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The Exclusive Magazine for the Building Service Contracting Industry Since 1981
May 03, 2017

The New Age of Dusters

Written by  Carolyn Batts

Feather dusters are fancy, but are they practical? As the world takes steps toward increasing automation, the world of BSCs is taking steps right along with it. The latest move forward is with automatic dusters. Benefits of automation are vast and can be felt at all levels of the cleaning service industry.

We know your building service company already has methods to satisfy the ever-present need of dusting; this probably includes feather dusters and vacuums. Now, building service contractors can include automatic dusters and self-automated vacuums into their toolkit to expand their services.

With other manual dusting and cleaning options available, why switch to one of the latest innovations in the industry?

The answer, like much of technology’s answers, is efficiency. Dusters that use lambs wool or synthetic materials might seem like they are working, but they aren’t cleaning at all. The materials are notorious for pushing dust and dirt around rather than picking up troublesome particles. These versions of dusters often require the materials to be hand washed after each use to maintain quality or require frequent replacements because the materials aren’t durable enough to last.

Unlike their feathery counterparts, vacuums are more durable; they suck in dust and dirt, but often leave an unwanted trail of exhaust in their wake. They are also limited to the floor without nozzle attachments. A vacuum operator can go only as far as the vacuum’s cord, which leaves you tangling through extension cords or struggling to find another outlet just to fulfill a basic service to your client.

Automatic dusters and vacuums benefits boast more than just efficiency to you and your company. The machines can offer reduced health risks to your employees and clients.

Dust may be an eye sore, but it also poses a serious health risk to those breathing in the particles that often come from chemicals and other inorganic products. With every swipe and wipe dust is released into the air. In turn, the particles that slip through into your air stream can make it harder for you to breathe and can have long-term effects on your lungs. The dust left behind will leave your clients wondering whether anything was actually dusted at all.

An assistant professor at Dungarpur College of Engineering and Technology in India addressed these potential problems with a first-of-its-kind automatic duster for chalkboards and white boards that saves time, energy and resources.

This type of innovative automatic duster aims to reduce waste and the amount of human energy spent on a tedious task like dusting. It is an example of why you should consider investing more into automatic dusters.

Here’s how it works: 

A chain-and-sprocket combination, along with steel rods, are connected to a motor, according to an International Journal of Emerging Technology and Innovative Engineering. The power of the motor moves the sprockets, which moves the steel rods to create a wiping motion with the attached eraser.

The current design allows for linear and circular motions to cover the full scope of a blackboard or whiteboard.

The simplistic design has already provided noticeable advantages like accuracy and low maintenance cost. However, the inventors recognize that due to the prototype’s simple design, the machine may have a limited range of intelligence and can be noisy.

Another option available to you as a BSC has no shortage of intelligence and mimics human senses to help you solve the pesky problem of cleaning up dirt and dust without having to do it yourself.

Robotic vacuums started commercial production in the early 2000s, and users have been reaping the benefits of its automation ever since.

Robotic vacuums offer hands-free cleaning of surfaces, like carpet, tile and hardwood floors. The convenience of a self-automated vacuum saves time and effort with literally the flip of a switch.

Here’s how it works:

The vacuums use a computer-powered self-navigation system that allows the machine to make decisions based on data it collects from its surroundings and per-programmed instructions.

Equipped with sensors and a built-in computer, these vacuums can navigate through your building’s terrain to avoid obstacles while effectively eliminating dirt and debris. Newer models of robotic vacuums come armed with machine sealants that trap common allergens in the machine and won’t let dust escape.

According to a Six Wise article, dust poses as a serious health risk, but these automated innovations could open a door for BSCs in terms of reducing labor costs and increasing health safety. However, automatic dusters still have room for improvement. A high-quality duster comes with a high price tag. The machines can range from $50 to $1,500. A durable and effective robotic vacuum should range from $300 and $500.

Despite its computer-supported functions and human-like intelligence, these robotic vacuums still can’t do it all. With cleaning times that can take longer than if a person was manually vacuuming and short battery lives, automatic vacuums concede some benefits to traditional vacuums.

Every day there are new products entering the market, and it’s up to you to decide how these products can benefit your company and clients. Automated dusters may be the next big thing on the market for building service contractors, and with good reason. The machines can lower your labor costs and reduce health risks to you, your employees and your clients while increasing your efficiency. An investment in automation is an investment worth making.

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