Technology Tops Thursday’s ISSA Show
Winner of ISSA Innovation Award Program revealed
As ISSA Show North America 2019 closed the book on another successful week, technology took center stage on the show’s last day in Las Vegas. Thousands of cleaning professionals streamed through the show floor to cram in the last few hours of the show.
The ISSA Innovation Showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center was abuzz with the announcement of the winner of the prestigious 2019 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award. This year’s edition featured 42 of the cleaning industry’s most innovative products and services. The program celebrated its 10th anniversary and featured more than three months of online voting.
Entry®, a chloride-free de-icer product from Secure Winter Products, claimed the program’s top prize. The winning entry was selected by combining the results of online voting from industry professionals with evaluations from a panel of industry-expert judges, all leaders in the commercial cleaning industry.
“Congratulations to Secure Winter Products for taking home the top spot in a crowded field of compelling innovations,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “As the worldwide cleaning association, ISSA is proud to recognize Secure Winter Products, the honorable mention recipients, the five category award winners, and all of the entrants for truly embracing ISSA’s mission to change the way the world views cleaning with their amazing advancements.”
Read more on the Innovation Award winners, including this year’s honorable mention recipients here.
The Innovation Showcase was just one of the many highlights of Thursday’s ISSA Show. A packed room saw robotics experts discuss the future of technology in the cleaning industry—both positive and negative—during the “Technology for Tomorrow” panel. Jon Hill of LaserClean Systems, Matt Willis of SoftBank Robotics America, Greg Scott of Service Robotics & Technologies, and Phil Duffy of Brain Corp. joined ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute’s (CMI) Brant Insero to provide insight into changing technology including floor robotics and drone cleaning and address questions and concerns from the audience.
Following an audience question about the emergence of multipurpose robotics (those that would perform all multiple functions within a facility like Rosie from the Jetsons), Willis estimated we are at least 20 years from that technology. He said, “I would love to see multipurpose robots come to fruition, but at the time, the real goal is to find what problems we can solve…but as far as multipurpose robots, I just don’t think we are there yet.”
Duffy reported that some multi-purposing could be possible in the near future though, adding, “Today you’re cleaning the floor with a robot; tomorrow you’re cleaning the floor and providing security with one.”
Insero asked the panelists their thoughts on recent reports that robots and autonomous equipment would grow by 25% over the next two years across all industries, and Scott pointed to the growth at ISSA in recent years as an indication of what’s to come in the cleaning industry.
He said, “Five years ago at this show, there were two robotics companies…A keyword search of this show’s guide bring us 22 companies…If that trend continues, we’re going to out-perform that 25% growth rate.”
Thursday also featured a session on tackling one of facility managers’ biggest headaches–pests. In "The Dark Side of Pest Control," Housekeeping Manager/Pest Control Specialist for Virginia Tech (VT) Don Ramsey gave attendees tips on developing an effective pest control program in their facilities, including best practices that extend the life of a building and keep occupants safe.
Ramsey reports at VT he deals with everything from bears, groundhogs, deer, and coyotes to standard insect problems. His tips for keeping areas free of pests include:
- Don't feed them
- Keep areas clean
- Keep all door seals and windows closed
- Use strip currents
- Eliminate perches for birds and bats
- Eliminate cracks and holes in foundations and other areas.
Ramsy reports this year he spent US$1,000 on bait stations around campus and only had one mouse call all year. He's also found the best time to do pest control is when a contractor has to tear out a wall. Ramsey says mold is the no. 1 reported pest this year, but more often than not it is not black mold (and often not mold at all). However, it must be taken care of proactively to avoid client calls and frustration, as the public continues to fear mold.
Thank you to all that exhibited and attended this year’s ISSA Show North America 2019 and to those of you at home following along. There will be no CMM enewsletter on Monday in order to give the ISSA staff a much-needed rest, but we’ll be back in action on Tuesday.