The winner of the Amsterdam Innovation Awards, part of Interclean, which is taking place this week, has been announced as the KIRA B50 from Kärcher.
This first autonomous cleaning machines is said to present the whole package; a step forward in robotics technology for the cleaning industry and overcomes some of the obstacles of similar machines.
Size and design is what make this machine much more attractive to a wider range of applications. So far, robotic scrubber dryers have been most suitable for extremely large areas, but the KIRA B50 is even suitable for areas under 1,000 square metres. Also the fact that KIRA B50 can take itself to a docking station to charge the battery as well as fill and empty tanks, means that the level of human intervention is minimal – and that is what true autonomous cleaning is.
Michelle Marshall, chair of the Jury, said: “As with every Amsterdam Innovation Award the jury was tasked with evaluating a high number of entries – the real challenge was to compare the impact and originality of products from such diverse parts of the industry.”
“It was interesting to note the two key focuses for the companies that have been nominated as finalists across our four categories in the development of their new solutions – the end client or service provider, and the operative.”
“As far as the client is concerned, they can now enjoy the benefits of so many solutions incorporating ‘smart’ technology in its various forms. In general many products are now capable of gathering data that can impact on productivity and profitability in a very real way. This brings transparency that can help clients to reach their targets on sustainability, energy use, quality, cost, efficiency and performance. Which can only improve the interaction and valuable partnership between client and supplier while also raising the perception of professional cleaning.”
“When talking about smart solutions we must, of course, mention robotics. This is not the first year we have seen autonomous cleaning machines, however each year we observe the technology moving forward and overcoming some of the barriers to them becoming more attractive for real-life cleaning operations.”
“In any cleaning operation the staff play an invaluable role and as a jury we were pleased to see they are not being forgotten in the development of new solutions. Manufacturers of cleaning tools are developing products designed to be more ergonomic and cause less fatigue, and to make everyday cleaning challenges more manageable.”
“So many of the products we have seen have been designed with sustainability in mind, both in terms of using less water, energy and chemicals and in the way they are manufactured. It’s extremely positive to see that those aspects are now seen as a given. Total life cycle impact, ‘Cradle to Cradle’ and the circular economy are terms we are now commonly seeing being put into practice.”
Tork Paper Circle from Essity wins the Visitor’s Choice Award
The visitor’s choice prize is awarded to the nominee that is voted as the most innovative by Interclean Amsterdam visitors. Tork Paper Circle from Essity was the winner of the Visitor’s Choice Award 2018.
Category nominees and winners
Machines, accessories, components: Winner – KIRA B50 from Kärcher
KIRA B50 is Kärcher’s first robotic scrubber dryer. The company has entered the market with a fully autonomous machine with a docking station to allow independent charging and tank emptying/refilling. It offers automatic route planning of pre-defined zones.
The jury voted the Kärcher robot as the winner of this category because the company has entered this market segment with a machine that can immediately be described as totally autonomous. The involvement from humans is minimal – which is what true autonomy means – and the opportunity charging feature makes demand-oriented cleaning in specific zones a reality.
Equipment/tools for cleaning, care and safety: Winner – Powr-Mop Lite from SYR
This is a motorised flat mopping system that features an oscillating head that operates at 3500 mini-scrubs per minute. It can clean all hard floors and is designed to make the job of the operator less tiring. This is a battery-operated tool that can clean up to 400 square metres on one charge – changing the battery is then simple for the operator.
The jury was impressed with the simplicity of this tool, yet its practicality and potential impact for the operator. Powr-Mop Lite makes the job of mopping so much easier physically as the scrubbing action is battery-assisted. And the mop head is multi-directional for optimum efficiency. Very importantly, Powr-Mop Lite is highly affordable, so well within the reach of many smaller cleaning applications.
E-cleaning - Winner: SystemONE from Vermop
Manual cleaning equipment becomes connected through a digital online module. So mop handles, vacuum cleaners and trolleys can offer direct feedback on cleaning activity in real time. Data is collected from appliances and the Equipe Digital trolley makes it available to customers via a web portal.
The jury very much liked this combination of manual tools with smart solutions. This is a great example of how an essentially manual – and some many say menial – set of tasks can be elevated in the perception of the facilities manager. Not only that, the cleaning operative’s view of their own job is raised thanks to the use of such state-of-the-art technology.
Management, training solutions and related products
Winner: Tork Paper Circle from Essity
Essity is helping its customers to become fully circular with the introduction of a recycling service for its paper hand towels. With the help of recycling specialist partners it is setting up the service on a local level and helping to cut the carbon footprint of paper hand towels by 40 per cent.
The jury was highly impressed with this ambitious launch by Essity. This is the first recycling service of its kind in our sector and aims to encourage facilities managers to take a more circular approach to running their washrooms. By involving local partners who specialise in paper recycling they are making the service practical and workable with minimal environmental impact. And they have invested in encouraging washroom users to buy into the idea of placing their towels in the correct bin and being part of the project with research into behavioural change.
RAI Amsterdam Supports AMREF Flying Doctors
The proceeds of the Amsterdam Innovation Award will be donated to AMREF Flying Doctors, to support their projects in Kilindi, Tanzania. Their Mission is to improve the general health of girls and young woman by introducing the alternative rite of passage for female genital cutting and increasing the access to safe drinking water, good sanitation and hygiene.