bottles. Changes like these also reduce supply chain burdens because fewer cases need to be bought, transported and stored to support any given operation. Transportation costs can be up to 20 times less and warehouse and on-site storage requirements up to 22 times lower.

As with any cleaning product, it is important to select the right platform for each site and application to achieve optimum performance, efficiency and economy. Our ultra-concentrates for building care are available in a selection of platforms, including SmartDose and QuattroSelect, suitable for different sizes and type of site. We can advise you on the best choice or combination for any cleaning operation.

Ultra-concentrates are among the Top Ten products we’ll be featuring at The Cleaning Show at Excel London from 19-21 March.

A Surer Way To Promote Sustainability

Sustainability can often present a complex set of choices to cleaning teams and businesses that want to reduce the environmental impact of the products they use. Assessing the various merits of one perceived benefit against another can be difficult: sometimes a product that offers an advantage in one area offers significantly poorer performance when judged against a different benchmark.

All Diversey products are designed and manufactured to support improvements in sustainability. This includes making the product safer and simpler to use, reducing the amount of energy or water it consumes, reducing associated CO2 emissions, better packaging design and reduced raw materials use, and the ability to recycle more easily after use. All of these can also save costs.

When we conducted customer research into what constitutes a “green” product, almost one-in-three respondents said that it should be based on natural ingredients. At the same time over one-in-four said it should be eco-certified and one-in-seven said it must be fully biodegradable. Given that all cleaning products are already required to be biodegradable by law this is perhaps less relevant to the argument, but it could suggest some knowledge gap in the market.

Although our products already fulfil demanding sustainability criteria we recognised from our research that there are times when customers want to demonstrate the very highest levels of environmental responsibility. We responded with SURE, an innovative range of plant-based, 100 per cent biodegradable cleaning products. This is one of the Top Ten products we featured at The Cleaning Show at Excel London in March 2019.

The 18 products in the SURE range cover all routine and daily cleaning requirements in kitchens and washrooms including personal care. Each has been formulated to deliver superior professional results while maximising safety and gentleness for people and the environment. They meet typical eco-certification criteria and where applicable are all EU Ecolabel certified or have approval pending.

The entire SURE range is manufactured from environmentally-responsible plant-based ingredients from renewable resources. These ingredients are typically derived from by-products of the agri-food industry, originating from sugar beet, maize, straw bran, wheat bran and coconut. The products contain no artificial dyes, perfumes, quats, chlorine, phosphates or oxide compounds. This means they generally have lower safety classifications than conventional alternatives.

The kitchen range comprises eight products covering all routine tasks including hand dishwashing, general surface cleaning, appliance and surface degreasing and descaling, glass and grill cleaning, and surface sanitising and disinfection. The washroom range comprises four products covering daily cleaning, descaling, toilet cleaning, and floor cleaning. The personal care range comprises six antibacterial and conventional hand care products including soaps, washes and sanitisers.

SURE meets a particular requirement from the market. We enhance the sustainability credentials of the range by offering many of the products in our ultra-concentrate platforms including SmartDose and QuattroSelect. With these, water is only added at the point of use which means smaller packs are required to support the same cleaning operation. This reduces packaging requirements as well as minimising transport, handling, storage and recycling burdens. Moreover, because these platforms enable accurate and consistent preparation of high-performance solutions there is less wastage or need for repeat cleaning, all of which improves productivity and saves time and money.

Performance with Agility: TASKI swingo 2100μicro Scrubber Drier

The TASKI swingo 2100μicro (micro) scrubber drier is a revolutionary ultra-compact ride-on that combines agility, versatility and innovation to deliver class-leading floorcare performance up to 22 per cent higher than comparable models. Designed to deliver the productivity of a ride-on machine in settings where pedestrian equipment is traditionally used, it offers a highly efficient alternative to conventional designs. Innovations include a unique offset feature to clean against walls, energy-saving LED lighting, ergonomic “active sitting” driving position, and configurability as an integrated cleaning workstation.

Since its launch in 2015 the TASKI swingo 2100μicro scrubber drier has proved extremely popular with cleaning teams. It’s one of our Top Ten products that we’ll be featuring at the forthcoming Cleaning Show (21-23 March, Excel London).

The development team at TASKI has responded to market demand for a ride-on machine for smaller areas with exceptional uptime, productivity and performance. The generous 75-litre tank, efficient scrubber mechanism, advanced cleaning solution control and energy management ensure the machine can cover larger areas, up to 5000m2, and work autonomously for longer between refills and recharges (up to four hours) than comparable machines. Downtime is minimised so that the machine spends more time on productive work. Overall performance is up to 22 per cent better than comparable machines.

Innovations include a unique offset cleaning feature that enables the machine to clean right up against a wall. When used in this mode the scrubber mechanism can project up to 14cm to the right-hand side. No other ride-on machine offers this ability to clean the entire floor to the edge in a single pass. This eliminates the need to use a small pedestrian machine or mop and bucket for unproductive, inefficient and time-consuming secondary cleaning.

Offset cleaning automates manual working along walls and around objects by allowing the machine to work further from the wall more quickly and safely. The mechanism slides out of the way when obstacles are touched to prevent damage and repositions itself afterwards for continued cleaning. For general floorcare tasks and when the machine is travelling between areas, the mechanism is positioned centrally.

The machine is equipped with LED lights that consume less energy than conventional bulbs. Operators can use their machines with the lights on for longer without drawing excessive charge from the battery, ideal for low ambient lighting settings such as shops and warehouses during quiet periods. Operators also have a better all-round view of the working area when they use the lights.

The ultra-compact design and tricycle-style configuration promotes manoeuvrability and agility in confined and congested areas. With its 55cm working width and 138cm overall length the machine has a turning circle of less than 180cm which means it can operate productively and safely between obstacles, is compact enough to pass through normal doors and be transported in standard lifts.

Like all TASKI scrubber driers, the machine is designed for safe and ergonomic working. The operator is positioned directly over the scrubber mechanism and, unlike pedestrian machines, has an unobstructed view of the floor being cleaned and the wider working area for optimum productivity and safety. The unique “active sitting” driving position is designed to support the operator in the ideal posture to reduce fatigue during long shifts by taking weight off their feet while also allowing easy access from either side for maximum productivity.

Machine speed is automatically reduced when turning to promote stability. The front-tank layout offers full-width protection of the operator’s knees, legs and arms to reduce the risk of injuries. Controls are within easy reach for ergonomic working and follow the same intuitive style and layout as other TASKI machines to promote familiarity and ease-of-use with minimal retraining requirements.

The machine supports extensive customisation to enable intelligent total cleaning solutions matched to the specific application requirement. In addition to a number of machine-specific options, any tool or accessory from the extensive TASKI trolley range can be specified. This allows operators to configure their machines with everything needed to work autonomously on routine or bespoke applications without users wasting time locating and retrieving items.

The machine’s advanced TASKI IntelliFlow solution management system helps to minimise the number of time-consuming stops. The correct amount of solution is always delivered, irrespective of machine speed, even when turning, for consistent cleaning. Sustainability is further enhanced when options such as TASKI IntelliDose on-board dilution control, TASKI AquaStop refill management and TASKI Intellitrail fleet management are adopted.

Sustainable Floorcare with Twister by Diversey

Twister by Diversey is an innovative set of colour-coded floor care pads made from recycled plastics impregnated with billions of microscopic diamonds on the working side. They are ideally used with Diversey’s advanced TASKI swingo scrubber driers or rotary-disc machines and water alone to deliver excellent results while making floor care operations more sustainable. This highly sustainable floorcare option is one of the Top Ten products that we’ll be featuring at The Cleaning Show at Excel London from 19-21 March.

The range includes pads for almost every type of hard floor manufactured by changing the size and combination of the microscopic diamonds. This makes the pads less abrasive than corresponding conventional alternatives which helps to protect the floor while giving a smoother and improved appearance. The resulting micro-polished floor is more resistant to soiling.

The pads can be used with water alone, last three times longer than traditional products, and significantly reduce the need for periodic maintenance, all of which improves sustainability and reduces overall costs. Used this way the pads reduce chemical usage by 100%, floor pad costs by 66%, and weight of consumables by 98% (which also saves transport and handling) compared with traditional products. Working without chemicals also simplifies cleaning processes, creates a healthier environment for cleaners and bystanders, and reduces routine machine maintenance burdens.

There are different pads in the range almost every type of hard floor. Using just four in sequence – red, white, yellow, green – can rejuvenate and transform old, dull and worn stone floors with clean, uniform, shiny and polished results. The diamond impregnated side of the pad is coloured and works as a wear indicator.

Cleaning Show Innovations

We are excited that three of our innovations have been shortlisted for the Innovation Awards at The Cleaning Show in London next week:

Moonbeam3TM Disinfection Technology© delivers powerful UV-C light to provide fast broad area disinfection of high-touch surfaces in hospitals and care homes in as little as three minutes when used in addition to normal daily cleaning and disinfection processes. This is much faster than fogging and almost twice as effective as traditional cleaning and disinfection alone in destroying the pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). 

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology offers facilities a completely hands, chemical and fume-free way to complement existing processes with safer high-performance disinfection. It is ideal for surfaces accidentally missed during regular cleaning and for frequently-touched, hard-to-clean surfaces and intricate equipment. It can be used in patient rooms, operating theatres and bathrooms and on patient care equipment, keyboards, monitors, and workstations.

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology is quick and easy to use with push-button activation and short operating cycles. Its three articulating, light-producing arms can be positioned independently to target light efficiently and closely onto surfaces to be disinfected. This unique design allows it to be used in more places while its high-efficiency dosing increases speed which reduces labour and operating costs.

Remote Guidance is a new augmented reality tool designed to expand our best-in-class customer service. It is an iOS- and Android-based virtual reality tool that improves product troubleshooting beyond face-to-face phone calls and video chats. Users can identify problems and assess solutions quickly through interactive real-time experiences. Remote Guidance helps prevent equipment shutdowns, improve end-user training, promote faster staff introductions, and provide distributor sales representatives with application expertise anytime and anywhere needed. Remote Guidance is part of our growing set of Internet of Clean services that help users monitor and manage their cleaning processes more effectively.

IntelliCare is an innovative hand care system that helps healthcare facilities improve infection prevention and hand hygiene compliance. Its unique wall-mounted dispenser is the industry’s first automatic hybrid design with touchless and manual activation. IntelliCare dispenses globally-trusted hand care formulations in our Soft Care and SURE ranges. These comprise a complete set of soaps, sanitisers and creams meeting a wide range of international infection prevention standards. SURE products demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility with 100% plant-based, 100% biodegradable formulations.

Judging for the Innovation Awards takes places on the first day of the show and the results will be announced on the Wednesday afternoon. Don’t forget to check back here – or the organiser’s website – to see how we did. In the meantime, you can see these and many other Diversey innovations on Stand C37 at The Cleaning Show (21-23 March, Excel London).

 

Making Cleaning More Sustainable

The cleaning industry has been through significant changes since we last attended The Cleaning Show, not least the accelerating trend towards sustainability. Our promotion of sustainable cleaning and environmental awareness goes back even further. And although it’s been given many names since 1923 (when our business was founded), sustainability has always been at our core. Our track record is demonstrated through leadership with the Carbon Disclosure Project, assistance with the Alliance for Water Stewardship and the Asean Corporate Sustainability Award, among many other achievements.


Our aim is to help create a healthier and safer world for everyone. We published our latest Annual Sustainability Report at the end of 2018.

At the same time, we announced a new “Facilitators for Life” strategy and goals. This new approach will help ensure we address key environmental, social and technological opportunities, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, engaging in ethical business practices and decreasing our packaging footprint by 2025.

Achieving sustainable cleaning also underpins our product offerings. These should all help customers to save water, conserve energy, prevent waste, and increase safety. Our building care ranges, for example, are available as ultra-concentrates for use with dosing and dilution control platforms that enable safe, simple and consistent high-performance cleaning while minimising wastage, packaging and chemical miles. Our TASKI floorcare machines – scrubber driers, rotary disc machines and vacuum cleaners – offer class-leading performance in terms of lower energy, water and product consumption. Innovations such as the 100% plant-based SURE range provide our customers with further choices to demonstrate the highest levels of environmental responsibility.

In addition to greater awareness of sustainability issues across the board, few could have imagined a decade ago how technology-driven innovations would affect the industry and the daily lives of those working in it. As a global leader we have been at the forefront of this trend with innovations including its advanced TASKI swingobot robotic floorcare range and Internet of Clean services such as SmartView task auditing and IntelliTrail machine management. These utilise advanced technologies in new ways to support the aims and objectives of cleaning teams to collaborate and work smarter, more productively and more sustainably while reducing costs, improving outcomes and protecting brands.

We have a unique ability to support cleaning teams with a complete set of products, tools, machines and services for every aspect of their cleaning operation. This means we can work with customers to devise, configure and implement a fully-integrated solution that is fine-tuned to their business and operational requirements and delivers enhanced performance and value. The concept of a total solution from a single vendor is not new but it does require that suppliers adapt to meet the business and regulatory pressures and take advantage of new technologies. As a leading innovator across the industry, we introduce new products to maintain our full-service capabilities. In the past year alone we have added, among others, the Twister by Diversey diamond-based scrubber drier pads and the Moonbeam3TM Disinfection Technology© UV-light disinfection system to our comprehensive portfolio.

Something that was revolutionary just a few years ago can quickly become commonplace. In the past, this was true of ultra-microfibre and ultra-concentrates but today these are widely used by cleaning teams as a matter of course. Soon, innovations such as robotic cleaning, the Internet of Clean and UV-light disinfection will also become routine. You can see many of our latest innovations and learn more about how we can help you meet your sustainability objectives on Stand C37 at The Cleaning Show, Excel London, 21-23 March.

Helping Service Providers Enhance Their Bids

In a previous post, we suggested that sourcing products, tools, machines and services from a single supplier can help deliver excellent results through an integrated solution which offers innovation, improved sustainability and better value to the customer. These benefits are often mirrored for the cleaning team, building services contractor or FM provider who is delivering the service because they help to make operations more profitable and easy to manage and deliver. In turn, this can make it easier for those service providers to make a compelling case when they tender or bid for new contracts.

As a cleaning operation grows it will often comprise more and more different components. But two cleaning operations are rarely the same. Nowadays, many contracts are configured with each component carefully chosen to deliver specific advantages or benefits for the customer and/or the service provider. These choices – and the priorities that drive them – will vary from customer to customer, contract to contract. Under these circumstances, choosing products from a single supplier offers a number of benefits.

First, because it offers a broad range, the supplier is likely to be an industry leader. They will have the products, resources, expertise, experience and market knowledge to work closely with the service provider. This is more than a customer-supplier relationship – the best outcomes are achieved when the two businesses work together in partnership to deliver an enhanced solution to the end-user organisation. 

Second, contract configuration and procurement processes are simpler because there are fewer suppliers with whom to meet and negotiate. Suppliers with a wider choice of products will be able to advise on the best products and combinations to meet the ultimate business requirement. Many service providers under-estimate the time and resources that can be involved with setting up the cleaning component of major contracts.

Third, the chosen solution is less complex. Manufacturers design their products to work together. The resulting cleaning processes are simpler which leads to lower burdens associated with supply chain, implementation (eg roll-out or training), compliance, documentation, training and support. All of this saves the service provider time and money.

Fourth, integrated processes enable higher standards that are more consistent. This leads to higher levels of performance and compliance. This is demonstrable when auditing facilities or metrics from modern equipment are available as part of the solution. 

Fifth, the business relationship is simpler. Working with one supplier usually means a single point of contact at all stages of the contract. Communications channels are shorter and quicker should any issues arise. Support is usually simplified: there is less risk of being passed from one supplier to another when the cause of an underlying issue is unclear. Instead, the integrated supplier offers a single point of resolution. Many relationships will also involve the integration of cross-company functions such as account management, training and technical support so that customers perceive a single service provider. 

These are all good reasons but what about the products on offer? Cleaning suppliers that want to offer a total solution will need a set of products that cover the majority – if not all – of the major components of an operation. That is a good start but to enable true flexibility the supplier should offer choices from within its own portfolio.

A good example of this is floorcare where options include traditional mopping products, reusable and disposable microfibre, or various types of machine equipped with different pads or brushes. Each can offer benefits in particular scenarios. Another example is the choice between multipurpose formulations and separate products for each task and whether these will be concentrates or conventional formulations. Beyond this, the choice can be between innovations with new benefits or traditional products with a proven track record. The list goes on but only those suppliers who offer genuine choices will be able to support service providers who want to configure and fine-tune their operations to deliver maximum business, operational and cost benefits. Innovation is a key requirement in many cleaning operations because it supports other objectives such as improving results or reducing costs.

Our approach at Diversey is to introduce innovations and unique technologies across our portfolio to ensure customers can benefit from new ways of working while still dealing with a single market-leading supplier. In this way, we and our service provider customers can create highly focused solutions by choosing the very best products for the specific application and contract.

We will be highlighting how we work with cleaning teams, building service contractor and FM providers to help them configure innovative solutions and win new business at The Cleaning Show this week in London. Visit us on Stand C37.

Cleaning and The Internet of Things

We live in an interconnected world where anyone and anything can exchange information in real time and increasingly vast amounts. One of the clearest examples of this is the Internet of Things – the myriad of gadgets that communicate with each other over “the cloud”. According to global research analyst Gartner, around 20 billion such devices – excluding tablets and smartphones – will be in use by 2020 – almost three devices for every human alive. Some estimates suggest even more. Gartner also predicts that around two thirds of enterprises – doubling the total in just three years – will have adopted IoT products by 2020. By then the global value of the IoT will be over $7 trillion according to some reports.

While some of this technology is employed in what many consider to be trivial tasks there are many useful applications. Amazon, for example, offers small wireless gadgets that attach to home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. Just a single tap on the device’s button issues a request via a smartphone or home network to the company’s systems and automatically generates an order for replacement detergents which are then delivered the next day. The user has no more interaction than that, yet the system works seamlessly to ensure they never run out of product. Some domestic appliance manufacturers have gone further and embedded internet connectivity into their machines. This allows users to check, control and manage their washing machines and dishwashers remotely using apps on their smartphone or from their PC or tablet.

Similar concepts are now emerging in the professional cleaning sector and Diversey calls this the Internet of Clean. This provides a framework that remotely monitors equipment, machines, and operations through sensor-generated data. Analysing this data enables insight into cleaning operations, dosing, compliance and machine performance.

We’ll be featuring The Internet of Clean as one of our Top Ten products at The Cleaning Show (21-23/3 London).

Businesses are investing heavily in the IoT to integrate new and existing equipment and technologies with software applications. The amount of information that can be generated can be bewildering but used wisely it offers new levels of oversight and control. The aim is to produce business-class solutions that are robust and secure while delivering the insight and performance gains that justify the investment. There are already many examples across food service and related sectors:

Remote Dishwash & Laundry Monitoring: operators can monitor dishwashing and laundry machines to see information such as the number of cycles completed, temperatures, volumes cleaned, product levels and the amount of water and energy used. They have greater control to improve results and reduce costs while maintaining food hygiene and safety compliance. Such systems have shown, for example, that around four out of five dishwashing processes use too much fill and rinse water and that most machines are 10-15 per cent off spec in rinse temperature. Insight like this allows operators to remodel their processes to reduce the associated wastage.

Information is automatically and instantaneously analysed so that status reports and alarms are shown immediately on an interactive user dashboard. This provides a clear and intuitive view of every connected dishwashing machine, even at multiple locations. Such systems can send alerts to authorised recipients to enable rapid response. This might include, for example, when energy, water or detergent usage exceeds predetermined limits. Operators can then proactively predict and prevent unexpected downtime to maximise machine uptime, performance and efficiency. Information required to resolve issues can be provided in the form of video attachments and contextual content that also acts as training material.

Hand Hygiene Compliance Monitoring: the latest hand wash dispensers monitor the number of uses and the amount of product consumed. When connected to the Internet of Clean they allow managers to monitor and manage multiple units across several sites simultaneously, reducing workloads while enhancing efficiency. Operators have a clearer understanding of utilisation and hand hygiene compliance. This is particularly important in food service and healthcare settings where the link between good hand hygiene, food safety and patient safety is critical. Smart dispensers can reveal under- or over-usage that helps operators understand users’ behaviour and intervene with appropriate remedies armed with accurate information. These dispensers also issue alerts when product or battery levels get too low so that supervisors can respond proactively to maintain availability.

Cleaning & Food Safety Audits: devices including smartphones are used by teams to complete audits, follow instructions, confirm actions and provide feedback using text, images and video. Managers can see the status of any operation, where tasks have yet to be completed, and overall performance levels. They can assess success and compliance with service level agreements, provide evidence to customers and streamline their operations to improve productivity and profitability.

Food Waste Monitoring: kitchen staff place food waste in a bin mounted on scales and confirm information on a connected touchscreen. The system provides instant feedback on the amount and type of waste being generated. Through Internet of Clean connections, managers can monitor individual sites and aggregate information from multiple locations to analyse daily and weekly trends. With up to 20 per cent of food purchased in kitchens ending up in waste bins the insight provided by these systems can help food service operators understand and reduce their waste by up to half and cut costs by up to eight per cent.

Optimising Resources: the information available through Internet of Clean technologies can help managers to benchmark and understand staff behaviour so that they can deploy teams more effectively and productively. With labour costs representing by far the biggest element of any cleaning operation this can yield significant benefits. Teams can do more in the same time and focus on tasks that make the biggest difference to customers.

Augmented Reality: feature-rich interactive content is delivered direct to the user to complement conventional operating, maintenance and training guides. This not only promotes greater efficiency but reduces the need for time-consuming interventions to deal with routine issues.

These and other innovations are accessed over the Internet of Clean using smartphones, tablets and desktops. Users have a digital portal and intuitive dashboards where they can review data and trends. This quantifiable information offers valuable, real-time insight into their operations, delivered in easy-to-interpret KPIs. Operators can improve their qualitative standards while lowering the cost of cleaning and hygiene programmes. In the majority of cases the services can be configured to send a text or email alert when predetermined conditions arise. This means that supervisors and managers can take action before an issue impacts on the customer or end user.

As with any innovation the real benefits of the Internet of Things can only be realised when the investment delivers a justifiable and quantifiable return in a meaningful timeframe. The return can be relatively easy to justify and accrues quickly when remote diagnostic and management prevents unexpected equipment outages or reduces the need for expensive on-site intervention. However, innovation and improvements to customer service and the resulting increase in loyalty or reputation may be somewhat harder to quantify in hard cash terms despite adding value.

The cleaning industry is starting its own journey with the Internet of Clean. The future is as hard to predict as ever but there is little doubt that these – and as yet unforeseen innovations – will enable operators to improve service, productivity, compliance, operational performance, and sustainability.