In this time of uncertainty for the UK economy amidst Brexit, the skill shortage issue is high on the agenda for British manufacturers. As demand and export orders surge, manufacturers must cope with growing pressures, ensuring morale is high and production is streamlined.

Employers are investing in the latest machinery to keep ahead of their competition, though often, with the demand to achieve higher targets, tasks such as cleaning equipment are lower down the priority list. General maintenance tasks tend to not be considered a priority, however, such processes can have a significant impact on business.

Anders Hellqvist, assortment manager wiping & cleaning for Tork discusses the benefits of industrial wipe solutions, including successful audits, employee satisfaction and better service or product delivery.
Rags are commonly used to clean machinery and the workplace, though in terms of efficiency and professionalism they are less than ideal. Rags clutter the area, could harbour dangerous chemicals and dusts, often spreading around grease or oil rather than absorbing it. So we ask, why use old rags to clean sophisticated machinery? Breaking tradition from using rags allows for a new alternative that is safer to use and more time efficient. The solution is simple.

Cleaning is a vital process that, if done correctly, could improve health and safety practises and workplace presentation. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), employers have a legal duty to assess all risks that could impact the health and safety of employees. Cleaning must be a process that is taken seriously.

Rags can be completely soaked in solvent chemicals that evaporate into the air and this exposure is potentially damaging to the health of operators. They can also be left lying around the workplace which is unhygienic and unsafe. Rags tend to be stored in bins away from work stations due to a lack of convenient and portable dispensers. Consequently, this means products are not close to hand, costing employees more time to travel to collect supplies. Rags come in very different shapes and sizes and often need to be cut into smaller pieces to clean particular details. Again, resulting in more wasted time.

Employers need to take this issue seriously and look at new methods that could help to reduce health and safety risks. The solution is simple.

Industrial wipes are soft, flexible and excellent for cleaning oil and grease. Using professional cleaning wipes with specialist non-woven material, as opposed to rags, is proven to enhance hygiene and safety, using less solvents, saving more time, and requiring less storage space. Individuals can work in a smarter and safer way, increasing worker satisfaction as the maintenance task can be completed more quickly, ultimately improving processes in the workplace.

Audits can make or break a business, causing a multitude of stress for production or health and safety managers.  Impressions of the production space are important as it reflects the company and its product. An untidy factory or a work space cluttered with rags fails the 5S methodology; a system implemented to help better organise a company and its resources, streamline production and eliminate waste. Failing 5S principles can cause a negative spiral, triggering accidents at work, assembly line disruptions and workforce stress. A spotless factory inspires confidence – in the company, employees and in the product. A spotless factory inspires confidence.

Reducing the burden, industrial wipes are practical, organised, and help to eliminate negative impressions. Dispensed from a fixed dispenser or portable box, industrial wipes can be close to hand saving time, reducing waste up to 95% and storage space up to 75%. Less stress, more efficiency

2017 was a good year for UK manufacturing, and the future looks bright for 2018. Though there are concerns with rising input costs, loss of staff and exchange rate precariousness, taking the time to improve small details such as cleaning and investing in new processes could prove invaluable.

Wiping and cleaning is an important area for performance improvements.

A clean environment with effective products influences the speed of workflow. Meeting production targets can only lead to great things: increased company performance, new investments and security for employees. It’s imperative that the perception of cleaning tasks amongst the workforce must change and not be perceived as a mundane task, rather something that if done right, can impact bottom line and benefit everyone. 

Tork, industrial experts in professional hygiene products and services, help to keep production lines clean and running with our handy dispensers and purpose-made cloths, minimising downtime and maximising efficiency.