The close nexus between the facilities management sector and the cleaning industry stems from the fact that cleaning is one of the important services provided by an FM service provider. Cleaning is expected to become an inseparable part of facilities management as the market gravitates towards integrated facilities management or bundled services vis-à-vis silo services. The relationship will be further altered in the near future as contract cleaning companies are expected to join the FM bandwagon after acquiring the necessary skills.
New cleaning and hygiene products dominate FM and Hotel Show
The close nexus between the facilities management sector and the cleaning industry stems from the fact that cleaning is one of the important services provided by an FM service provider.
Another significant change is the increasing presence of cleaning equipment and chemicals’ manufacturers at facilities management exhibitions, as was seen in the FM Expo and Hotel Show held last month. This is probably due to the strengthening bond between cleaning equipment suppliers and FM service providers with the rise in malls, hotels, resorts and mixed-use developments across the region.
Floor and carpet care
Kanoo Machinery, UAE distributors of Tennant cleaning equipment, displayed a significant range of products. The most interesting was the T7 Micro-Rider floor scrubber which is equipped with Tennant’s green ec-H2O chemical -free cleaning technology.
According to James Mc Sorley, Manager –Power Systems, Kanoo Machinery, the ec-H2O technology converts plain tap water electrolytically into a powerful cleaning agent without any added chemicals. The electrolysis process charges the water into a civic and alkaline solution which is very similar to a general purpose cleaner. After 45 seconds, the charged water combines to give plain simple water, which is what is left in the recovery tank.
“Not only does it eliminates the use of general purpose cleaners but does away with the environmental and human health hazards and costs associated with producing, transporting, packaging, using and disposing of harsh cleaning chemicals. At this stage it is the only machine that can clean with plain water,” explained Sorley.
“The machine is ideal for places like hospital wards and food and beverage manufacturing units where you wouldn’t want any chemical residue left on the floor,” said Sorley.
The T7 Micro-Rider scrubber was introduced in Tennant’s cleaning solutions portfolio in late 2007 and has been known for quite some time in the UAE with two purchases having taken place already. “It has attracted the attention of hotel operators and owners/operators of other facilities as well for it is a complete, environmentally-friendly machine with a low decibel sound level. Being battery–operated, it gives out no diesel fumes,” said Sorley on the rising popularity of Tennant’s green machine.
Kanoo also displayed the brand new T2 scrubber dryer, Tennant’s smallest battery-operated scrubber-dryer, with an ergonomic adjustable ‘safety trigger’ handle design. “The machine’s ease of operation, optimized machine sanitizing capabilities like an easy clean-out rotomold recovery tank and debris tray and low sound level of 68 dBA make it an ideal machine for use in hospitals, hotels, supermarkets and airports.”
Sorley pointed out the T2 scrubber’s efficient water recovery feature that leaves small congested areas ready for foot traffic immediately after scrubbing. “This means that the scrubber can be operated anytime during the day.”
On display was the Tennant T1 compact, low-profile cylindrical scrubber for small, tight spaces. “The chemical holding tank and chemical recovery tank in the T1 are the same as the T5 and the T7, which gives the owner the convenience of stocking up a just a few spare parts if he has any or all of the machines,” pointed out Sorley.
Designed especially for hotels with high-traffic where the housekeeping department has limited time to keep the rooms ready for the new occupant, Tennant’s R3 ReadySpace carpet cleaner enables housekeeping to clean and dry carpets within 30 minutes. Comparing Tennant’s ReadySapce technology to other carpet cleaning machines, Sorley said:”Other machines leave the carpet wet for about 24 to 48 hrs. The R3 machine does not spray water directly onto the carpet but onto counter-rotating fabric rollers. When damp these fabric rollers grab dirt from the carpet fibers and lift it into the machine. Inside, a sprayer rinses soil from the rollers while two vacuum shoes extract the ditty water into the recovery tank.”
The R3 can be used for daily interim cleaning while Tennant’s E5 carpet extractor can be used for deep cleaning of carpets. “The benefit of both these machines is that the carpets are dry in 30 minutes and the risk of slipping on wet carpets is not there at all.
Intercare, the supplier of cleaning equipment and hygiene care products displayed the Purleve hygienic door handle which is ideal for high-traffic public areas, that helps in keeping the door handle of away-from-home washrooms free of germ contamination.
S Hameed, Divisional Manager, Intercare’s Hygiene Product and Service Division explained how the Purleve hygienic door handle works. “The system’s ASD technology advances a self-contained sleeve of antimicrobial-treated material to fully cover the handles every time the door handle is grasped to provide each user with a sanitary touch. This product is especially relevant today in order to contain infectious diseases like bird flu and swine flu.”
Intercare also introduced a hot air hand dryer with a 38,000 rpm speed that can dry hands in 12 seconds. “It is generally seen that in hand dryers of lesser speed, the patron walks away with hands that are still wet and is hence reluctant to use hand dryers. We are confident that this super-fast hand dryer will be very useful.”
Another interesting and completely new laundry hygiene range was showcased by Intercare. The specialty of this laundry detergent created in the UK, is that it is “the only one in the world to contain Hygienilac, a non hazardous, biodegradable chemical which is a breakthrough in the fight against bacteria, including super bugs,” said Hameed. “Particles of Hygienilac actually bond to the towels keeping them bacteria-free and eliminating any cross-contamination risk. The product is certified by the FDAS (Food and Drug Analytical Service) as effective even against C Difficile whilst being totally non skin irritant (tested by SATRA).
According to Hameed, Intercare is the only company in the Middle East, washing its linen towel rolls in an automatic continuous processing machine (CPM), leaving them untouched by human hand. With Intercare’s decision to use the Hygienilac anti—microbial laundry detergent in its towel roll CPM machine, Intercare has taken this process a step further. “The Hygienilac laundry detergent will provide environmentally-friendly hand drying facilities which offer bacteria control as well,” said Hameed.
Dhofar Global Tr. Est., an Oman-based company supplying hygiene care products to 5 star and 4 star hotels, introduced Carind products at the show while also showcasing products of existing principals like Celtex.
Dhofar supplies Celtex disposable products in tissue and non–woven such as medical rolls, hand towel rolls, toilet rolls, wiper rolls, and folded hand towels. It also supplies Celtex dispensers and roll-holders for the entire product range. Dhofar has also begun to supply the Daily line of industrial rolls, roll and spiral towels,C/Z folded towels, cellulose sheets, toilet paper in jumbo and smaller rolls and napkins from Carind.
Dhofar Global Trading has expanded its business to Abu Dhabi office where it now has a warehouse in addition to the warehouse in Sharjah.
Viking Gulf Trading also exhibited at the FM Show and out with product from all its principals. The newly-acquired Power Boss heavy duty industrial sweepers and scrubber driers) had pride of place as did the Tymco road sweepers. Viking Gulf Trading also displayed the Oertzen industrial pressure washers, cleaning chemicals from Evans and washroom hygiene products such as Viking air fresheners, self chemical dosing units such as the AutoJanitor, surface sanitizer and foam soap.