Rise of the machines

As soon as we moved from an agrarian economy to an industrialized one, it became inevitable…robots. Skynet references aside, we have been benefitting from machines and their natural evolution for hundreds of years.

Machines have made huge inroads into each and every aspect of our personal and work lives.

In our homes, machines and their cousins, the appliance, save time, keep our food safe, entertain and generally help us through the day. Think washer and dryer, refrigerator, riding lawn mower, leaf blower…you get the idea. We use them every day.

At work, their use and efficiency cross every industry is obvious, we need them. Here at Duncan & Sons’ we depend on machines across all of our servicesFloors, you might think, are the natural place where we use them.  But we also use them for our Water Damage Restoration service.

Some are so futuristic that all they seem to be missing is the “Flux Capacitor”. Yeah, that is a propane tank, and no, Tim “the toolman” Taylor did not modify this machine for us. And yeah, it is awesome!

Machines at work are often associated with replacing a person. Not so when you count the production, transport, maintenance and training for machines. In fact an argument can be made that they provide more jobs than they take might away. One of the possible solutions to the Workforce challenges we are all facing may lie in integrating machines.

ISSA media director Jeff Cross’ article January 2020  notes “More and more, you are seeing machines cleaning hallways in large public buildings. “The hands-free restroom is another example where automation is being used to make our lives easier and healthier.”  

Ensuring these machines are ready to perform the tasks on demand requires regular maintenance.  Cleanlink, a list of Cleaning Industry trade magazines, has published an article by a Frontline Manager. Their number one tip…”Read the owners manual”. So true, there are specific differences to machines that cannot be attributed to the last machine you maintained..  The article’s bottom line…”Keep cleaning tools and equipment clean/maintained and they will work better, last longer, and prevent unexpected costs.”  As an investment, machines can return many years of service and will need trained staff to operate them.

Already in our industry, Artificial Intelligence has evolved the human operated machines yet again into the autonomous machines. That’s right, robots. Software engineers have designed, and manufacturers have built…the robot. These can perform functions by self operation allowing staff to perform other tasks at the same time. Problem solving usually drives innovation… adapt, improvise, overcome.  AI machines that are able to learn can take us to new levels of efficiency. The future looks bright indeed…unless your name is Sarah Connor!






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