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Mopping - the drive for versatility1st of October 2014
What are the most important trends currently in mopping equipment? How are manufacturers of mopping systems responding to user requirements for higher productivity, better hygiene standards and lower costs? TTS writes exclusively for ECJ.
In the professional mopping equipment world one of the main trend is the ongoing gradual substitution of the traditional cleaning method based on buckets and wringers with modern pre-soaked mop techniques. This procedure can now be performed both in advance in dedicated rooms and on the spot, directly when needed by the operative.
This change is significantly improving the final hygiene result, as well as saving time and costs - because it eliminates downtime during operations. It also dramatically reduces the quantity of water required, which means less chemical agent distributed in the environment. At the same time new ergonomic tools are enabling cleaning staff to have better posture throughout cleaning tasks.
Going even further, instant on-the–spot impregnation systems achieve extreme simplification of working methods together with the highest hygienic standards. Operators simply soak the mops they need directly on the trolley, but only the required number of mop heads and always with the appropriate quantity of cleaning solution.
The new age of mopping systems heralds a wealth of innovative solutions based on the on-demand principle, which means convenience, resources and time saving, utmost flexibility and customised procedures.
Another main trend in the market which we are witnessing can be seen in the gradually increasing importance of research into materials and fabrics for floor and surface cleaning.
The new developments for microfibre – which has by now an undisputed predominant position - today are certainly focused on a deep differentiation of the possible solutions. The key role is played by research into new ultra-fabrics, specially studied according to the kind of operation, the level of dirt, the application and the surface being cleaned.
If on the one hand the range of cloths, mops and fabrics is widening more and more and increasing the number of possible choices, on the other hand we are witnessing a gradual simplification of working devices. Today it is no longer convenient, ergonomic and effective for cleaning staff to work with many tools: the trend is to use few versatile, compact and multipurpose items.
For example the operator using only one reversible frame can clean floors as well as vertical surfaces; with the same frame – combined with different specific microfibres - he can sweep, wash, disinfect, scrub and dry any kind of surface. All this is combined with trolleys which become highly customisable multipurpose workstations, equipped with modular cleaning systems that can be modified according to the specific procedure and cleaning site.
We have always analysed the requests coming from the market and the new achievements of the cleaning world, converting them into new energy and life for our R&D department. First of all we have been for a long time planning on-demand systems to be applied on multipurpose trolleys or floor cleaning tools - devices that can immediately increase the working autonomy of cleaning staff, completely modular so as to fit their workstation, or other already present items, durable and long-lasting. We try to focus our attention on the simplification of tools to reduce as much as possible the need for staff training and support in their everyday work.
In summary, our goal is to offer multifunctional integrated cleaning systems: buckets, mops, tools and trolleys which can be customised and – although easy to use – perform several operations at the same time, so as to reduce and lighten the minimal working kit, with no decrease in the quality of the final cleaning result and the possibility to perform different operations.
That’s not all: by now it is a well-known idea that clean and neat environments with high standards of hygiene considerably improve the quality of life and the perceived well-being. All this must always be achieved with conscious and effective protection of the surrounding environment and the leading manufacturers transform this into a real commitment along the whole production chain.
Most of them now organise production in the interest of the utmost sustainability: a commitment acknowledged with ISO 14001 certification. Since 2011 at TTS, for example, we have been independent in terms of energy thanks to a photo voltaic system which supplies the whole Italian production plant with clean energy.
And the market’s suppliers are turning our customers into active players of environment protection, because we offer them products which really reduce everyday water consumption and the consequent dispersion of chemicals in the environment. We are trying to ensure that a cleaner future is in our hands.
It’s true that many cleaning machine manufacturers are now launching small machines which they say can replace mopping in some applications. In our opinion, the small machines recently introduced as an alternative to mopping systems can properly perform only some of the usual operations which cleaning staff have to accomplish when they are about to sanitize a hospital ward, an office, a school environment.
We do not see them as a real alternative to mopping systems as they are designed and planned today. A machine cannot reach the most hidden corners of a room, as well as walls, mirrors, windows, top shelves and various working surfaces. This device must be in any case implemented with other equipment, so raising problems of space and the high number of tools to be bought, carried to the working site, cleaned, maintained.
This is really far from our idea of a workstation: a multipurpose, complete and customisable trolley, perfect for all cleaning operations in different contexts. These small machines certainly have some benefits but we think they lack the overall view which makes integrated mopping systems for professional cleaning real multitasking devices.
Mopping systems are now more than ever vitally important in modern cleaning operations, as they reduce costs, time and working efforts and at the same time offer great functional versatility and – a much more important target and the main goal of our job – higher and higher standards of hygiene, even in very delicate environments such as hospitals and healthcare facilities.