If you’ve explored our website, you’ve likely seen forms urging you to sign up for a site assessment. But what exactly does that mean? This article briefly reviews what happens during a site assessment and the benefits of having an outside consultant visit your facility before you invest in any equipment.
Many suppliers to the manufacturing and warehousing industries offer site assessments, and not just for cleaning equipment. Here’s what happens when a Nilfisk cleaning expert visits your facility:
- A brief walk-through of your facility to help you identify where various cleaning methods or equipment could help you prevent safety hazards and remain in compliance with regulatory standards.
- Questions to understand your cleaning challenges.
- Equipment recommendations tailored to your applications.
- Product demos and an opportunity for your staff to test drive the equipment.
Each of these steps provides specific benefits that ensure the equipment you purchase will meet your needs.
Identifying hazards and areas for compliance
Our cleaning consultants have been in a lot of facilities. They’re also well-versed in the regulations governing the industries they specialize in, whether that’s food, pharma, metalworking, or so on. Because of this, they can spot hazards and noncompliance areas you might not be aware of.
A great example is overhead dust accumulation. We’ve seen facilities that are spotless at the ground level, but have hazardous amounts of dust on elevated surfaces like pipes. If that dust is combustible, this is a recipe for a disastrous explosion.
Understanding your cleaning challenges
Although there are many similarities among plants, there are also many differences. That’s why we focus on understanding your cleaning challenges from your perspective.
For example, you might know about all of your hazards, have a complete written housekeeping plan, and already have some equipment, but cleaning tasks don’t get performed because your staff find the equipment difficult to use.
Providing customized equipment recommendations
One advantage of being in this business as long as we have (more than 100 years) is that we have an extensive portfolio of equipment that includes industrial vacuums, floor care equipment, and pressure washers. So, rather than selling you a generic package, we can tailor our recommendations to your needs.
We offer equipment in many different sizes to optimize your productivity based on square footage. We have a variety of equipment for collecting different types of dusts that pose different risks (e.g., combustible dust vs silica dust). And we offer equipment that runs on different types of power (e.g., electric, pneumatic, battery, fuel-cell).
We also make a wide variety of accessories, which can also be customized for your needs. For example, if you have dust accumulation at multiple elevations (on the floor, at eye-level, overhead), you’ll want extension wands of varying lengths so you can easily reach all of them. If you have large piles of dust and debris, you’ll want a bulk collection nozzle so you can have continuous airflow. If you need to clean in high-temperature areas (e.g., ovens) or areas where static electricity poses a risk, you’ll want tools made specifically for those conditions.
Demoing the equipment
Finally, you and your cleaning staff should always have a chance to try the equipment, either during the site assessment or as a follow-up. This helps you get buy-in from everyone who will be involved in the cleaning effort.
Earlier, we alluded to one of the biggest cleaning challenges we encounter in manufacturing plants — the people responsible for cleaning find the available equipment difficult or otherwise inconvenient to use. As a result, they don’t perform cleaning tasks as often or as thoroughly as they should to achieve the desired results. Before investing in any new equipment, make sure your employees get some hands-on experience to ensure it’s really as easy to use as the marketing brochure says it is.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- Does it pick up the material effectively without leaving any residue?
- Is it faster than the current cleaning method we’re using?
- Can my employees easily turn the equipment on and off, as well as maneuver it?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you should probably keep looking.
We know that cleaning equipment is an investment — of time, money, and human resources. That’s why it’s critical that you make the right decision. To learn more about Nilfisk site assessments, or to schedule one at your facility, contact us today.