The scrubber-dryer is an automatic walk behind or self propelled machine used for scrubbing and drying floors. The scrubber-dryer cleans surfaces using the mechanical abrasive action of one or more rotating brushes (or abrasive disks), coupled with the chemical action of the water/detergent solution. The solution tank is loaded with water, mixed with a certain quantity of detergent. The amount of detergent will vary depending on the surface to be cleaned, the type of dirt to be removed, and the actual detergent itself. While moving forward, the machine releases this solution near the brushes, which mechanical rotating action removes any dirt from the floor. At the same time, the squeegee (located at the rear of the machine) collects the mix of detergent solution and dirt, which is then vacuumed and stored in the recovery tank.
Scrubber-dryers come in two main categories, depending on the way they are operated:
- Walk behind: These machines are manoeuvred by the operator, who walks behind them.
- Ride-on: These machines have an on board driving position, from where the operator manoeuvres the machine as needed.
Within these categories there are further classifications:
- With disc or roller brushes;
- With mains power cable, battery or combustion engine;
- With brush assisted, electric or electronic drive.
A really useful machine, with great power and versatility, the scrubber-dryer is recommended for all types of floorings, both indoor and outdoor, such as:
- Ceramic floor
- Stud tile floor
- Glazed stoneware floor
And for removing all types of dirt
It may be used daily – in which case the purchase of a professional machine is recommended -, or less frequently.
For particularly “stubborn” or heavy dirt (machining dirt, sludge, grease, rubber tyre marks, solid processing waste, etc.), the use of specific accessories is recommended: From tynex brushes, to a cylinder brush sweeping-scrubbing system, to special squeegee blades.
Scrubber-dryers are today among the most important machines used for cleaning operations. They are in fact used in all sectors, both in public and private environments such as:
- Industrial sites
- Communal and collective establishments, schools, offices and religious buildings
- Hospitals, public buildings, airports, ports
- Shopping centres, logistic centres
- Contract cleaners and multiservice companies.
The main components of a scrubber-dryer are:
- The scrubbing unit, including a motor for the rotation of the brush/es or pad/s, and which determines the operation performance based on the width of the scrubbing path left on the floor
- The tanks, normally two separate ones: one for clean water – called solution tank -, and the other one for dirty water – called recovery tank-, which capacity has a direct impact on operating autonomy and consumption.
Some models on the market only have one tank, both for the solution and the recovery water, with a dividing membrane; others offer the possibility of a water recycling option, for increasing operating autonomy by reducing loading times
- The drying system, consisting of a squeegee, whose conformation is of fundamental importance, and a vacuum motor. Both have an impact on the performance and the quality of the results
- The type of power supply, normally a 24 or 36 Volts battery, or 220 -230 Volts mains power supply, which has an impact on autonomy, operation performance, the possible number of cleaning cycles during the machine life cycle, and therefore on its maintenance requirements
- The drive motor, installed on automatic models, which has an impact on operating performance.
- The rated performance of a machine is calculated by taking into account the width of the scrubbing path, multiplied by the maximum advancement speed.
- When calculating the actual performance, other factors must also be taken into account:
- Loading and unloading time of the detergent solution
- Distance from the supply source
- Type of floor
- Obstacles in the area
- In addition, for battery operated machines, the operation autonomy is directly dependent on battery autonomy, from one hour and a half to four hours approximately.
The various accessories available can extend the fields of application of scrubber-dryers.
The main accessories are:
- Brushes: With bristles of various sizes and thicknesses, they are made of different materials, depending on the type of dirt and surface
- Pad drivers: Discs on which the abrasive disc is attached; they are used as an alternative to brushes
- Sweeping-collection system: Device for dry collection of waste
- Recycling system: Device whose filtration system allows the detergent solution to be used for several scrubbing cycles
- Battery charger on the machine: Battery charger installed on the machine itself
- Lights: Lighting units for operating the machine during the night, or in low light conditions
- Non-marking wheels: Wheels made of a special compound that prevents any floor marks
- Non-skid wheels: Wheels made of a special compound that prevents the machine from skidding on wet floors
All products used in a scrubber-dryer must be specifically approved for use on automatic machines. They are substantially alkaline based, low foam formation products (they must not produce excessive foam, which may otherwise damage the vacuum motor). Acid, corrosive, and, most of all, flammable products must not be used. The percentage used depends on the type of product. For particularly dirty floors, or for stubborn dirt, prewashing is recommended. This will require more time, but will give much better results. Two separate machines passes are needed: During the first one, the machine will scrub the floor, but the vacuum system will be off, and the squeegee will be lifted; During the second one, the previously released detergent solution is vacuumed, resulting in a thoroughly clean surface.
If the machine used is suitable for the area, and is used correctly, any of the main problems that may be encountered during the use of a professional scrubber-dryer are often simple and easy to resolve. It is in fact not rare to see machines used improperly, to clean much larger surfaces that those they were technically designed for, or fitted with accessories that are totally unsuited to the type of operation required.
Appropriate regular maintenance of the machine is of fundamental importance for ensuring that a professional scrubber-dryer is kept in good working order. In fact, as this machine operates with water, at the end of every working day, or of every working cycle, it will be necessary to perform certain simple operations.
For example, it will be necessary to:
- Empty and clean the recovery tank. While working, the machine collects water mixed with solid dirt. This can quickly cause the formation of sediment that will rot and produce bad smells. It is therefore important that the tank is emptied and rinsed with running water;
- Empty the clean water tank, especially if the machine is not used daily, as stagnating water may become stale;
- Clean the vacuum filter; Sometimes deposits build up in the filter, compromising drying performance. Clean with running water;
- Check that the squeegee is always clean; if necessary, use a jet of running water to clean near the blades and the vacuum inlet;
- Check the brushes and the squeegee blades for wear on a weekly basis; in case of very abrasive floors, if excessive pressure is exercised on the floor, these accessories may get damaged or wear prematurely. In normal conditions the brushes must be changed on average after 50 hours of operation, while the blades must be changed, or turned (if a type that can be used on different sides is fitted) after 30 hours of operation;
- Regularly inspect the solution filter, if fitted; the filter may sometimes become clogged due to impurities in the water, reducing water supply during cleaning;
- Regularly clean the vacuum hose connected to the squeegee; an obstruction, even partial, may reduce vacuum performance.
A sweeper is a machine that can sweep any types of floors (including carpets), collecting debris and fine dust. A mechanical-vacuum sweeper has a waste collection system that consists of one or more side brushes that move heavy dirt towards the centre of the machine, where it is collected and placed in a container by a central cylinder brush. Thanks to a vacuum system, which causes a negative pressure inside the waste container and in the central brush area, the air and dust flow is channelled through a filter that traps the dust in the waste container, releasing the filtered, and therefore clean, air in the atmosphere.
Sweepers come in two main categories, depending on the way they are operated:
- Walk behind: These machines are manoeuvred by the operator, who walks behind them;
- Ride-on: These machines have an on board driving position, from where the operator manoeuvres the machine as needed.
- Direct or indirect sweeping;
- Walk behind, battery or combustion engine operated;
- Without drive, or with semiautomatic, electric/electronic, hydraulic or hydrostatic drive.
The sweeper mainly consists of:
- Sweeping system: Consisting of one or two side brushes that move any dirt towards the central cylinder brush, which collects it and places it inside the container;
- Vacuum system: Consisting of a vacuum fan that, by creating a negative pressure inside the waste container, enables vacuuming of the dust;
- Filter system: Consisting of filters, which may be of different types and materials, and which prevent any dust vacuumed with the debris from being released back into the atmosphere. The filter system may be fitted with a mechanical or electric filter shaker, to free filters from any dust, and keep them clean.
The sweeper may be used on any floored internal or external surface, such as: Ceramic floor, marble, concrete, asphalt, resilient materials, stud tile floor, glazed stoneware floor, carpet. The sweeper can be used in any sector, including:
- Professional use
- Semi-professional use;
- Hobby use;
- Industrial sites (mechanical, food industry, wood processing, etc.);
- Communal and collective establishments;
- Religious buildings;
- Public buildings;
- Shopping centres;
- Logistic centres;
- Roads and motorways;
The rated performance of a machine is calculated by taking into account the width of the scrubbing path, multiplied by the maximum advancement speed.
When calculating the actual performance, other factors must also be taken into account:
- Loading and unloading time of the detergent solution;
- Distance from the supply source;
- Obstacles in the area.
In addition, for battery operated machines, the operation autonomy is directly dependent on battery autonomy, from one hour and a half to four hours approximately.
The various accessories available can extend the fields of application of sweepers. The main accessories are:
- Types of brushes: With various types of bristles, from natural fibre, to synthetic fibre, including mixed with steel;
- Number of brushes: To expand the operation path and therefore the hourly performance;
- External vacuum hose: To clean corners and other areas that could not be reached otherwise;
- Lights: Lighting units for operating the machine during the night, or in low light conditions;
- Protection top: To protect the operator;
- Closed cabin: Operator compartment.
Follow the prescriptions of the instruction, use and maintenance manual supplied with the machine. To keep the machine in good working order over time, an accurate regular maintenance is necessary. This operation should be performed at the end of the working cycle. Always ensure that the filters are clean by operating the filter shaker frequently. Avoid collecting cables, ropes, straps and any materials that may wind themselves around the brushes, causing damage.
Below is the list of the main types of brushes with their applications.
- POLYPROPYLENE BRUSH: Used with all types of floors, it has good resistance to wear and hot water (60 C maximum). PPL is a non hygroscopic material, and therefore keeps its properties even when used on wet surfaces.
- NYLON BRUSH: Used in all types of floors, it has very good resistance to wear and hot water (including over 60 C). Nylon is hygroscopic, and when regularly used on wet surfaces it will eventually loose its properties.
- TYNEX BRUSH: The bristles of this brush are loaded with very aggressive abrasives. This brush is used to clean very dirty floors. In order to avoid damage to the floor, it is recommended that only the necessary amount of pressure is used.
- STEEL BRUSH: The bristles are made of wire, flat steel, or mixed strips (both steel and synthetic fibres). Steel wire brushes are used to remove stubborn dirt from very irregular floors, or floors with wide runways. Steel strip brushes (stiffer ones) are used to scrape away very stubborn dirt.
- BASSINE BRUSH: The bristles of vegetable origin are very thin, and are therefore particularly suited for very delicate or treated floors. They last less than nylon, and must be used together with non aggressive detergents.
- BRISTLE THICKNESS: Thicker bristles are stiffer, and are therefore suitable for smooth floors with small runways. On irregular floors, embossed floors, or floors with deeper runways, the use of soft bristles is recommended, as they are capable of penetrating more easily. It must be considered that when the brush bristles are worn, and therefore too short, they become stiffer, and are unable to penetrate well and clean thoroughly, also because, as with thicker bristles, the brush tends to jump.
- PAD DRIVER: Pad drivers are recommended for cleaning shiny surfaces. There are two types of pad drivers: 1. Traditional pad drivers, with a series of anchoring tips, which hold and drive the abrasive disc during the operation.2. CENTER LOCK type pad drivers that in addition to the anchoring tips, also have a central clip-on plastic locking system, for perfect centering of the abrasive disc and for ensuring that it does not become loose. This type of driver is particularly suited to machines with several brushes, where centering of abrasive discs is particularly difficult.
KV-ENTERPRISES machines are distributed by authorised dealers, professional and industrial cleaning experts, capable of offering superior training and after-sales service. For information on your nearest dealer contact:
- Biggest Payload.
- Largest S/S Hopper.
- Largest Water Tank.
- Widest Sweep Width.
- Ease of Operation.
- Lowest Exhaust Emissions.
- Lowest Fuel Costs.
- Lowest Downtime.
- Wide Range of Options.
- Quality & Reliability.
- Excellent Support & Training.
- Electronic components free.
- All-weather 100% dust free.
- PM10 Friendly.