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TEAM Group is at the leading edge of innovation in the industrial cleaning space. With many new technologies being adopted it’s important to know the difference between similar terms. In this article we will look at the difference between autonomous and automated cleaning, so that you can be informed when choosing a cleaning solution.

The easiest way to distinguish between autonomous and automated is by the amount of adaptation, learning and decision making that is integrated into the system. In the industrial cleaning industry that difference is seen primarily in how much human decision making and involvement occurs. Many factories have commercial cleaning janitors where people clean with an industrial vacuum. This would be considered automated cleaning. Some factories are now adopting autonomous cleaning practices where this cleaning process replaces the human janitors with autonomous robots.

Having robots make the decisions on what, where and how to clean is what autonomous cleaning is. However these systems and technology is complex and tailored for every facility. Which is why these systems still have managers and should be controlled by trained technicians.

Autonomous Cleaning

Autonomous cleaning does not use any humans and allows for a large amount of cost savings in efficiencies. For example in many of the automotive manufacturing operations that we work with use robots that clean the floors. This autonomous cleaning is more efficient and safe than man power.

Autonomous cleaning robots know where to clean, where to go, and how to get back to their base. Think of it like a self driving robot that is dedicated to your cleaning needs, no human interaction needed.

The benefits of autonomous cleaning have obvious cost benefits. Cost savings on man power is one of the biggest benefits, which also simultaneously reduces the safety risks. However autonomous robotic cleaning is not right for every project, which is where automated cleaning can help.

Automated Cleaning

Automated cleaning utilizes specialized machines such as a rotary shotgun arm, or a 3d rotating nozzle. This allows a human to control the project, and water blasting controls but the automated nozzle is rotating to provide the best possible cleaning on the surface.

Here are some of the advanced automation cleaning tools that TEAM Group utilizes:

  • Micro arm shotgun tool
  • Large arm shotgun tool
  • Automated shotgun with a track system – manually controlled robot
  • Single and dual flex lance tool – ideal for heat exchanger tube cleaning
  • Triple flex lance tool – one of the most advanced and efficient methods to clean multiple exchangers
  • Floor drain cleaning – hose fed device with an air operated dump system
  • Boiler tube cleaner
  • Rotating hose device (RHD) – with feed and rotation rate controls
  • Shell side single head & quad bundle cleaner – mobile units used for exterior cleaning of exchangers
  • 3D and 2D nozzles – provide high pressure rotating nozzles for automated cleaning
  • Ultrasonic cleaner – for specialized equipment placed in a liquid using ultrasonic waves
  • Tank cleaning robot – remote controlled sludge cleaning canon
  • Man-way cannon – hydraulically operated tank cleaning nozzle and camera

How To Choose Between Autonomous vs Automated Cleaning

When choosing between autonomous or automated cleaning you will have to take a careful look at your site, and the surfaces needing cleaning. Automated cleaning works well for equipment such as pipes, boilers, ovens, heat exchangers etc. When it comes to large static areas autonomous cleaning may be the best solution to save on costs and reduce safety risks.

For more information on any of these cleaning services please contact TEAM Group and our experts will help you find the right solution for your project.

Autonomous Cleaning Resources

As autonomous robots continue to develop there is more regulations and safety standards coming out. TEAM Group is focused on innovation and we stay on top of the changes in the robotics safety space. We pass along and share this information with our clients. This allows you to stay in compliance and ensure your autonomous or automated robots are operating safely.

If you have any questions about how autonomous cleaning can be applied at your facility then reach out to our industrial cleaning experts today. We’re happy to come to your facility and provide an audit and recommendations on the best solutions for your site.

Neo bots robotic cleaning robots

OSHA guide for robotics safety

Industrial standards for robotic machinery