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When it comes to cleaning and maintenance of hard flooring, contractors and facility

managers need to be hard taskmasters, says Gordon McVean of Truvox International, who outlines a hard-headed approach to choosing and using rotaries.

The most common refrain we hear from contract cleaners and facilities managers – especially in larger, intensively used buildings – is the need to streamline their cleaning operations.

By streamlining I mean not just controlling and reducing costs where possible, which is a priority for contractors and facilities managers alike. Boosting efficiency and speeding up the daily routine should also be part of the equation – along with specifying equipment with the most economical purchase and running costs.

For hard floors, choosing the right machine involves making important distinctions between buffing and burnishing, between maintenance tasks and finishing, and between multi-use and specialisation.

Where there are large areas of floor to maintain, the choice is often less difficult as a mix of different types of rotary and other machines can be justified. In smaller facilities, a compromise may have to be struck. However, in either case, the specific requirements of the building and the different capabilities of burnishing and polishing machines need to be carefully weighed.

So what are the essential features to look for in a rotary?

A high-speed rotary (around 800- 1,500rpm) with a powerful motor can turn in high-productivity burnishing performance daily. If this involves operators putting in long shifts, the machine will need to be well balanced and easy to handle if that performance is to be sustained.

Important features include a floating pad drive that adjusts automatically to cover uneven floors and a tough vacuum skirt to contain and suction up all dust. A

24 | Tomorrow’s Cleaning

centre wheel also aids manoeuvrability and up-to-the-edge burnishing. Build quality, of course, is essential to ensure reliable long-term performance.

Exploiting this versatility can help streamline a hard floor maintenance regime, while also boosting return on your investment in the machine itself.

Again, features such as manoeuvrability and the profile and compactness of the unit need to be taken into account in procurement. The layout or size of rooms may dictate the choice of a smaller, lighter machine.

Some rotaries are more adaptable than others – for tasks such as carpet shampooing and bonnet mopping, where a slightly lower operating speed becomes an advantage.

A machine suited to cleaning and scrubbing hard floors, can also be reconfigured by adding weights and fitting heavy-duty brushes for aggressive cleaning and wet scrubbing of vinyl, ceramic tiles and concrete.

High-speed rotaries may be specialised tools but they can polish a wide variety of floor types, with the right brushes or pads – such as: stone, granite, marble, terrazzo, vinyl and PVC, as well as concrete, terracotta, quarry tiles, safety floors and raised rubber.

Burnishing with a high-speed rotary is not the most efficient and effective approach where hard floors are prone to heavy soiling and impacted dirt. Here the utility of low-speed rotary machines (around 200-400rpm) becomes the cornerstone of cost- effective cleaning and maintenance.

A lower-speed rotary can spray and scrub, clean aggressively and maintain or even renovate hard floors. It can also polish or buff, even if it’s not to the same sparkling finish of speedier machines. And where carpet maintenance is also required, the same machine can be used to shampoo and bonnet mop.

Dual-speed machines also allow a small cleaning team with a single unit in to tackle more intensive maintenance as well as daily light cleaning duties.

These are just some of the features of the lower-speed rotaries available. Buyers may be tempted by the most sophisticated variants. But with this comes greater complexity, higher risk of malfunctions and costlier maintenance.

Which is why, having listened to contractors, we streamlined product design as well. The Orbis eco range combines the essential capabilities they require in a highly competitive package. Single-disc machines, with 200rpm, 400rpm and dual-speed options, ergonomically designed with low vibration and noise, and above all, productive, robust and reliable.

Just part of our hard-headed approach to floor cleaning.

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