VERONA, Italy — Bill Griffin shares his experiences at Pulire 2011 — The International Exhibition for the Production of Cleaning Technologies from May 24-26, 2011.
Let me take you on a ride into the future. That''s after five hours to New York City, six hours to Paris and two hours to Verona. I''m a little sore and don''t smell all that good, but I am here where many of the cleaning machines and technologies we use are developed and shown long before they make it to your local janitor closet. That''s why, every few years, I make the journey to this historic Italian city.
Officially, the show is known as Pulire 2011 — The International Exhibition for the Production of Cleaning Technologies. Unofficially, I call it the floor care equipment show, because a lot of what of you see here relates to hard floor care. In true Italian custom, many of the booths have food, cheese and wine alongside the latest equipment. Many countries are represented with product exhibits from Italy, Brazil, Germany, India, Australia, Singapore and China, with three booths in the USA Pavilion (Crown Mats, Morantz Ultrasonics and Lloyd''s Duct Cleaning Equipment).
Let''s talk about what''s new at this year''s show:
- Vapor cleaning equipment continues to make strides in equipment design and function. One company is making a machine that can be used for carpet cleaning and also has a backpack model that injects dry steam under a microfiber flat mop for hard floor cleaning. (www.Polti.com)
- A German company is displaying a spinning brush on an extension pole with a water treatment system for cleaning building exteriors, windows and solar panels. (www.Lewi.de)
- A water-to-disinfectant spraying system that uses tap water: Add two grams of table salt, set the bottle on small plate that electro-chemically activates the solution and, in two minutes, you have a natural-based disinfectant solution. (www.Toucan.Eco.com)
- Karcher Equipment, which owns Windsor, has copied the Chariot style and is now offering several standup units in its gray professional line.
- Green isn''t everywhere, but the overtones of the sustainability movement are visible and being promoted in many booths.
- One company has introduced a chemical-free autoscrubber that utilizes ozone to activate the water.
There is good and bad news in the Italian cleaning supply market, according to AFIDAMP Servizi SLR, sponsor of the show.
Here''s a few facts and figures:
- Italian sales of cleaning equipment, chemicals and related supplies in 2010 ($1.4 billion) is up slightly over 2009 ($1.1 billion).
- Chemical sales, which represent 19 percent of the market, were down 3 percent in 2010 compared to 2009 sales.
- Machines, which represent 33 percent of the market, were up 8 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.
- Paper products, which represent 27 percent of the market, were about the same in 2009 and 2010.
- Mop/fiber sales were down 4 percent in 2010 compared to 2009
- Detergents represent over 70 percent of the chemical market, with disinfectants being a very small percentage of sales.
- Show sponsors expect roughly 20,000 visitors this year, up by 2000 from 2009.
- There are 50 percent more floor equipment exhibitors this year compared to 2009, with most of the new exhibitors being from Turkey, Germany and France.
- About 70 percent of the floor care equipment made in Italy is exported to other countries.
That''s it for today. I''m ready for glass of wine and some spaghetti.