Monday, March 28, 2011

Equipment Sizing: How Big is Too Big?

As a general rule of thumb, you should purchase the smallest walk-behind or ride-on equipment that will allow you to complete your active sweeping or scrubbing in no more than two to three hours (exclusive of dump and refill cycles). For most companies, the person doing the cleaning is also responsible for other jobs in the plant, and it’s generally not economical to have him spending more than half a day on cleaning.

Look for machines with larger capacity hoppers or solution tanks in order to minimize unproductive dump and refill activities. If you need to scrub a 9-foot-wide aisle, a 48-inch-wide machine will accomplish that task in a minimum of three passes. While you might think that a 50-inch-wide machine would get the job done more quickly, it doesn’t. It will still require three passes to complete the cleaning. This is a case in which a larger and more expensive machine offers no gain in productivity.

By matching the size of the machine to your exact needs, you minimize your capital investment while maximizing productivity. In many instances, you may need a ride-on sweeper or scrubber for large open areas and a smaller walk-behind sweeper or scrubber for narrow aisles or to get in around and between individual workstations. Again, each machine you choose should be the smallest practical size for the job in order to minimize your investment.

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