Leadec is a leading professional facilities services provider for manufacturing companies around the world.
Many of the facilities Leadec manages are large plants where thousands of employees work around the clock. One such place is the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) in Wayne, Michigan. The facility is on 369 acres, has roughly 2.8 million square feet of floor space, and employs just under 5000 people.
Keeping manufacturing plants like MAP clean is a top priority for Leadec employees as safety and quality control play a significant role in the daily routines of plant workers and successful production.
Leadec tackles the job with precise attention to detail and by employing staff that never stand still as part of their commitment to clients.
For Chris Culver, Purchasing Manager at Leadec N.A., finding the right cleaning equipment is crucial to fulfilling Leadec’s mission and high expectations regarding cleanliness.
One of Culver’s biggest challenges is finding cleaning equipment that cleans effectively in the unique facilities that Leadec is responsible for maintaining.
Because manufacturing facilities have staff on-site at all hours, the buildings require consistent cleaning and maintenance to make sure they are clean and safe for building occupants.
The administrative area at MAP is one space that requires keen attention to detail when it comes to cleaning the floors. This area of the plant houses offices, a lobby, and large open spaces where employees spend significant amounts of time each day.
Heavy foot traffic combined with various types of soil tracked in make it necessary for the floors to be cleaned multiple times a day to keep up with cleanliness and safety standards at the facility.
For Charles Perry, a MAP Complex Manager, and Bethany Johnson, Final Assembly Service Line Manager, cleaning the administrative area floors used to take up a substantial part of their day.
"Cobi is a huge time saver. It does a much better job on the floor than the traditional mop and bucket."
In October of 2022, Culver worked with his team to test using Cobi 18, an autonomous scrubber by ICE Cobotics, in the administrative area at the MAP location. By January 2023, the team had implemented Cobi, made it part of the team, and one member even named it “Little Jimmy.”
Culver notes “We were very impressed [with Cobi 18] and as soon as we had the opportunity, we wanted to put one in our Ford location. Within two months Ford was ready for another unit.”
Perry and Johnson quickly adopted Cobi as part of the cleaning team. They now run Cobi 5-6 days a week with the goal being to clean all flooring in the administrative area each day.
It’s a lot easier to use the machines versus having to mop the floor and then worry about people walking on the floor while waiting for it to dry,” Johnson says.
Since deploying Cobi, team members are freed up to focus on dusting, emptying trashcans, cleaning bathrooms, and more detailed work around the facility.
“Cobi is a huge time saver. It does a much better job on the floor than the traditional mop and bucket,” says Johnson.
Cobi was easy to implement too. Perry and Johnson were trained to use Cobi 18 by an ICE Cobotics team member and after that, they trained five of their staff members.
“It was very simple to learn, it took everyone about 15-20 minutes,” says Perry.
On top of that, the team finds Cobi easy to maintain, helping them save more time throughout the day.
Perry notes “It’s easy with the magnet features. Instead of having to unscrew something, you just pop everything off. It makes it simple.”
For Culver, Cobi presented other solutions to some of Leadec’s challenges. Since Leadec is responsible for such large facilities, the scope of work is quite extensive. For example, one person on the cleaning team could be responsible for up to twelve bathrooms plus other cleaning tasks each day.
“The best benefit with automation isn’t in reducing headcount, it’s for filling the gaps,” he says.
With Cobi as part of the team, Leadec can fill in gaps, get all the cleaning done, and continue to impress their clients.
Since adding Cobi to the cleaning team at MAP, Perry and Johnson have noticed a difference in the floors and have even been complimented on how clean the floors look.
“The floors are much cleaner, the tile is much whiter now,” says Johnson.
The team has been able to save at least one hour on floor cleaning every day and free up staff to accomplish other tasks.
Johnson notes, “I would recommend Cobi 18 because it does a fantastic job cleaning, and it definitely works very well to save time and to free up employees to work on other tasks while it is running.”
Beyond cleaner floors, there is less hassle with mopping and having to place “wet floor” signs throughout the space. The team can let Cobi run and focus on other tasks without worrying about wet floors.
“One thing that is important for people learning about Cobi to understand is, depending on the surface of the floor, it is a very, very dry finish,” says Culver.