A question of technology

Innovations are the driving force behind developments that make companies more successful. They form the foundation for new services and products. In a dynamic world of continual change, they make it possible for us to adapt to the changing needs of our customers. Of particular importance here is the right technology.

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Piepenbrock's technical management

For the technology and cleaning processes, ongoing further development ensures that the quality of the services is increased. Piepenbrock has therefore introduced a technical management system, unique in its area of industry. More than 50 designated and accredited cleaning experts support trouble-free processing of large and special projects and the continual improvement process of the respective service.
In 2012, an important milestone was reached in terms of information exchange and work quality. The experts spread around the nation up until then were assigned to the central specialist department in Osnabruck. With this step, Piepenbrock optimised the qualification and further development of its specialists.
In addition, members of the technical management team are involved in associative measures to define standards and help mould the future of property cleaning. This takes place, for example, through the European research community for cleaning and hygiene technology (FRT). It initiates company-wide research plans and considers the ecological as well as qualitative demands on cleaning and hygiene.


Ecological technologies

An important area of activity of the technical management team is ecology. The effects of cleaning on the environment are determined above all by the frequency of cleaning as well as the methods and techniques employed. Therefore, the technical management team from Piepenbrock regularly examines the procedures that are applied.

  • Efficient cleaning procedures that save energy and water reduce negative impacts on the environment.
  • Where automatic cleaning systems are used, integrated dosing technology reduces the amount of chemicals considerably.
  • To minimise emissions, the family-run business employs ergonomic vacuum cleaners with microfilter technology as standard. They prevent dust from being generated and spread over large areas. The efficient devices reduce energy consumption at the same time.
  • In battery-powered machines, Piepenbrock uses standardised long-lasting gel-batteries.
  • Microfibre cloths save resources when cleaning surfaces: Abrasive fibres remove water-soluble dirt and grease residue and avoid the use of chemicals.
  • Dosing equipment ensures that cleaning agents and care products are used sparingly and effectively.


Facade cleaning through osmosis

Piepenbrock is always on the look-out for efficient cleaning procedures. For example, the company offers a cleaning surface for glass and façades in which osmosis is used. The physical process of reverse osmosis filters out the minerals from water prior to cleaning. This method can be executed with the aid of mobile bottle filter systems or larger plant systems on car trailers. Demineralised water makes it possible to clean façades up to great heights thanks to the use of telescopic rod systems. In this way, climbing aids such as ladders or scaffolding can be dispensed with in many cases. Unlike untreated water, no residue is left on the glass when the water from osmosis dries. There is no need to dry the surfaces after cleaning.


Nilco: Practical vacuum cleaner test

In an intensive practical test, Piepenbrock cleaners tested the "Nilco S20 Eco Power" vacuum cleaner for its suitability during daily use. Thanks to improved technology, it consumes less electricity and can be switched from 1000 watts to a 500 watt silent setting (54 dB). The ergonomically shaped, powerful professional equipment is equipped as standard with a HEPA filter.


Dry ice cleaning

The particularly high expectations of cleanliness from production technology are met with the dry ice cleaning approach. The demand for this cleaning method, which is not wasteful of materials, increased significantly in 2014. Piepenbrock adapted its capacities accordingly and invested in several dry ice cleaning units. The process impresses with cost efficiency and an optimum cleaning result. During dry ice cleaning, the surface to be cleaned is blasted with cold CO2 pellets (at -78 degrees Celsius) under compressed air. Through the impact and pin-point cooling, unwanted coatings and layers are easily removed. The solid carbon dioxide sublimates and evaporates into air without liquefying or leaving deposits.
Moreover, the process is environmentally-friendly to a high degree. The pellets are not only colourless and odourless but also climate neutral without having to be mixed with chemical additives that are hazardous to the environment. The three millimetre small bullets do not have to be manufactured artificially. They are formed as a by-product from other industrial processes – additional energy is not required. Unlike other methods of industrial cleaning with high pressure water jets or sand blasting, no secondary waste such as dirty water or sand is generated through dry ice cleaning.


Training courses at the technology centre

Piepenbrock trains its staff in a target-orientated way to keep down any negative effects on the environment and to protect their health. In the process, they learn about the correct use of cleaning equipment and cleaning solutions and how careful planning of the work procedures can minimise undesired effects on the environment. Corporate environmental protection that regulates how operating equipment/fluids are used is embedded in the integrated management system. Piepenbrock staff keep the type and quantity of operating equipment/fluids down, in order that any risks to people and the environment are minimised. Software solutions document and steer consumption.
Piepenbrock runs the largest part of its training courses at its own technology centres. The acquisition of practical skills is essential for property cleaners. Modern cleaning procedures, technical specifications as well as the secure handling of machines and equipment are important topics for customer advisors and cleaning specialists. At a training site measuring 210 square metres, course participants have the opportunity under realistic conditions to use equipment, machines as well as cleaning textiles and agents. Since the spring of 2013, glass safety utensils and sectional ladders offer the means of enhanced practical testing for glass and facade cleaning.


Support for undergraduates

Piepenbrock supports scientific dissertations within the scope of sandwich courses. In return, the students bring the knowledge that they have gained at university directly into the company and thereby ensure a continual exchange of information. Two successful dissertations were focussed on the topic of sustainability.

  • One of the dissertations explored the development of a sustainability coding system. It collated all of the relevant data and introduced an individual Piepenbrock sustainability scorecard. This served as a means of documenting the advancement and decline of sustainability management as well as gathering figures in property management at a company and order level.
  • Another dissertation looked at the relevance of a sustainability management system using Piepenbrock as an example. The conclusion was that the sustainability activities had to be intensified owing to growing customer requirements and potential changes in legislation.


Sustainable data management with DigiPen

The DigiPen takes off some of the load from property and customer advisors during their administrative tasks. With its aid, written items are automatically digitalised and then processed further. This shortens the time required to transfer information and gives staff more time to care for their customers and focus on their core tasks. Apart from a conventional refill, the "digital pen" features an optical sensor. While staff fill in the document in paper form as usual, a grid pressed against the paper records the data. Via Bluetooth, this is then transferred to a PDA that transmits the digitalised material directly to the central server in Osnabruck. In this way, paper transport and data transfer are shortened. About 300 Digipens are used every day at Piepenbrock to ensure that, each month, 40,000 work chits and work orders can be processed efficiently.


Mobile security "just in time"

The Piepenbrock security services department relies on innovative security solutions. One example is the mobile person and baggage screening device that the company has on standby for acute security requirements. It is the "just-in-time" solution in person and baggage screening. Since June 2012, Piepenbrock operates the mobile control station, which is equipped with all of the requisite test instruments and is ready to use right away with no further organisational efforts. It comprises a baggage inspection unit, a gate detector, hand sensors and a motor vehicle mirror for underbody checks. The control point can be assembled and disassembled within the shortest space of time and also transported easily, without taking up much space, on a lowerable 2.5 ton trailer to the target destination.


Efficient development of packaging technology

LoeschPack and Hastamat satisfy their customers with innovative products and advanced solution concepts. The consistent innovation management of both companies is decisive for their success. The development of new products is a determining factor for the company’s success, in particular in the engineering industry. This is why the innovation management of the Piepenbrock subsidiaries follows a process model which is specifically customized to their requirements. Development projects are subdivided in single segments, so-called “gates”. The division is made logically. At the beginning of the process, a new development is firstly analyzed with regard to its technical and economic quality. Only then follows the takeover by the development department finally ending up in the market launch. Despite the introduction of standardized processes resulting from the dynamic growth of the packaging machine manufacturers, the companies retain their flexibility. As part of the standardized process, LoeschPack and Hastamat therefore schedule new jobs for research and development in order to create ideal conditions for innovations. At the same time, both companies are committed to a continuous improvement that each employee may contribute to. Technical or organizational questions are discussed in interdisciplinary and cross-hierarchical teams leading to results that have been worked out by actors from all expert groups.


Focus on customers’ requirements

The Piepenbrock subsidiaries closely link the factors customer benefit, customer orientation and integration to the development process. In some projects, LoeschPack and Hastamat systematically involve their customers into the development process by means of common workshops. The mutual impact analysis (FMEA) identifies the customers’ requirements and increases the technical reliability of the products. Every year, both companies execute numerous detail improvements throughout the product portfolio; in parallel, completely new packaging machines are developed.


Modular construction concept reduces costs

An important innovation step is the development of modules which can be deployed in different types of machines. This leads to a reduction of development costs and creates valuable synergies. In the innovation process, Hastamat is having positive experience with Parametric Design. Once machinery parts have been constructed, they can be adapted by a simple mouse click and can be tailored to the requested size. Modular components are used in different types of machines and are scalable in size. In practice, this leads to a reduction of construction times for individual customer requirements.


Systematic product management

Piepenbrock’s subsidiaries of the packaging machine industry use a modern product data management system at all sites. The software serves for the master data maintenance of all construction data. New CAD systems are exactly customized to the requirements in engineering. They simplify the exchange of data between suppliers and external design offices. The systems allow parametric designs and are connected to the existing SAP system via a direct interface.


Efficient development of packaging technology

LoeschPack and Hastamat satisfy their customers with innovative products and advanced solution concepts. The consistent innovation management of both companies is decisive for their success. The development of new products is a determining factor for the company’s success, in particular in the engineering industry. This is why the innovation management of the Piepenbrock subsidiaries follows a process model which is specifically customized to their requirements. Development projects are subdivided in single segments, so-called “gates”. The division is made logically. At the beginning of the process, a new development is firstly analyzed with regard to its technical and economic quality. Only then follows the takeover by the development department finally ending up in the market launch. Despite the introduction of standardized processes resulting from the dynamic growth of the packaging machine manufacturers, the companies retain their flexibility. As part of the standardized process, LoeschPack and Hastamat therefore schedule new jobs for research and development in order to create ideal conditions for innovations. At the same time, both companies are committed to a continuous improvement that each employee may contribute to. Technical or organizational questions are discussed in interdisciplinary and cross-hierarchical teams leading to results that have been worked out by actors from all expert groups.


Focus on customers’ requirements

The Piepenbrock subsidiaries closely link the factors customer benefit, customer orientation and integration to the development process. In some projects, LoeschPack and Hastamat systematically involve their customers into the development process by means of common workshops. The mutual impact analysis (FMEA) identifies the customers’ requirements and increases the technical reliability of the products. Every year, both companies execute numerous detail improvements throughout the product portfolio; in parallel, completely new packaging machines are developed.


Modular construction concept reduces costs

An important innovation step is the development of modules which can be deployed in different types of machines. This leads to a reduction of development costs and creates valuable synergies. In the innovation process, Hastamat is having positive experience with Parametric Design. Once machinery parts have been constructed, they can be adapted by a simple mouse click and can be tailored to the requested size. Modular components are used in different types of machines and are scalable in size. In practice, this leads to a reduction of construction times for individual customer requirements.


Systematic product management

Piepenbrock’s subsidiaries of the packaging machine industry use a modern product data management system at all sites. The software serves for the master data maintenance of all construction data. New CAD systems are exactly customized to the requirements in engineering. They simplify the exchange of data between suppliers and external design offices. The systems allow parametric designs and are connected to the existing SAP system via a direct interface.


Innovations at Planol

The subsidiary Planol produces cleaning agents in accordance with high safety and environmental standards (certified according to DIN-EN-ISO-9001:2008). The production is subject to constant technical progress and focuses on environmental compatibility. For this reason, Planol develops products that correspond to the Federal Environment Agency’s criteria regarding the ecological compatibility of detergents, cleaning agents and care products. These criteria consider aspects of categorization, labelling, dosage, packaging, disposal and ingredients. Below a defined limit, the products are, in compliance with the prescribed dosage, considered to be ecologically recommendable.


New development of chemical products

An important task field of Planol is the new development of products. In doing so, Planol focuses on the customers’ requests and provides corresponding product samples. Subsequently, these samples are analyzed and examined with regard to their practical suitability and implementation. If the product is judged to be advantageous, its development is brought forward; finally Planol will launch the product in consideration of economic aspects. Between 2011 and 2013, Planol developed numerous new products, such as “Plano SHINE”, “Plano SOFT”, “Plano CLEAN”, “Ultraplan”, “Grundreiniger universal” and “Plano TOP” as well as the products for cleaning units “Planomat I”, “Planomat N” and “Planomat A”. Apart from new developments, Planol constantly optimizes all products already being part of the portfolio. Thus, there are adjustments to the currently valid legal requirements at regular intervals.