Which machine is suitable for which application?
Alongside single-brush machines, eccentric-action machines are becoming increasingly popular with building cleaning companies. Which machine type is suitable for which application? Or will the new eccentric-action technology soon replace the classic single-brush machine? A practical comparison of the two technologies.
Jeremy Loosli knows all about single-brush machines. This type of floor cleaning machine has been used for multiple decades by his Swiss cleaning company, Splendida Services AG. Roughly a year ago, he became aware of the new eccentric-action technology (orbital technology). In a YouTube video, he learned that deep cleaning on floors can be also carried out with a rectangular eccentric-action machine instead of a round single-brush machine. This sparked his curiosity: “As a building cleaner, I’m always on the lookout for new technologies that make cleaning work more efficient, easier and safer. That’s why I wanted to try out what this new technology had to offer right away”, explains the department head, who is also responsible for the integration of innovative technologies as a member of Splendida’s Management Board. Shortly thereafter, he ordered the first eccentric-action machine (Durodisc X) from Wetrok. But will this new technology soon replace the established single-brush machine?
Single-brush machine: round machine for rectangular rooms
Conventional single-brush machines have existed for more than 50 years. They are popular and well-known among cleaning personnel for deep cleaning of various floors (e.g. exposed aggregate concrete or industrial floors). In particular, they are valued for their high area performance and versatile applications (deep cleaning, polishing, sanding etc.). Thanks to their typically very low ground clearance, cleaning personnel can use them anywhere. Even objects installed close to the ground (e.g. radiators) are not generally a problem. The centrepiece of the machine is the rotating disc, which is powered by an electric motor. Cleaning pads (smooth covering) or cleaning brushes (textured covering) are attached to this disc. Once the machine is powered up, they start rotating. Then the cleaning personnel work sideways in rotating movements strip by strip – until the entire floor covering has been handled. Disadvantages of use: Moving the machine takes a bit of practice. For unpractised users, the machine might slip out to the side or the cable might accidentally get tangled in the machine. But the major disadvantage is the extra work: A round machine is unable to properly clean the corners and edges in a room. Additional manual follow-up cleaning is required for the corners and edges. The time required for this task reduces efficiency.
Eccentric-action machine: rectangular machine for rectangular rooms
The recently developed eccentric-action technology eradicates that major disadvantage: The eccentric-action machine is rectangular, which allows it to reach into any corner and all the way to the edge. This means: It eliminates the need for cleaning personnel to manually clean corners and edges, thereby removing a significant work step. The eccentric-action machine can also be used on a variety of common floor coverings. When it comes to area performance and versatility, it can easily keep pace with the conventional single-brush machine. For different cleaning methods (deep cleaning, polishing etc.), cleaning personnel attach different weight plates on the eccentric-action machine depending on the requirements. The cleaning pads are also chosen on an ‘as needed’ basis depending on the application. The machine is powered using eccentric or orbital operation. This means: Instead of vigorous and noticeable rotation, the rectangular plate at the base of the eccentric-action machine vibrates gently. This makes it more comfortable, less fatiguing and easier to operate than a classic single-brush machine. Another difference is the direction of application: The cleaning personnel work forwards and backwards strip by strip – until the entire floor covering has been handled. Another plus for the eccentric-action machine when it comes to safety: It is nearly impossible for the machine to slip away or the cable to accidentally become caught. Sounds like THE solution to all deep cleaning problems – or is it?
Reservations about working with new technology
After the new eccentric-action machine arrived, it remained nearly unused by the cleaning personnel at Splendida Services AG for several months – despite training and introductions. “People always say that many cleaning professionals have reservations about working with the established single-brush machines. As we have noticed, these reservations are considerably stronger when it comes a new technology”, reports Jeremy Loosli about his experiences. Ultimately, curiosity won out for his team as well. About half a year ago, the first members of the cleaning team finally dared to use the eccentric-action machine.
Working comfort is not the same as process comfort
The eccentric-action machine is primarily used by Splendida Services AG for deep cleaning in schools, offices and healthcare institutions on linoleum or PVC floors.
Jeremy Loosli is excited about the fact that manual cleaning of corners and edges is no longer required: “That saves a considerable amount of time”. His employees also appreciate how comfortable it is to operate: “Working with the eccentric-action machine is more comfortable and causes a lot less fatigue”. Working comfort is one thing, but handling comfort is another: The eccentric-action machine (44 kilograms without additional weights) is considerably heavier and bulkier than the classic single-brush machine (34 kilograms). “You have to remember that cleaning personnel are not only cleaning with the machine, they also have to stow it back in the vehicle after finishing their work”, remarks Jeremy Loosli.
Eccentric-action machine for large areas, single-brush machine for tight spaces
The size of the eccentric-action machine also makes it difficult to use in small areas or narrow spaces. “In WC cabins and narrow sanitary rooms, we continue to use the conventional single-brush machine due to lack of space. The eccentric-action machine is simply too large for this, and we can’t reach the floor area under the toilet bowls”, explains the department head. When we started talking about efficiency, his enthusiasm for the eccentric-action machine became palpable and his eyes lit up: “For large areas, such as a hall or a wide corridor, the area performance with the eccentric-action machine is unbeatable. And all this without extra follow-up work for edges and corners. For those applications, I would never go back to a normal single-brush machine”, he remarked, making his position clear. His verdict: The question isn’t “either-or”, it’s a matter of “both-and”. Both machines have their reason for existing, but their strengths are in different areas of application.
The perfect machine for the future
Jeremy Loosli plans to purchase additional eccentric-action machines. But he is also going to buy more single-brush machines. What would an ideal machine have to look like for department heads to only keep one model in their machine fleet? “Definitely rectangular, and with the operating comfort of the eccentric-action machine. But it would need to be more lightweight and with somewhat smaller dimensions. Then I could also use the machine on small areas with a restricted radius of motion – and the classic single-brush machine would be history”, says the experienced building cleaner, articulating his vision of an ideal deep cleaner for the future. “But until then, I still need the classics”, adds Jeremy Loosli with a wink.
It will be exciting to see what the market offers in this area over the next few years.
Please note: To represent the two technologies, the Wetrok Monomatic (single-brush machine) and Durodisc X (eccentric-action machine) were compared. The specifications result from the practical experiences of building cleaner department head Jeremy Loosli and the application input from Wetrok specialists.
|Single-brush machine||Eccentric-action machine|
|Shape (machine & pads)||round||rectangular|
|Technology||rotation technology (rotating)||eccentric-action technology (oscillating)|
|Work direction||sideways||forwards and backwards|
|Ideal area of application||medium and small areas / narrow spaces
(e.g. sanitary areas)
|medium and large open areas
(e.g. school corridor, hall)
|Floor coverings||suitable for textured floor coverings and smooth floor coverings||suitable for textured floor coverings and smooth floor coverings|
|Type of cleaning||Intermediate cleaning and deep cleaning||Intermediate cleaning and deep cleaning|
|Efficiency/area performance||high||very high|
|Effort for introduction/training||low (technology known for years)||moderate (technology still rather new for personnel, but machine is easier to operate than previous technologies)|
|Ergonomic extras||None||folding chassis for pad change or cleaning machine in ergonomic posture|
|Operating comfort / manoeuvrability||moderate (occasional use of force required, strong rotation)||high (no occasional use of force required, gently vibrating oscillation)|
|Handling comfort||high (lower weight, easier transport)||moderate (high weight requires force when loading and unloading from the vehicle, a lift is required in buildings with multiple levels)|
|Cleaning of corners/edges||no||yes|
|Required extra work||time required for manual follow-up cleaning of corners/edges||None|
|Specialised uses||Carpet pad method (remove stubborn dirt with special pad and single-brush machine from textile floor coverings), sanding, polishing, shampooing||Sanding, problem solver for extreme soiling|
|Ground clearance||low (no weight plates on machine)||moderate (weight plates on machine)|
|Cleaning results||very good||very good|
|Safety||moderate (danger of clamping or tangling cable, danger of machine slipping away from unpractised personnel)||high (very low danger of cable problems, no slipping away)|
|Biggest advantage||compact design (ideal handling on narrow, small areas)||manual corner and edge cleaning not required (machine reaches all corners due to rectangular shape)|
|Biggest disadvantage||manual corner and edge cleaning required (round machine, does not reach dirt everywhere, extra work required)||bulkiness (machine has limited suitability for narrow, small areas)|
|Product variants||four (High-Speed, Low-Speed, Dual-Speed, Ultra-Speed)||one|
«I prefer the eccentric-action machine. Operation is less tiring and the eccentric-action machine eliminates manual cleaning of edges and corners.»
Blanca Janina Cespedes Gimenez, cleaning specialist at Splendida Services AG
«I prefer to use the established single-brush machine. Whether for narrow school toilets or large areas, this compact machine is suitable for all kinds of rooms.»
Eder Dutra Dos Santos, cleaning specialist at Splendida Services AG
«While the eccentric-action machine is ideal for efficient, fatigue-free work on large areas, the single-brush machine is the better choice for narrow sanitary cabins. Because each machine has its area of specialisation, both technology types belong in the machine fleet of any modern building cleaning company.»
Jeremy Loosli, Department Manager and member of the Management Board at Splendida Services AG
Splendida Services AG
Splendida Services AG is an owner-managed Swiss family company with 550 employees and 51 years of history. The company provides services in the area of cleaning services (maintenance and special cleaning) and facility services (building maintenance). The use of innovative technologies and trust-based personal contact with customers are top priorities for this family business.