Are autonomous machines the future of cleaning in a post COVID-19 workplace? Noel Moynes, National Sales Manager at Hako Australia sits down with MHD to share the rise in autonomous cleaning technology during this pandemic era.
Q: In today’s automated environment, why are autonomous systems important for industrial and supply chain settings?
A: Supply chains and hospitals are all in the process of trialling units and gauging how autonomous units would work or improve on how they currently do things. Autonomous systems will be important in enabling companies to decrease long-term costs; provide better utilisation of labour, increase worker productivity; increase worker safety, reduce error rate, reduce frequency of inventory checks, optimise picking, sorting, and despatching.
Q: Where are autonomous machines being used in Australia?
A: There is not a great population of autonomous cleaning machine in total around Australia it is now just starting to get a momentum going as major Global manufacturers are starting to get involved locally. The main sector, which has taken autonomous units onboard in Australia, has been the large retail shopping centres around the major cities. Expectation is there will be an influx of machines going into these areas from 2021 onwards as trials becoming orders. Once the understanding of what autonomous brings to each sector.
Q: Considering the attention on cleaning protocol due to COVID, how do the autonomous cleaning machines provide excellent results?
A: The Autonomous scrubber Hako Roboscrub 20 would be able to be deployed to clean and sanitise in restricted or limited access areas allowing production to continue without having to stop production for manual cleaning.
Q: How user friendly are HAKO machines?
A: Even autonomous cleaning technology will need a human touch, in the case of the Roboscrub it is able to be used autonomously or manually as required for detailing areas autonomous only units cannot access. Hako GmbH is a German manufacturer of quality cleaning equipment and have a history of being the innovators of the industry going back to 1948 when they produced the first mechanical factory sweeper. Therefore, it is important to involve operator or cleaning personnel in the deployment of an autonomous unit. User-friendliness was a very important aspect when developing RoboScrub. The intuitive touch screen on the left side gives the user access to all relevant machine information during autonomous working. In addition, the user can select routes already learned by the machine or teach-in new routes while the machine is driving.
Q: What are the main features that would benefit the safety of supply chain operations?
A: The Autonomous Hako Roboscrub 20 can be deployed to clean in restricted or limited access areas or areas where current cleaning personnel is not able to access for safety or health risks. Prevents risk of cleaning personnel being involved or injured in collision of other vehicles within facility build in safety sensors on Roboscrub picks up obstacles, not present when original route was set up and will navigate around obstacle. A major consideration is the Roboscrub will provide a truly consistent clean with solid reporting data. It does what it is told to do, when it is told to do it, and does so with consistent results.
Q: Why are autonomous machines the future of cleaning post COVID-19?
A: The importance of cleaning cannot be understated post COVID-19 as the standard of cleaning of all facilities will become one of the major KPI’s moving forward. Autonomous units will no doubt play a big part of the future of cleaning within the supply chain. That said there is more to it as is important to acknowledge that in the area of cleaning the autonomous unit will need to work hand in hand with the cleaning personnel of each facility.
While autonomous units will be deployed to do the mundane cleaning of larger easily accessible areas, more importantly autonomous units will provide a better utilisation of labour. Allowing cleaning personnel to be doing skilled manual labour-intense detail and wipe down work in offices, despatch areas, washrooms, kitchens, hand rials, equipment etc. These routines may have been every two days or weekly pre- COVID-19 but post COVID-19 will become minimum daily, this will become the norm in the coming years to keep COVID-19 at bay.
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