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The power of cleaning

19 March 2015

Cleaning and hygiene supplier Diversey Care has combined the unique attributes of the Hawker XFC batteries from EnerSys with its TASKI floorcare machines.

The scrubber driers are designed to provide contract cleaning and in-house cleaning teams with high machine performance, reliability and availability. The reduced energy consumption and simpler deployment of the batteries also fitted well with its objective to make cleaning operations simpler, less expensive and more sustainable.
"Today many organisations have aggressive targets for utility savings and carbon footprint reduction,” says Lawrence Osborne, TASKI marketing leader for UK & Ireland at Diversey Care. "We have secured a number of large organisations’ cleaning machine supply contracts because these customers recognise the utility savings their TASKI scrubber driers deliver. TASKI customers enjoy the energy savings delivered by their machines through reduced in-use energy consumption and significantly shorter charging window delivered by XFC batteries and chargers.”

Diversey Care customers include many of the largest national and international contract cleaning and facilities management companies as well as numerous major hotel groups, retailers, health care providers and other organisations who choose to run in-house cleaning operations. For many of these floorcare represents a significant part of their daily cleaning routine and the majority specify equipment such as a scrubber drier to undertake this important task.
Building care has undergone a transformation in recent years. Sectors such as retail and transport have lengthened the working day to such an extent that their operations are now effectively round-the-clock. Even sectors such as healthcare and hospitality with traditionally long opening hours have seen the working day become busier. There are few quiet periods, day or night, when ancillary services such as cleaning can be completed conveniently. Instead, building care teams have moved to 'daytime' or 'worktime' cleaning where operations by necessity must be completed while the facility is open.
To support these new ways of working contract cleaners and in-house cleaning teams need equipment to be available at all times. The challenge facing manufacturers is that traditional batteries do not support this way of working. Optimum performance is achieved when the battery is used until its charge is depleted by around 60 per cent. It is then recharged for six to eight hours without interruption before the machine is used again and the cycle repeated. While this may be acceptable for single site operations where cleaning takes place once or twice a day it is not an option when building services are maintained round-the-clock.
The introduction of the Hawker XFC battery range in 2007 offered a completely different approach. When fully charged these batteries store enough energy to power a typical floor care machine for many hours but the real benefit comes during a busy working day. The batteries can be put on charge for any length of time whenever an opportunity arises without affecting their long-term performance or reliability. The machine can be plugged in for a quick top-up while an operative is on a scheduled break or doing some other cleaning task. The fast charging profile of the battery ensures that it is topped up quickly and is always ready for work, effectively supporting round-the-clock building care.
Hawker XFC batteries are supplied with machines from across the extensive TASKI swingo scrubber drier range including the walk-behind models that form the core of many cleaning operations through to the biggest ride-on machines used at sites such as railway stations, airports and shopping malls.
The secret to the performance of these new batteries is the use of Thin Plate Pure Lead technology. The plates are much thinner than the lead-antimony grids used in traditional motive power batteries. They can hold up to 30 per cent more charge and deliver up to 20 per cent more power. The plates also have lower impedance which means high current flow is available in discharge and recharge modes to support demanding applications with rapid recharging. The use of advanced electrolytes allows the batteries for cleaning machines and similar applications to be supplied as sealed units in robust enclosures which are effectively maintenance free and require little or no topping up.
At the same time battery chargers have become smaller and more sophisticated. The latest high frequency models interact with the battery to monitor the charging process and ensure energy is transferred in the correct flow patterns. This ensures the fastest possible recharge times with no risk of the overcharging that can impair long-term performance and reliability. Less energy is lost as heat, resistance in the circuits or electrical resonance. The overall effect is that Hawker XFC batteries use around 25 per cent less energy than comparably sized conventional units. This offers considerable sustainability benefits to Diversey Care which can use this as significant differentiator for its offer.
"For 24/7 operations, every in-use and charging cycle saving has been calculated to deliver a significantly lower whole-life cost when all utility costs are considered,” says Lawrence Osborne. "In some cases customers have decided to use these savings to offset a proportion of their service cost budgets, thereby reducing the whole-life cost of operating a fleet of cleaning machines. Others have reported these utility bill savings to their clients and/or building owners.”
These smaller chargers can be mounted "on board” so that the cleaning machine is self-contained and can operate autonomously. It is simply plugged into any convenient mains outlet for a charging top up. Alternatively, small chargers can be wall-mounted unobtrusively to create multiple charging points dispersed around a site for machines to connect for a quick top-up whenever needed. In each scenario productivity is improved because little or no time is wasted moving machines between centralised charging rooms and the working area during the day or at the start and end of the shift. While the main benefits are productivity and convenience the reduction in machine movements is often desirable in busy buildings because cleaning becomes less obtrusive and there is reduced risk of congestion or accidents.
"We get virtually no warranty claims from Diversey Care for the batteries,” says Chris Walsh, Monobloc Sales Manager for EnerSys in EMEA. "This suggests that the batteries really do deliver the performance and reliability that we claim.”
As a leading supplier of batteries for motive power applications, EnerSys is able to support Diversey Care at local country, regional and global level. While many cleaning contracts are still agreed and specified at a local level this scalability is increasingly important because some of the major contract cleaning and hotel groups, in particular, are moving towards international contracts to introduce economies of scale and greater consistency into their operations.