Here at Decoding Design we cover some really great ideas, products and solutions for businesses and consumers alike. Sometimes they’re inspiring. Sometimes they make me wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Every once in a while we come upon something that elegantly solves a real and vexing business problem in a way that makes me think, “I never would have thought of that.”
Bottlers, processed food manufacturers and dairies are among the many types of companies that rely on large, complex automation systems to process or package their products. Here’s the business challenge: Health codes require that this automation equipment be clean and free of dirt and dust. Most companies ensure this by employing crews of people to manually clean the equipment, a process that is time-consuming, costly and potentially dangerous to those who must climb ladders and reach into the equipment. Here’s the solution: The ZipClean robot.
Created at Design Concepts, an industrial design firm and consultancy based in Madison, Wisconsin, and commissioned by Diversey, a company that sells cleaning solutions to various industries, the ZipClean is a device that cleans airveyors in beverage bottling plants. You’ve seen airveyors if you’ve seen a bottling plant in action; they’re aerial conveyor lines that whisk bottles through various bottling processes in a factory. The ZipClean fits into the airveyor line and moves along, up and and down the line to its terminus. A cleaning pad, treated with an alcohol-based surfactant, sweeps up dirt and dust all the while. And the end of the line, the pad automatically folds up, trapping the debris it has collected, and returns to the starting point.
So who cares? Bottlers care. The ZipClean robot takes 10-20 minutes to clean an airveyor, compared to the 10 hours or so a crew of cleaners would require. Also, a clean airveyor is less likely to jam or need lubricant, which could reduce maintenance costs by $12,000 per year.
Via: Core 77
Image: Diversey/Design Concepts