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New escalator cleaning system launched
The REN escalator cleaning system is a low cost, one-person operational device that can clean an escalator in as little as five minutes. The system does not require power as it utilises the escalator's propulsion to generate the cleaning action. Launched last month at the Thai Clean Expo, it made a big impact with visitors.
"As machine escalator cleaning is considered to be so expensive, it relegates escalators to far lower levels of cleaning than is adequate for their safety or aesthetic requirements," argues Ori Rosenbaum, president of the REN Corporation.
"Infrequent 'restorative' cleaning does not equal the high cost, high traffic, high visibility or higher levels of safety concerns escalators have over all other flooring areas.
"Additionally, rotating brush machines wear the safety markings and finishes, which over time can expose the porous aluminium beneath the treads, causing expensive damage.
"Because REN does not use electric motors, no external power is required, no power chords are exposed to trip over, and there is no chance of electrical shock. REN cleaning pads utilise a quick-release mounting system that breaks free from the device in the event of a failure or malfunction, while an extended handle keeps the operator far away from the device and moving treads during the cleaning cycle.
"As the system is so light and easy to transport, rapid deployment to a slip and fall hazard created by a spilled drink can be accomplished in a few minutes... This unique ability can also help avoid the long-term damage and refurbishment costs caused by spilled drinks when left unresolved over time. Sodas and coffees can etch the finish of an escalator when left uncleaned, weakening the paint's adhesion to the tread surface. When rotating brush machines are used, the weakened paint can be removed, leaving missing chips of paint, even on newer escalators.
"Risers accumulate stains primarily from the dirt that initially builds up on the tread's surface. Over time, that accumulation of dirt migrates, or spills over onto the risers. Dirt does not naturally fall onto the steep back-angle of the risers, so when the tread steps are cleaned more frequently, dirt is not allowed to accumulate and therefore cannot migrate or spill over onto them. Using REN keeps risers cleaner, for longer."
Offered as part of the system, REN Tread Clean solution is a low foaming agent with anti-corrosive additives formulated to effectively emulsify the dirt, grease and stains most commonly found on escalators and travelators. It leaves treads clean and bright, without a sticky or slippery residue and it incorporates release agents, allowing easier rinsing and greater reuse cycles of the cleaning pads.
Per square foot, escalators are the most expensive flooring area in any building. Per square inch, they are the most trafficked. From a safety and exposure perspective, they have one of the highest occurrences of slip and fall incidents. So how often should they be cleaned?
"Escalator cleaning frequencies should be scheduled to be equal to those floors that lead up to and away from them," suggests Ori. "Escalator cleaning with the REN system is so fast, that it can be less expensive to clean escalators every week with REN, than to have those same escalators cleaned bi- annually by an outsourced escalator cleaning service.
Ori explains that low frequency cleaning can create danger, saying that as an escalator rotates upside down, it can pick up small amounts of oil and grease from the mechanics beneath - and that this accumulation of oil or grease on the standing or stepping surface of an escalator can become a hazard to patrons, especially those with high heeled shoes or the elderly. Additionally, when a drink is spilled on an escalator that already has oil or grease build-up, slip and fall hazard potentials increase greatly.
Ori believes that escalators have been cleaned at much lower levels of frequency than even the much lower cost, less visible, less trafficked and less dangerous flooring areas that lead up to and away from them primarily been due to the cost of purchasing and operating the often labour intensive, cumbersome and complicated machinery that has been the status quo.
He says that a facility that has 25 escalators and is contracted for bi-annual cleaning at a cost of $1,200/£783.42 per escalator, equates to a $60,000/£39,174.72 a year escalator-cleaning budget. By utilising the REN system and cleaning the same 25 escalators every week, 52 cleanings per escalator per year can be achieved at a rate of $40.00/£26.12 per escalator, providing a labour rate of over $200.00/130.58/hour, while still falling within the same $60,000.00 annual budget, only with far more consistently cleaner, safer escalators.
Cleaning times of 12 minutes per escalator were used for this estimate, which does not include REN materials, estimated at $4.00/£2.61 - $6.00/£3.92 per escalator. The escalators condition, amount and type of dirt will all affect time, results and costs.
You can see a short video of the system in action at the Thai Clean Expo, at:
www.youtube.com or examine the system yourself at the ISSA/Interclean show in Las Vegas next month in booth #2180.
8th October 2015