From 10 to 13 May Interclean Amsterdam will be opening its doors again to professionals from the cleaning and hygiene industry. Following an online edition in 2020 the organisation, partners, visitors and 650+ international exhibitors are eagerly looking forward to an in-person edition with lots of innovations, plenty of room to network and an inspiring programme. Experts from the industry will take the stage to share their knowledge and best practices on a broad variety of cleaning and hygiene topics. In preparation for Interclean Amsterdam we take a look into the future of the industry with exhibitors participating in the event.
In this Exhibitor In The Spotlight, we asked Vileda Professional’s Paul Harleman (Global Application Manager) about the Vileda company, their presence at Interclean, how they respond to current trends and developments in the industry and what the future holds for cleaning and hygiene.
Can you tell us about Vileda Professional?
At Vileda Professional we want to help. Help finding solutions to clean. Therefore, we develop and manufacture leading edge cleaning solutions for professional users in various application areas, such as healthcare, controlled environment (cleanrooms), offices, public buildings, leisure, transport and catering industry.
With over 60 years in the business we offer solutions that help organisations to clean faster, more effectively and at lower total costs. Based on sustainability principles, innovation in cleaning has always been a focus in all activities of Vileda Professional. With several Research & Development facilities, own production facilities and sales offices in many countries all over the world we develop, produce and sell products that support those cleaning solutions.
What will you be showcasing at Interclean Amsterdam?
Apart from the solutions and products we already have, we will present several innovations. For instance, a new range of cloths and mops made from recycled materials, new features on our Swep mopping concept and EviSense®. EviSense® is a solution based on a digital sensor unit clipped on a mop handle, communicating with RFID chips on walls and in mops. It provides data that tells you cleaning tasks have been accomplished. It provides guidance and support to cleaning operators and supervisors. Vileda Professional has been nominated with EviSense for the Interclean Innovation Award in the category “Smart Technologies & Digitalisation”.
Who would you like to meet at the event?
Our main objectives will be to interact physically with the cleaning industry, our existing customers and potential customers. Sales representatives from all over the world will be present to meet visitors from different nationalities. We are looking forward to meeting everyone that has an interest in professional cleaning and hygiene, operators, managers, infection control experts, colleagues, scientists and fellow suppliers.
What are the major challenges that organisations in your sector face?
What we consider as the major challenges in the professional cleaning sector is to become more sustainable, to manage the ongoing shortage of professional employees and to clean on evidence based principles. It may sound surprising, but professional cleaning must become more scientific based.
How is new technology helping overcome these challenges?
Recycling technologies, technologies that enable us to use biodegradable “plastics” on a large scale, smart logistic systems to stimulate circularity; just a few examples that will support the industry to become more sustainable. To overcome the ongoing shortage of skilled and motivated cleaning operators, robot technologies, smart connected products to train operators and software supporting the optimisation of cleaning management will be the direction we are heading at. And not to forget, we expect there will be a bigger focus on preventing exterior and interior environments to get dirty. Less dirty buildings mean less cleaning activity needed and less use of the limited resources we have in this world.
What trends from the last couple of years have become mainstream in your company?
We try to anticipate on all the trends that affect cleaning, because that is where the world is going to. However, you cannot do everything at the same time and the market must also be ready to accept it. Sustainability, which is in fact a part of corporate social responsibility, has been an important value to the Freudenberg Group from the beginning (Vileda Professional belongs to the Freudenberg Group). Now we are intensifying our efforts and investments, not because it is a trend, but because time is running out and we strongly see it as our responsibility. Next to sustainability, digitalisation is also an important area in which we are investing. And not to forget hygiene. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the awareness of the need for hygiene has increased.
How important is sustainability to your organisation?
Sustainability is very important to us. As a worldwide leader in cleaning solutions, we want to provide more than just products which keep sites and surfaces hygienically clean. They should contribute to a healthy planet as well. This is by the way not a new phenomenon for both the professional and consumer divisions of Vileda. As part of the Freudenberg Group, environmental and social responsibility are core to our guiding principles.
Freudenberg and in consequence Vileda Professional, continuously invest in resources and efforts to deal responsibly with materials, waste, energy, emissions and water. It may not be visible to the outside world but there are many activities and internal programs focused on becoming more and more sustainable in everything we do. From zero waste and using renewable energy in factories to employees driving cars powered by “green” non-fossil fuel.
What impact does digitalisation have on your sector?
If you take a good look, cleaning processes look easy but are in fact very complicated. List all actions necessary to clean a furnished space and you will discover how difficult it is to develop a robot who can do that. However, technologies like quantum computers and improved battery technology with higher energy density can and will be disruptive. We believe that digitalisation, including robots, will play an increasingly important role in many cleaning processes. Also, the buildings and things we must clean will become more digitalised, which will create new challenges. For example, smart hospitals with smart patient rooms using smart devices, smart medical equipment and smart beds may require new ways to clean and disinfect. And how about an operating robot, how do you clean this digital surgeon?
What piece of technology are you most excited about for the future?
We feel very excited about digitalisation. How can we improve our cleaning systems and products with new, digital technologies? How can we use these technologies to help our customers even better than we do today and how can digital technologies help us in becoming more sustainable? There are so many new technologies “under construction” that open up new opportunities and amazing new options for the cleaning industry as well. In many ways. It will support sustainability, effective cleaning management, training, quality of cleaning and disinfection, quality assurance of the cleaning process, quality assurance of the results and so on. Too many things to list.
Is there anything we missed that you would like to tell us about your company?
Vileda Professional wants to share knowledge and connect to improve professional cleaning and hygiene. Because of that we initiate and facilitate events like the Benelux Hygiene Debate (18th of October 2022), we publish a Hygiene Magazine with interesting articles of independent experts and we sponsor/participate in an events as the Interclean Healthcare Cleaning Forum, an international event about new developments in environmental cleaning and infection control. A day worth to invest in for all professionals working in healthcare cleaning and infection control.
In the afternoon programme Vileda Professional facilitates a one-hour break-out session on the topic “Cleaning without detergents in healthcare, is it safe?”. Kristel Rietveld, infection control expert at the Dutch Green Heart hospital, shares her experiences and knowledge on the topic. She will talk about the implementation, resistense that you can expect and how to react on that. Reasons why the hospital decided to clean with microfiber and only water and the advantages she sees from an infection control perspective. An opportunity to ask all the questions you have and to discuss it with experienced experts. We guarantee our audience an interesting and inspiring discussion.