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New study shows benefits of modern wipes

Published 30th June, 2015 by Neil Nixon

New study shows benefits of modern wipes

In manufacturing industries where productivity is key, traditional solutions for wiping and cleaning such as textile rags and rental cloths are not specifically made for that task. Newer non-woven products on the market can offer enhanced properties.

To compare the performance between rags, rental cloths and non-woven products, an independent research institute has carried out product tests. Results shows a number of advantages for non-woven products compared with rags and rental cloths - for example 32% less time and 40% less solvent required to get the job done.

Today's modern machineries have replaced yesterday's tools. But in other instances, old solutions tend to linger on as textile rags and rental cloths are still used for wiping and cleaning in many factories. Whilst machinery has improved, however, so have wiping and cleaning products. To compare performance and end results, a third-party research institute has performed tests between textile cloths, rental rags and new wiping products from Tork, based on new technology and non-woven fibres.

“When you upgrade your machinery and tools you should also take the opportunity to upgrade to modern wiping and cleaning solutions to maintain them,” said SCA product manager, Rachel Thompson. “The test results show that there is time, money and quality to be gained from changing to non-woven products.”

Examples from the test results:

• Up to 41% less solvents: The non-woven products required considerably less solvent to do the job compared with the solvent needed to clean with rags and rental cloths.
• Up to 35% less time: The performance of the non-woven products meant that cleaning and wiping tasks could be completed much more quickly than when using rags and rental cloths.
• Up to 31% less effort: The non-woven products were perceived to require substantially less effort to get the same job done.
• Up to 80 % less waste and handling cost: Non-woven products weigh less and take up less space than rags, which makes them more effective to handle and transport.
• Takes up less space when transporting and storing: Rags take up to 4.5 times more space than the non-woven products.

One factory that has made the shift from textile to non-woven products is Trioplast's factory in Sundsvall, Sweden. Trioplast is one of Europe's largest plastics producers with a dozen factories in several countries. When looking over expenses for using textile cleaning products, seeing the actual cost for transportation, destruction and the amount of solvents being used, Trioplast started looking for other options. “The non-woven products we use from Tork have reduced our cost of handling and disposing of our previous wiping and cleaning material by 75%,” said Patrik Eriksson, Trioplast Sundsvall production manager. “On top of that we have also reduced our solvent consumption.”

Aside from the financial benefits, the shift to non-woven products has had several environmental benefits. When looking at the complete life cycle of the Tork products compared with the previously-used rags and rental cloths it became clear that the change has reduced environmental impact thanks to reduced consumption, lower use of solvents and reduced transport requirements. In addition, the new products had a positive effect on the working environment by helping staff save valuable time and effort keeping each workstation tidy - a prerequisite for smooth operations.

The testing was carried out in Sweden by Swerea Research Institute in 2014. The main focus of the test was to evaluate products being used for wiping and cleaning within manufacturing industries - including rental cloths, rags and non-woven cloths.

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