The use of robotics continues to expand every year and the commercial floor cleaning industry is no exception. When investing in floor cleaning equipment for your company or cleaning service, you may not realize that a commercial floor cleaning robot is a tool you should consider.
Are you wondering exactly how a commercial floor cleaning robot works and whether it’s right for your company? Keep reading to learn about these autonomous cleaning tools and whether or not they could be in your future.
What is a Commercial Floor Cleaning Robot?
As its name suggests, a commercial floor cleaning robot is an autonomous machine designed for cleaning floors. Unlike their residential counterparts, commercial floor cleaning robots are larger and designed specifically for commercial use and closely resemble human-controlled floor scrubbers.
Commercial floor cleaning robots clean by following routes around a facility that have been programmed into their system. They are equipped with cameras and sensors to assist them in navigating a space and to stop before running into humans or objects in their path.
Pros of Using a Commercial Floor Cleaning Robot
- They help maximize your employees’ productivity and efficiency
- Commercial floor cleaning robots create a consistent cleaning experience
- By taking away the task of cleaning floors your cleaning staff have more time to focus on the tasks that only humans can do
- Improve cleaning staff turnover and satisfaction by eliminating one of their more repetitive tasks
- Minimize the impact of staff shortages
- You can start collecting data about your cleaning routines and use these to improve your scheduling and cleaning efficiency
- By sticking to a programmed route, the increased efficiency also means they are more environmentally friendly by reducing the use of power and cleaning supplies
Cons of Using a Commercial Floor Cleaning Robot
- They’re not well suited to every environment; they can’t go up and down ramps and narrow hallways can be difficult for them
- Your staff may not want to adjust their existing tasks and routines to accommodate the commercial floor cleaning robot
- They’re best suited to large spaces which may not make them feasible for your environment
- Commercial floor cleaning robots can’t be used immediately upon purchase; you need to invest in staff training and your facility needs to be mapped so the cleaner can operate
Questions to Ask Before Investing In a Commercial Floor Cleaning Robot
1. Is our space well suited to a commercial floor cleaning robot?
Commercial floor cleaning robots work best in large spaces such as warehouse floors, airports, schools, hospitals and large retail spaces. They cannot go up ramps and are not well suited to narrow hallways. While they can move and turn on their own, they work best in environments where they can continue on a straight stretch for a period of time, instead of constantly turning and manoeuvring around furniture and other objects.
They are also best suited to a space that stays relatively consistent. If furniture or other objects are constantly being moved into the robot’s scheduled route, it will have to make many stops, forcing your staff to come and move the objects in its way. While this can’t always be avoided, this can be a frustrating time waster for your cleaning staff and takes away from maximizing the efficiency and autonomy of the commercial floor cleaning robot.
2. Do we have the time to invest in staff training and facility mapping or do we need a commercial floor cleaner that can be up and running in a short amount of time?
New technology is great, but the reality is that you can’t use a commercial floor cleaning robot “out of the box.” You should expect to spend several weeks teaching your staff how to use the new equipment, mapping routes of your facility and testing it out to ensure it is working as it should.
While the investment is certainly worth it, the time required may not be feasible for some organizations, especially if you are replacing old or broken equipment and need to get up and running quickly.
3. What support is available for repairs and maintenance?
Make sure you understand what, if any, support is available from the vendor or one of their partners for repairs and maintenance. The last thing you need is to invest in new cleaning equipment that your own staff can’t fix! Ask about their level of support, response times and if there is training or resources for your own staff to take care of some or all of the maintenance required to keep your commercial floor cleaning robot in peak condition and to troubleshoot problems when they arise.
A commercial floor cleaning robot is an excellent choice for cleaning companies or teams responsible for large spaces that are looking to increase their efficiency. Use the information above to determine if one is right for your facility and to embark on a smooth transition to introducing this new cleaning technology to your staff.
One thing a robot can’t eliminate is the need for high-quality commercial floor cleaning products! Check out Sheiner’s catalogue for our selection of environmentally friendly cleaning products that will work with your robotic floor cleaner and leave your floors clean and shiny, no matter who (or what!) cleaned them.