What will the professional cleaning sector look like in 2017?

9th of December 2016 Article by Dr Ilham Kadri
What will the professional cleaning sector look like in 2017?

Dr Ilham Kadri, president of the Diversey Care division at Sealed Air, writes her latest blog for ECJ. Here she reflects upon the top professional cleaning industry trends for 2016, but more importantly, looks at how the fast-paced industry will evolve and shift across the next twelve months.

The end of 2016 is almost here; what better time to highlight the key moments in the professional cleaning sector and look to the top trends for 2017.

Sustainability - Watching our water usage

A key event in the global calendar this year was COP22 - or the 22nd Conference of the Parties on Climate Change as it is otherwise known. Whilst most of the summit discussed the pathways to lowering the global temperature, the conference also talked about factors which directly impacted the cleaning industry, such as the issue of water mismanagement and water shortages.

Certain products and systems which have been developed over the last year or so have been able to combat these high water shortages and smart, robotic systems have been created which can reduce water and chemical levels by up to 85 per cent.

Internet of Clean (IoC) - Growth of connected cleaning

In 2017, more marketplaces are set to utilise the potential that the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data technologies have to improve operational efficiency. In fact, global business consultancy firm McKinsey has estimated that the total IoT market value will grow to £3 billion by 2020.

As the IoT grows, so will the IoC - a new platform for the cleaning industry which connects machines, dispensers, sensors, beacons and other smart devices. This allows businesses to monitor their operations remotely to improve productivity, safety and operational performance.

Robotics and augmented reality - A new reality for the cleaning sector

Robotic technology is changing the market and will continue to alter how cleaning is undertaken into 2017. By 2020 it has been predicted that the overall value of the robotic cleaning market will reach £2 billion. Robotic technology was also showcased at ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Amsterdam and Chicago in 2016.

At ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam, Diversey Care's Suma Revoflow product also won the Innovation Award. This product featured augmented reality technology - technology which featured in the summer craze Pokémon Go. For those who have an interest in augmented reality, it allows users to receive step-by-step graphics or video guidance on how to use or care for products, as well as offering self-troubleshooting and remote support.

This technology is being used for chemical dosing equipment, but in 2017 and beyond, it has been predicted that augmented reality will be applied to other products such as floor care machines.

With the increase in connected cleaning and augmented reality, the cleaner's role is likely to change. In 2017, you will be more likely to see cleaners with smart devices in their hands instead of a vacuum or a mop and bucket.

This shift should be embraced - the cleaning industry isn't just keeping up with technological shifts, but we are now seeing companies and products which are ahead of the curve.

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