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ECJ looks back on 20 years - Markus Asch, Kärcher19th of March 2013
ECJ celebrates its 20th birthday this month. To celebrate our birthday we look back at the key trends affecting the industry over the last 20 years, with the help of some of the best-known names in the industry. Today, Markus Asch of Kärcher.
Our industry has developed in a highly professional manner. This has meant that companies are employing R&D tools and manufacturing techniques that are used in leading industries such as automotive engineering.
In terms of products, the use of electronics has made cleaning machines easier to use and their use more efficient. Modern RFID technology today facilitates individualised access to machine functions, and that makes handling them much easier. Technical advances in control unit circuit boards have, for example, made platform concepts and modular design of entire equipment series possible. I am sure that there is more to come.
The consistent reduction of energy consumption in cleaning technology, without compromising cleaning performance, has also been an important breakthrough.
We have managed to successfully combine innovation with sustainability. Being sustainable has become increasingly important and all stakeholders have recognised the relevance of this. Energy and resource efficiency are most important in many respects – in equipment use, in the choice of materials for machine components and in the manufacturing process.
Cleaning is a very complex business. You can only come up with a cleaning solution that not only provides a great-looking clean but also contributes to maintaining the value and caring for the object that needs to be cleaned and of course protects the people that live and work in the object.
In the light of this, the fact that our industry has no scientific basis is a shortfall: cleaning is not dealt with scientifically or taught at any universities. I also see scope for improvement in interaction between market players. Manufacturers and users still do not cooperate sufficiently to jointly achieve the best possible result.
We have identified the megatrends for the next few decades. Now what we have to do is draw the right conclusions for our industry. We will have to focus particular attention on growing urbanisation; by the middle of the century, the majority of the world’s population will be living close to one another in megacities. We will have to start thinking from scratch again!