Robotics and the future of cleaning
Robotic cleaning machines can help forward thinking companies leverage ground breaking robotics technology. Tennant ANZ is ready to lead the way locally with its T7AMR solution.
We all know technology is growing faster than ever. As technologies evolve, they typically become more affordable, more advanced, and more universal. This is especially true of robots. Today’s sophisticated robots are used in more ways than ever – and their growth is accelerating. Increasingly, companies of all kinds are recognising the impact robotics and innovation can have on making their businesses more productive and efficient. Any industry that can redeploy labour in their operations can potentially gain a significant advantage by leveraging the power of robotic machines.
Robotic cleaning machines
Robotic cleaning machines offer many practical advantages to facility managers from increasing productivity to improving consistency of clean, with fewer maintenance costs from minimal human operator error. Robots can also play a role in making work environments safer by reducing accidents and mistakes due to human error. Smarter cleaning can lead to accidents and damaged equipment, structures, or products. Robotic cleaning machines are programmed to be reliable and consistent, many have built-in safety features that protect against accidents, whether they’re used independently of, or collaboratively with, human workers. Through the use of sensors, lasers, and cameras, robots limit the exposure to damage.
Many of today’s robotic cleaning machines offer the latest in sustainable cleaning solutions, technologies, and equipment — just like their non-robotic counterparts. Tennant’s machines, for example, minimise environmental impact in seven key categories including energy, CO2 emissions, ozone, smog, acid, eutrophication, and particulates. Not only is this great for the environment, but it’s cost-effective.
What are the benefits to employees?
The cleaning industry is known for high turnover. The jobs aren’t very glamorous and workers sometimes do it on a temporary basis in between other jobs. What’s more, the current labour market is very tight and some face compliance challenges in Australia, such as ensuring correct award requirements are met. To remedy these current challenges, robotics offers several benefits that could help retain and attract employees.
First, robotics can aid employee retention by improving job satisfaction, performance, and overall work quality. The high-tech equipment training involved enhances workers’ skills, which can make them feel more valued and help them become more desirable employees. Robotic cleaning machines can also help companies repurpose existing workers. With less of their time spent doing rote, repetitive tasks, employees have more time to focus on the tasks that require a human to perform.
Freeing workers up also creates the potential for them to interact with customers, upsell products, or get trained to do tasks that have a more direct impact on a company’s earnings.
Data tracking is increasingly important and widespread across business, technology, and life in general. The way to optimise your process for best results is to know where you are, measure it against where you want to be, and then use the data to make adjustments. For facility managers, the need to work more efficiently and effectively is always important as managers are continuously looking to improve processes, increase sustainable practices, and streamline operations, and for FMs looking to maximise their performance with minimal investment, data tracking is an excellent solution.
Choosing robotic cleaning machines with data reporting technology gives fleet managers greater insight into cleaning performance, enabling them to optimise and track key performance indicators with dashboard reporting and alerts. This can help companies increase efficiency, reduce expenses, maximize operation time and fleet size, ensure health and safety, make fewer errors, and identify areas for improvement. For FMs, it empowers them to optimize their resources and operate more efficiently, maximising budgets as well as performance results. While usage data provides an instant snapshot of fleet performance, the true potential of the technology lies in the many ways operators can leverage the data to develop new insights, identify opportunities, and improve their results.
Earlier this year US-based retail giant Walmart became the first major retailer to introduce Tennant’s robotic solution, the T7AMR, equipped with Brain Corp’s self-driving operating system, BrainOS, to deliver operational efficiency, cleaning performance and customer value. The robots operate collaboratively alongside Walmart associates by utilising a “teach and repeat” approach which allows associates to easily deploy the machine and adjust cleaning routes as the environment changes. In Australia, the T7AMR will be available from the first quarter of 2020, with local support to be provided by Tennant Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re winning with [the T7AMR] globally in retail and BSCs,” explains Tennant Australia and New Zealand General Manager, Chad Angeli. “The advantage of ANZ is that we have our direct service organisation and CCC team for support. We can set it up as Tennant, service as Tennant, connect with BrainCorp and channel back to customers with anything they may need.”
“Robotics is not for all customers, so we need to make sure we continue to invest in a variety of value propositions. However, we know we will have robotics across more machine platforms in the future with even more advanced technology. “Robotics will continue to be a very important part of our strategy in ANZ and the value proposition we want to deliver for our customers.”