The world of industrial wipers can sometimes be confusing, many different terms are used for what is effectively the same process. Put simply, the user wants to use a piece of material (be that cleaning paper roll or cotton) to remove residues, dirt, ink, oils, solvents, greases or any other unwanted material from a surface on which they are either working, using or need to simply clean. Cleaning cloths, wiping rags, blue paper roll, wipers and many other words are used to describe the tool that is used, but they all offer the same solution. A clean surface.
What is out there?
There are many solutions to the problem of excess liquids, dirt and other detritus exist. The good old-fashioned method of wiping away the things that do not need to be there is still considered to be the best way. But what happens to all that material and those substances that we are removing? Where does it end up and what control do we have over those industrial wipers?
Cleaning Paper Roll
Disposable paper solutions often seem like the most cost-effective way of dealing with excess materials and liquids. Normally supplied in rolls of perforated sheets, blue paper roll is a quick and simple way of using an absorbent material to soak up and remove the things that you do not want on almost any surface.
Once they are used they are simply disposed of through whatever the appropriate waste stream is for the substance that has been removed.
But what of the cost? Do you consider your disposal cost when using industrial blue paper rolls? Are you certain that the correct waste stream is been used for what you are removing? The physical cost is just one aspect, what about the environmental cost of such a product?
Industrial Cleaning Rags and Cloths
Still on the disposable theme, cleaning rags offer a more robust and sometimes more absorbent solution than paper. Offcuts of material, often used bedsheets and other flat linen, are purchased in bundles to be used as and when required.
Again, once used these industrial cleaning cloths are disposed of through the correct waste stream. Or are they? Can you be confident that what you are wiping away, moping up or allowing to soak in to the professional cleaning cloth/industrial cleaning rag has been discarded of correctly?
The cost… naturally heavier and bulkier than paper, the disposal cost (charged by weight) for this item is even higher. The percentage of useful professional cleaning cloths also varies tremendously. Polyester is a commonly used material in a large proportion of flat linen and it has very poor absorbency compared to cotton or paper, therefore users often find they consume many more cloths than the paper equivalent. Further adding of course, to the cost of disposal.
One further point to note on this is the state of the cleaning cloths when they are purchased. Many horror stories exist, notably blood and other bodily fluid stained cloths, unwashed material, buttons and zips still being attached to the fabric. Meaning again that a percentage of each consignment is not fit for purpose.
Cotton wipers, super absorbency, always fit for purpose with an easy storage and disposal method to give you peace of mind that whatever the substance that is contaminating the wiper, it will be disposed of correctly.
A lower total cost of ownership, with traceability from cradle to grave. No need to store any paperwork detailing how the soiled items are disposed of, no cash outlay for stock with large disposal fees and now a quality assurance that the product is fit for purpose every time.
Our rental service provides you with a known cost each month, no variances. An all-inclusive service means no nasty surprises and enables you to budget accordingly.
Many of the items we once purchased, both at home and in the work place, we now choose to rent rather than outright purchase. The primary reason for this is the Total Cost of Ownership. Simply put, all the costs post purchase, associated with owning a piece of machinery, a car, a mobile phone, workwear or hospitality linen, mean that renting the product from a dedicated supplier makes for a considerable saving.
In this case, the purchasing of a disposable product leads to higher costs during the life of the product. The upfront purchase price may seem individually cheaper, but what about the time taken by your workforce to carry out that transaction? There is a labour cost involved in accepting that delivery of product, sorting it in to the required areas. There is a cost in the storage itself of the purchased stock. Have you considered the cost of disposal? Do you know what your cost per Kg is to have the soiled product removed from your site? Are you disposing of it correctly?
All these costs must be considered when looking at the total cost of ownership. Therefore, the rental of Industrial Wipers has a lower cost than purchasing an alternative.
Here is a list of just a few factors that companies consider when looking at our service. Why don’t you consider them for yourself?
How Rental Invoices for Service
When a company, whether it be looking at wipers for the print industry, automotive industry or engineering industry, makes the decision to move from outright purchase to a rental service, there will undoubtedly be a change to invoicing and procedure that can become confusing for staff members who were previously designated with the task of ensuring a constant supply and reconciling all of the associated invoices.
The billing for a rental service is all encompassing. It covers the product, delivery, collection, laundry and often an ancillary product that makes storage and dispensing of the wiper much easier to handle on site. Outright purchase can often have multiple invoices that sit across many different areas of responsibility, therefore are individually smaller and perhaps go unnoticed.
Another area that may add a layer of confusion is that the billing of a rental service is based upon the supply of a predetermined amount of product over an agreed length of time, this is known as your service cycle. It is not based upon the wipers that are used or the amount delivered in each service cycle.
The best way to explain this is in the renting of a car. It is rented to you for a set period of time, regardless of whether it is been driven, idling in traffic or parked away not in use. Industrial wiper rental works the same way, the customer has the agreed amount of product, for exclusive use, for the entire service cycle. On a set schedule the soiled wipers will be collected and at the same time replaced with clean products, again for exclusive use. For example, if three bags of wipers are rented every four-week period, but at the end of the four-week period only two bags were used, then two clean bags would be dropped off to bring the total back to the agreed three bags of wipers every four-week period. These three bags are then, again, exclusively available to our customer for use in that service cycle.
The key is setting the correct product levels and service cycles at the start of any agreement. The average or normal use should be the figure that is used to calculate the service required. A reputable supplier of a service, such as this, will allow for temporary adjustments to be made to an existing agreement, to work with the customer. Any changes to quantities should be charged pro rata so again there are no nasty surprises.
How many do we need?
There is no hard rule as to how many wipers are used by each person on a set team. The switch from disposable product through to a full rental service doesn’t throw upmuch correlation in usage either. However, a good place to start is with specific industry experts who discuss, consider and put in to place industrial wiper plans for companies within the major industries across the UK daily.
Points to study are the type of soiling the wiper encounters, the parts, components or machinery it is used on and how clean that item must be after it has been attended to.
All of these points and more can be discussed with the experts and will give you the most suitable and cost effective outcome to using a fully service rental system.
How does it all work? The Lindström way
Once a decision has been made as to what the normal level of stock should be, the next step is to understand the processes that take place at both the customer site and also back at the laundry site, during the service cycle. The basic steps are:
- The agreed amount of clean wipers are delivered to the designated drop off area by a trained member of our service team
- The delivery is to be checked by the customer before been distributed for use on their premises
- As the clean wipers are used, they are deposited in to the soiled collection receptacles that were left as part of the initial delivery. Customer can take advantage of Lindström’s patented metal dispensers, which offer both a clean and dirty section in one footprint, saving yet more space and money.
- Usage of the clean wipers means that this stock continues to subside, while the amount of soiled wipers grows in its suitable collection container.
- On the set date for collection, a member of our rental service team will visit the customer and exchange the dirty wipers for clean product. It is impossible to be exact at this point and good faith estimates are used. It may be that you have overfilled or under filled containers or bags, but our service team work on the number of bags or bins to replace. Our products are not sold or counted by the quantity of wipers, it is on clean weight of product
- The dirty product is then returned to one of our local UK laundry facilities to be processed.
- Upon receiving the soiled wipers, our laundry operatives begin to decant the wipers in to the correct waste streams. We do this so to avoid any cross contamination between industry sectors.
- Once laundered and dried, the wipers then go through both a manual and electronic sorting area. This process ensure the quality of the wipers and removes any product that does not meet our exacting standards.
- The clean, sorted product is then repackaged in the required bags or containers for redelivery to other customers in that industry sector.
Wiping away any concerns
A fully serviced rental agreement can at first seem to be more complex and onerous than direct purchase. In reality most of the steps take the rental process are taken in direct purchase, but the burden of maintaining a good supply is shifted from the customer to your service provider.
Here at Lindström we pride ourselves on excellent customer service, wiping away all of the concerns that you may have when using a rental service such as this for industrial wipers. By working with us you will see a lower lifetime cost of your Industrial Wipers or equivalent. Furthermore our environmental procedures mean that waste to landfill is minimised and you can be assured that any waste, however it is created, is treated in the correct way.
John Lloyd, Head Of Sales