The largest gathering of cleaning professionals in the world got underway today at the RAI Center in Amsterdam.
Some 20,000 attendees from 135 countries are expected to visit over 650 booths in five trades show halls over the next three days.
I spent the morning walking the show floor looking for interesting products and industry trends, and now that my feet are sore and its lunch time, here’s an overview of what I’ve seen so far:
- Walk behind and riding equipment is being designed with smoother flowing lines, brighter colors and easier-to-operate controls.
- Black toilet paper enters the market.
- Trash liners are getting thinner and stronger due to new polymer formulations. There is a growing concern about the number of plastic bags going into landfills and new compostable bags (although three times as costly as standard bags) made with cornstarch are showing up on the market.
- Experts expect that source separation of trash and recyclables at building sites will continue to increase over the next 10 years and will become commonplace and possibly mandatory.
- Floor pads are entering the market that are made from recycled pop bottles and contain a chemical that makes them biodegrade by 70 percent in under one year in the landfill. Normal pads degrade less than 4 percent in one year.
- Another pad entering the market contains silver which gives it an antimicrobial reduction of 99 percent over standard pads on the market.
- Autoscrubbers are getting smaller and more maneuverable making them suitable for use in smaller, more confined spaces.
- Exhibit hall aisles sport a new cut and stick recyclable soft floor covering instead of carpeting. It looks and feels like vinyl, but is some type of paper composition material with a thin plastic wear layer on the surface.
- Companies exhibiting are partnering more with each other than in the past.
- Water treatment is a growing technology; at least 10 companies are showing systems of one kind or another for window, solar panel, floorcare and carpet cleaning.
- There seem to be more orbital and cylindrical type floor machines on display than I’ve seen before.
- China continues to grow in exhibition space and product type. I’d estimate that roughly 20 percent of the booths are from Chinese companies.
- The issue of recycling used floor machinery is growing. One company now offers this service and others are expected to enter the marketplace over the next few years.
- There are a lot of vapor cleaning machines of all sizes on display at this year’s show. Steam and Vac is a new term being promoted in a number of booths.
- The use of air hand dryers is growing, although there are many paper towels and dispensers on display.
- One company specializes in detectable products for use in the food manufacturing industry. They add small particles to their plastic products (pens, brushes, gloves, tags, etc.) making these items detectable by magnetic quality control systems in the food manufacturing processes.
- Microfibers of every size, color and description are on display in many booths.
The next Amsterdam ISSA/INTERCLEAN show is scheduled for May 11-13, 2016.