Quick Tips to Maintaining Industrial Floors | Corona, CA

by Michael Schaffer

Rarely in the commercial cleaning business will you hear the term, “general cleaning.” That is because each cleaning task is unique; unique cleaning problems produce unique cleaning solutions. In following this adage, the maintenance of industrial floors is no different.

Floor maintenance works best when the duties, frequency of tasks and other services necessary to maintain the floor have been outlined and written down. Everyone involved in floor maintenance should be aware of and be a part of the floor maintenance plan. The floor maintenance plan should also outline exactly how the floors are to be maintained.

Regular maintenance — including such things as placing mats at entries, vacuuming them regularly and maintaining the outside entries by removing oily soils on sidewalks and parking lots — helps keep industrial floors clean. In addition, all building lobbies and entries should be dust mopped, mopped and cleaned daily.

More advanced floor care equipment, such as scrubbers, burnishers and cylindrical machines, can significantly reduce the time needed to care for floors. In addition, managers of industrial facilities will usually look for the most efficient equipment they can find, such as machines that can multitask: Scrub, clean and polish.

The chemicals selected for floor maintenance are also a concern. These chemicals, of all cleaning products, can be some of the most potentially harmful to the environment. Environmentally preferable floor care chemicals are now being introduced that work as effectively as conventional products but with less impact on the environment.

For industrial facilities, floor care machines with passive vacuum systems are necessary. These vacuums keep impurities from being released into the air, protecting the health of cleaning professionals and industrial workers.

To find out more about cleaning commercial flooring, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.sciefloorscrubbers.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

The Best Cleaning Method for Your Commercial Flooring | Corona, CA

July 10, 2019

Too often people underestimate the impact of a building’s flooring material. Picture yourself walking into a high-end commercial building. Natural light floods the room and glints off of marble floors that cover the expanse of the lobby area. Instantly, the commercial building gives its owners added class, prestige, and reputation.

But with unique floors comes unique cleaning and care needs. The last thing you want is to ruin your nice marble floors by using an acidic cleaner. Or warping your building’s beautiful hardwood by using too much water. When choosing a commercial cleaner for your building, pay extra attention to how they’ll take care of your floors.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is a common flooring material. It’s hardy, cost-efficient, water-and-stain resistant, and can be attractive. Today, vinyl floors can mimic wood, tile, and even marble. It comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. However, vinyl can be difficult to install.

Vinyl is a relatively thin material. This fact is part of why it’s so cost-efficient. But it does mean that the success of your flooring installation often depends on the subfloor underneath it. If there are any bumps, grooves, or indentations, it will show through to your finished vinyl flooring. Because of this, the best subfloor is typically well-sanded plywood.

Vinyl flooring is one of the easier materials to clean. It can be scoured with germ-killing solutions such as antiseptic. It is also resistant to chemicals, such as oil, grease, methane, propane, and more. This means fewer stains to scrub out and that it can handle a heavy-duty cleaning.

However, vinyl isn’t indestructible. The surface can be scratched. Therefore, the first step to cleaning vinyl floors is to dry mop to remove any dust or dirt. It’s also a good idea to place a mat at all entries and exits. And stain-resistant doesn’t mean stain-proof. Wipe up any stains as soon as they occur. Vinyl is not a material where you would use a “mop and shine” product. These can actually leave a dull film on top of your floor. Abrasive cleaners will also scratch the floors and should be avoided.

If your vinyl floors are heavily-trafficked, you want to clean them frequently. This will prevent a build-up of dust and grime which could damage the surface. However, you need to wait at least two weeks after it has been installed before cleaning. This ensures that the surface has set and will not be negatively impacted by any wet cleaning.

Wood Flooring

Hardwood floors can be iconic. Depending on what tree they’re made out of, they can be quite wide, with beautiful patterning and decent durability. If you have an older more rustic commercial building, they can add a lot of character to your building with a warm feel. However, hardwood floors are expensive. The installation cost of hardwood ranges from $5 to $8 a square foot. This adds up quite fast when you’re installing the square footage needed for a commercial building.

Hardwood floors require more care than synthetic vinyl. Its warmth and attractiveness greatly decreases once scratched, or scuffed. If not well-taken care of, it loses its shine and makes your building look grungy and old instead of professional. Part of cleaning and care should include sweeping to remove any dirt that could be ground into it by constant walking traffic. Placing mats at entrances will keep the dust and dirt from entering into your office.

If you do choose to use entryway mats, be sure to sweep underneath them on a regular basis. Otherwise the area underneath the mats will be slowly ground away, as if by sandpaper.

Hardwood floors are easily damaged by sunlight and excess water. Wood is a porous material and will more easily soak up stains and water than vinyl. This will lead to discoloration, warping, and an unattractive floor for your office. Hardwood can also be damaged or discolored by sunlight. If your commercial building has a lot of natural lighting, hardwood floors may not be a good choice.

While vinyl should be cleaned frequently, hardwood flooring should be cleaned every day. This prevents any sort of sandpaper effect by removing the thin layer of dust and grime that has built up from foot traffic throughout the day. In order to truly keep their shine, hardwood floors need to be mopped with a wood finishing product at least once a month. This will help keep the floor shiny and your building looking nice. Avoid excess water usage when mopping to avoid damage.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete floors are becoming more and more popular in commercial buildings. They lend themselves to an industrial feel that is hardy and long-lasting. When it is sealed and polished, concrete can almost have the same impact on your building as marble flooring. It can add shine and prestige to your office. However, if it becomes too dirty or loses its luster, it can quickly start to feel like your typical garage floor.

To keep concrete floors looking professional, it’s important to have them scrubbed, sealed, and polished on a pretty regular basis. Despite its durability, concrete is actually quite porous. This means it can easily be discolored by spilled drinks or chemical mishaps. Having your concrete floor sealed helps to prevent discolorations from ruining your flooring.

Compared to carpet or hardwood, concrete is actually an easy-to-care-for material. When it’s properly sealed, it’s resistant to almost all scratches and stains, and doesn’t trap small particulates or dust. However, concrete does still need some maintenance.

To keep your building clean and fresh, it’s a good idea to dry mop on a daily basis. The floor should be scrubbed and re-sealed every few years. This will keep it resistant to stains. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners on a daily basis will keep the sealant intact for longer and help the flooring keep its polished look for longer.

To find out more about cleaning commercial flooring, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.sciefloorscrubbers.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

What Floor Scrubber Is Best for Your Needs? | Corona, CA

When deciding on the best way to clean your industrial floors, there are a few things to consider. Because there are so many different models, it is important that you know the full scope of your floors in order to invest in the appropriate machine. Because the machine options vary and every building is different, choosing the wrong machine may cause issues regarding use, manpower and monetary budgeting. Here is an easy way to gather all the information needed to choose an appropriate machine.

Estimate the square footage that needs to be cleaned. We can assist you with this calculation, just drop us a line.

Choose a machine that can clean the bulk of your facility.

Walk through the machine’s entire cleaning path. Measure doorways, ramps and obstacles to ensure you don’t get a machine that doesn’t fit.

Choose the largest machine your space can accommodate. A bigger machine will have a longer run time, and it can carry more water.

Calculate how much your company currently spends on labor to maintain floors and show how an efficient new machine can pay for itself.

We can help with an estimation, just let us know and we will walk you through it. If you need a machine to clean hallways or warehouse aisles, measure the width of those aisles. This will help you select the best cleaning path width for your machine.

For example, if you have 10-foot warehouse aisles (120”), a floor scrubber with a 40” cleaning path could (in theory) clean the aisle in three, very precise passes. Realistically, the employee would make four passes. By purchasing a scrubber with a 45” deck, the same aisle could be cleaned in only three passes.

To find out more about floor scrubbers, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.sciefloorscrubbers.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Proper Maintenance of Scrubber Pads and Brushes | Corona, CA

As the saying dictates, all good things must come to an end. And the same goes for your maintenance equipment. The more you use your machine, the sooner it will develop wear and tear. But the life of each can be extended with a few maintenance tips.

Firstly, pads and brushes should be cleaned before the next use as the debris, finish, and stripper from any floor gets up inside the pad or the brush. Pads are meant to be used on both sides, but even that doesn’t guarantee an eternal lifespan. Of course, this depends on a few factors: the dirtiness of the floor, how often it’s cleaned, how solid the finish is, and how fast the operator runs the machine. However, the best way to tell is when the pad loses its effectiveness in cleaning.

Pads need to be cleaned in specific ways based on use. Soaking them in cleaning or stripping solution is not recommended as it will break them down. Simply use hot water and a garden nozzle to remove soils and finish from building up on the pad. Rinse it, brush it and hang it to dry after each use. Do this before finish or soil dries on the pad.

Rotating brushes on a weekly basis ensures that the brushes are effectively scrubbing. If brush rotation doesn’t occur, the bristles will begin to wear more on one side, causing loss of brush power. Similar to pads, clean them well after each use while still moist. When the bristles fray and there is debris packed into them, or the bristles are just too short, it is time to replace.

To find out more about cleaning your floor scrubbers, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.sciefloorscrubbers.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

When It’s Time to Purchase a New Floor Scrubber | Corona, CA

When you have a large area to keep spic-n-span in order to keep everyone safe and protected from germs and debris, it can be a daunting task. Many industrial businesses invest in a floor scrubber rather than using the traditional mop and bucket technique. Not only does it save time, but it also saves manpower.

Are you ready to make the investment? Here are a few questions to consider when beginning your search:

Do you need a sweeper, a scrubber or both?
Knowing what your floor needs to maintain the level of cleanliness you’re looking for will help guide which models to seek out. Some  specialize in one mode of cleaning, while others have a dual feature. It all depends on what your industry is and the area you are trying to maintain.

Rider or walk-behind? This depends on the surface of your floors. A rider will increase productivity, but not if you have lots of nooks and crannies to get clean. Knowing the area your cleaning will make this decision easier.

What kind of flooring are you cleaning?
Different surfaces necessitate different cleaning products.

Who is operating the scrubber?
“Different strokes for different folks” may be the saying, but it holds true for floor scrubbers purchasing. Make sure whoever is operating it  can fit the machine and know how to operate it properly. The point is to make this investment a worthwhile one, not cumbersome to those using it.

To find out more about automatic floor scrubbers, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.sciefloorscrubbers.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Types of Floor Scrubber Cleaning Chemicals & Detergent | Corona, CA

There are a few basic types of floor scrubber chemicals:

pH neutral cleaner. pH neutral is 7 on a scale from 1-4.  This is safe for all floor types, but this will only clean basic dirt from foot traffic you might see in a hospital or school.  Basically, if it’s already clean by dust mopping, this will clean the remaining dirt.

All-purpose cleaner. this is slightly above pH neutral (usually in the 9-10 range).  With the added pH alkalinity, the chemical can “cut” or dissolve soils better. It’s slightly more aggressive than a pH neutral cleaner and many of these are safe for use on floor finish.  Read the label first before using on floor finish.

Light duty degreaser. This pH will usually be around 9-11.  It’s got some ingredients that will dissolve or “cut” grease and petroleum.  It may be geared towards food grease (animal fats) or petroleum based (motor oils).  This product is not designed for use on floor finish, and it will destroy the floor finish over time causing you to have to strip/wax the floors more frequently.  You might find these products in a spray and wipe application as well as mop bucket or autoscrubbers.

Heavy duty degreaser. The pH for these products will usually be 12 or higher as that’s the strength of alkalinity required to easily break down greases, oils and other petroleum based industrial soils.  The ingredients in these products are caustic (corrosive) and need to be handled with care.  These products are not designed to be used by hand as that poses too much risk of contact with the operator or housekeeper.  These products are usually designed for floor use only for safety.

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To find out more about floor cleaner options, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.scielifts.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

In Focus: Robotic Floor Scrubbers | Corona, CA

Rising labor costs, increasing health and safety concerns, and limited resources are factors contributing to the rapid implementation of robot cleaners

by Amy W. Richardson May 20, 2021

Robotic floor scrubbers have come a long way since the first models hit the cleaning scene in the early 2000s. But it took nearly two decades for them to find commercial success. That breakthrough came in October 2018 when Walmart announced it would deploy autonomous floor scrubbing machines in 360 stores.

Following a cleaning routine in play at many retail stores, a Walmart associate at every location spent two hours a day riding or walking behind the scrub machine to keep floors sparkling clean. The introduction of self-driving scrubbers, powered by Brain Corp.’s assisted autonomous technology, freed these associates to take care of other tasks like tidying restrooms, dust-mopping the checkout aisles, or engaging with customers. The workers simply prepped the floor area and mapped the machine’s route, then pressed a button to start the floor cleaning process.

Today there are thousands of “intelligent cleaners” deployed globally in retail and grocery stores, malls, airports, schools, hospitals, and other public locations. This growth is due to advances in technology that have made robotic solutions more efficient and easier to operate and afford.

“The main difference between those very early versions and the machines of today have to do with the quality of sensors and cameras for autonomous navigation, the sophistication of the artificial intelligence (AI), safety, ease of use, cleaning efficiency, and much more,” said Alan Butcher, Vice President of Global Client Services at Brain Corp., a provider of AI and robotics technology used in autonomous scrubbers, vacuums and other applications. “It’s literally night and day—probably what you would expect from two decades of innovation.”

As navigation systems have improved, more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are jumping on board, said Dennis Collins, senior product manager at Tennant Company, which introduced its first autonomous floor scrubber, T7AMR, in 2018 and has since launched two more models, one for small spaces and one for larger industrial customers. These models run on Brain Corp.’s robotic AI software platform, BrainOS®, which also powers floor care machines made by ICE Robotics, Minuteman, Kärcher, and Nilfisk.

The path to proliferation

Based on a 2019 study by ABI Research, autonomous mobile robots are projected to be the fastest-growing category in the mobile robot market between 2020 and 2030. ABI predicted a significant sector for mobile automation would be maintenance and cleaning, noting 5,000 autonomous floor scrubbers were already in U.S. retail stores and commercial buildings at the end of 2019.

The reason that robotic scrubbers are proliferating, and even becoming the new commercial cleaning standard, according to Butcher, is because they serve a straightforward purpose. “Robots are good at tackling dull, repetitive, labor-intensive tasks, and floor care is one of them,” he said.

Rising labor costs, increasing health and safety concerns, and limited resources are other factors contributing to the rapid implementation of robot cleaners, including autonomous floor scrubbers, said Faizan Sheikh, CEO and cofounder of Canadian-based Avidbots, which debuted its fully autonomous floor scrubbing robot Neo in 2017.

“The cost of cleaning labor continues to rise across North America. By implementing a robotic solution like Neo, organizations are able to reallocate 93% of that labor to other business-critical or value-added tasks,” Sheikh said. “This allows organizations using autonomous floor scrubbers to focus on revenue-generating activities.”

The pandemic effect

Freeing up staff to do other high-value tasks has been a major selling point of robotics during the recent health crisis. The pandemic helped bring the value of robotic automation to the forefront, especially in retail and other essential businesses, Butcher said. “We saw a big spike in autonomous activity at U.S. retailers last year, especially in the second quarter when robotic usage rose 24% compared to the previous year. For Brain Corp, this has translated into strong growth. We saw more than a 300% increase in deployments of BrainOS-powered scrubbers in 2020, and we have seen strong demand continue into this year.”

Avidbots has seen a 100% demand increase for its robot since March 2020, particularly from airports, warehousing and logistics centers, manufacturing facilities, schools, and retailers. “We anticipate demand will continue to remain high once the crisis has passed, as society will continue to demand a much higher level and frequency of cleaning and disinfection than before and businesses will be required to retain higher and more frequent cleaning protocols,” Sheikh said.

Collins said Tennant Company has found that “customers are embracing robotics more than ever before” during the pandemic. “The pandemic has put a focus on cleanliness and cleanliness is now part of a company’s brand,” he said. “Automation can help our customers improve the cleanliness of their facilities, creating healthier and safer spaces for their employees and customers.”

The numerous benefits

In addition to labor reallocation and the increased productivity that comes with it, Collins notes robotic floor scrubbers can address many key end user needs, including increased measurability of their cleaning efforts, reduced costs, enhanced customer/employee experience, and proof they are keeping pace with innovation.

Consistency of performance is a major benefit, too, according to Kris Dihrkop, director of strategic accounts, and Chris Wetmore, vice president of sales, at ICE Robotics. A robot can be counted on for consistency and completing a task in exactly the same way, “so you know what to expect every single time you deploy a machine,” Dihrkop said.

Using autonomous machines can also lower insurance costs, stemming from reduced worker injuries and reduced damaged to merchandise caused by human errors, Butcher notes.

Perhaps the most exciting development in recent years is how robotic floor scrubbers can now provide a “confirmed” or “measurable” clean.

“With a manual solution the floor cleaning cannot be quantified or qualified,” Sheikh said. “There is no way to track what was cleaned and with what efficacy. Autonomous solutions on the other hand provide metrics and data on every single cleaning operation…Cleaning operations can use these metrics to optimize floor care over a period of time.”

A return on investment

Return on investment (ROI) for robotic automation varies by customer, but end users can maximize their ROI by looking at their operations holistically, Collins said. When calculating ROI consider including everything from reduced costs to enhanced worker productivity and improved customer experiences.

While there is no “magic number,” the payback period for a large-scale investment in robotic floor scrubbers can be as little as 12-18 months depending on usage patterns and customer goals, Butcher said. “For certain industries, such as retail, this ROI can be greatly accelerated with the addition of other add-on applications to the robotic scrubber, such as a shelf-scanning accessory that collects valuable inventory insights to reduce out-of-stocks, verify pricing and planogram compliance, and improve customer experiences,” Butcher said.

Sheik also believes a 12- to 18-month payback is achievable depending on labor rate, facility size, and robot deployment frequency.

Customers with a higher volume and frequency of cleaning needs typically achieve ROI quicker, said Dihrkop at ICE Robotics. “How you procure and maintain the product is part of the equation: all-inclusive subscriptions provide lower total cost of ownership and help clients more quickly realize ROI.”

To find out more about robotic floor scrubbers, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.scielifts.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Floor Scrubber Growth on the Upswing | Corona, CA

Posted May 25, 2021

As the use of automatic floor scrubbers and sweepers has become more common in commercial buildings, the scrubbers and sweepers market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 8% between 2020−2026, according to a new report from market research firm Arizton Advisory & Intelligence. Key drivers fueling this growth include a growing demand for cleaning technologies, a greater inclination toward sustainability, increased investments in research and development, and a rising call for cleanliness in the hospitality industry.

The scrubbers segment dominated with a share of over 57% of the market and is expected to add more than US$1.4 million during the 6-year forecast period. The sweepers market is expected to generate an additional revenue of almost $892 million.

Contract cleaners, such as building service providers (BSCs), account for the majority share of the market at approximately 14% of the global share.

The report also found:

  • Approximately 80%-90% of all engine-powdered cleaning equipment is propane-fueled
  • With innovations in battery technology, the demand for battery-powered scrubbers and sweepers is expected to grow during the forecast period with predictions of $1.1 billion by 2026. The industrial and commercial floor cleaning machine manufacturers adopt lithium-ion batteries due to their higher productivity, longer runtime, reduced maintenance, and lesser charging time.
  • Many commercial walk-behind scrubber machines are eco-friendly and reduce the use of harmful chemicals.

To find out more about the uptick in floor scrubber sales, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.scielifts.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness | Corona, CA

Now that we are hyper-aware of the cleanliness of a place, it is important that we continue to maintain these levels in order to keep everyone safe. But if that place has a lot of square footage, it can take a lot of time and manpower in order to keep everything clean as a whistle, especially when it comes to the floors. People are always walking on them, so cleaning them can become cumbersome. Then in walks the industrial scrubber. Commercial floor scrubbers, like our Clarke and Viper models, make the job of cleaning heavily used floors much easier than it would be otherwise. These are the benefits of investing in an industrial scrubber to handle your floor maintenance.

Quicker dry times. When you use a traditional mop and bucket to clean the floor, drying may take some time. A floor scrubber doesn’t use nearly as much water as a traditional mop, allowing floors to dry faster and preventing the risk of slips and falls.

Cleaning efficiency. These scrubbers have the power to remove grime, grease, and dirt that are traditionally very difficult to remove. In particular, a floor scrubber does its magic by spraying water and chemicals on the floor, scrubbing the dirt and grime away, and leaving a perfect shine in its wake.

Easier cleaning process. You will find a floor scrubber rather easy to operate – you can either push it from behind or ride it across the area to be cleaned, depending upon whether you have a push floor scrubber or a ride-on one. Either variety reduces the amount of effort that the operator has to exert and enables a larger surface area to be cleaned in a smaller amount of time, saving time and manpower.

To find out more about floor scrubbers, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.scielifts.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Do I Clean My Floors with Regular Soap? | Corona, CA

When you have the daunting task of keeping a large building or structure clean, the floors are generally your biggest issue. After all, countless people are walking on your floors, and it is imperative that you keep them sparkling clean. Rather than doing the floors by hand, wasting time and energy, you have purchased yourself a floor scrubber. Now your workload has shrunken by at least half. What a relief! But wait…what soap does the thing use? It depends on what you’re keeping clean.

Because every building and occupant is different, there is no one soap that works across the board. If you are keeping a hospital clean, you wouldn’t need the same soap as say, a mechanic’s garage. Make sure you check the instructions. They are there for a reason – to protect the equipment so you can use it for as long as possible. But it is a good rule of thumb to use a low-foam detergent. Foam in the recovery tank will get into the vac motor and damage it. If this is happening, you may need to use de-foamer in the recovery tank.

While some amount of cleaner is good to remove dirt, in most instances, when just cleaning a dusty warehouse floor, less detergent is usually okay. That’s why you have a machine – to do the grunt work. Give the solution some dwell time on the floor so that the solution has time to work. Then go back with the scrubber. If you haven’t had a floor scrubber before, you may have to make a couple passes the first time to get it clean.

To find out more about floor cleaner, please contact us at (951)735-2905 or visit www.scielifts.com.

Southern California Industrial Equipment proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.