[Nexa3D in 3D Printing Media Network] Nexa3D launches xCLEAN, an eco-friendly cleaning solvent for resin-based 3D printers

Nexa3D is introducing – with immediate commercial availability – xCLEAN, an effective and environmentally friendly washing solvent that is designed to work consistently with most photopolymer 3D printers and resin systems available on the market.

Read more here.

The post [Nexa3D in 3D Printing Media Network] Nexa3D launches xCLEAN, an eco-friendly cleaning solvent for resin-based 3D printers appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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“Disinfection robots, cleaning robots, e-commerce delivery robots…I see a lot of opportunities”: Interview with Accerion’s founder Willem-Jan Lamers

Many industries have been impacted by the pandemic in one way or another. Food delivery apps have boomed, while ride-sharing services dropped by 70% in the past months. We have been wondering what has changed for the mobile robots and logistics sector. How did the increase in online shopping orders influence the logistics sector? Will mobile robots be used more because of the restrictive measures?

To find the answers to these and other questions, we spoke with Willem-Jan Lamers, founder of Accerion. Accerion (2015) is a Dutch company which produces localisation technology to enable mobile robots to become truly autonomous. We discussed with Willem-Jan the future of autonomous mobile robot sector, the effect of the pandemic on logistics and what makes Accerion localisation technology so unique.

First up, let’s start with the basics. How did you start Accerion and what is your mission with the mobile robot’s localisation technology?

It all started with an invention in my first company called Venamics in 2012. After 3 years of market research and development, we found the perfect fit for our technology in the mobile robotics market. It was then, in 2015 that Accerion was founded. In early 2016, my business partner Vincent Burg and our first employee Talha Ali Arslan joined me. We received our first investment which helped us to expand the team, develop the first products and attract customers. Last year we landed our Series A investment round and we grew the team to 20 people and 40 corporate customers all over the world.

The mission of Accerion is to make autonomous mobile robots 100% independent from infrastructure and give them the ability to operate in a flexible and dynamic environment, specifically in warehouse logistics and production automation. To make it happen, we developed a novel localization technology. It works with the use of cameras that look at the ground surface beneath the robots, using it as their reference. The floor is a static reference that does not change quickly, and by analysing the scans of the ground surface, the robots can localise themselves in the environment. This is what makes our approach so powerful and unique.

What are the principle markets you work with, and how have they been affected by the COVID crisis?

Our customers are autonomous robot manufacturers who, in turn, sell robots to the end user, mainly in logistics and production automation, but also in entertainment, agriculture and other adjacent markets. The principal market is indoor logistics and production automation. With regard to business activity, we are now almost back to the situation before the pandemic. We have clients from all over the world, including Europe (the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Denmark), the US, China and India, who keep placing orders. Actually, the logistics sector has been booming at the moment and according to the analysts, the autonomous mobile robot market will grow faster that had been expected before the pandemic.

You work in the Netherlands where the restrictive measures were rather moderate compared to other European countries. How has the new business set up worked for Accerion?

Overall, the new business setup working remotely, was good for the company. To provide some context, our HQ is in Venlo, in the south of the Netherlands and when the Dutch government introduced the recommendations to work remotely in the middle of March, our team immediately took action and within one weekend, we adapted all the processes (including IT-related processes) to the new work-from-home environment. Regarding the general net effect on the business, I also noticed that the team became more efficient and focused working from home spending less time on travelling. However, the biggest drawback for us is the difficulty in meeting the customers face-to-face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your predictions about the usage of mobile robots in the future, especially considering the ‘new normal’ setup?

I see a lot of opportunities in the current crisis for the growth of mobile robotics market. For instance, disinfection robots, cleaning robots, robots for logistics processes optimization, e-commerce delivery robots. I see a lot of opportunities in the area of disinfection robots linked to the current changes and shift to so-called ‘a high-mixed’ environment where robots and people work together with the goal to reduce tactile exposure of goods and robots with people. The e-commerce market has grown a lot – more goods are shipped door-to-door and most likely, this trend will continue.

What are the main challenges in the autonomous mobile robot sector?

Operations are becoming more flexible, dynamic, fast-paced. The currents trends include space optimization, products customization and goods diversification. All of that pose certain challenges to the logistics processes and requires a high degree of flexibility and adaptability. For the autonomous mobility sector, it means the increasing importance of an easy identification of the robot’s location and its complete independence from the environment.

What is your opinion on a common belief that robots are taking over the world and soon humans will be out of jobs?

It is funny how often this question pops up. In my view, this concern is absolute nonsense. It comes from the media and is based on the fear of new technologies. A century ago, people were afraid to switch from horses to cars and it seem to have worked quite well. So, there is nothing to be scared about. I believe that robots will take over the heavy, repetitive, ‘boring’ work which humans are not eager to do, such that they can focus on the interesting and more challenging work. For example, in many logistics applications it already becomes a requirement for robots to accomplish certain tasks because of the lack of the employees.

What advice would you give to early stage, European, tech startups right now?

Here are my 2 main recommendations:

  1. Validate your hypothesis about your product and its fit to the market. Build the smallest prototype to show it to your customers and validate it with them. Talk as much as you can with your potential customers, preferably doing it face-to-face. Tune your product in to the market. Listen to them. Be as lean as possible.
  2. Focus. Focus on the market you want to address and the product you are developing. There will always be tremendous opportunities popping up around you. The biggest mistake most entrepreneurs make is diving into every opportunity that arises. I recommend not to be distracted by new opportunities which make you deviate from your path. Focus on one task and keep working on it.

EU-Startups

Cleaning business

Thinking to start a business because I think the demand will increase for disinfection in this time of covid-19.

Just dont know where to start because it will be the first business.

I am very anxious and scared to oversee some details so I will appreciate you guys if you can share some resources for information or any information will do.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

New product: No-code tool for cleaning messy data and getting insights fast

Hey everyone.
I want to share a project that may be useful for some of you here. Pasteur is a #data preparation tool, that lets you organize messy data. Without Coding. Without long excel sheets. We currently support more than 60 prebuilt functions, couple of integrations and sharing of "Recipes" between collaborators.

If this sounds interesting to you, I invite you to try it out: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/pasteur-by-intersect-labs

Would love to hear feedback how you may use it, and what other use cases you may find.

Thank you!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How Much Time To Spend “Cleaning” A B2C App?

I'm a software developer with a full-time job at a megacorp in the digital marketing space. However, I've been working off and on on a B2C phone app during nights for the last 5-6 months. I haven't gotten much feedback from potential users so far. I think fills a niche that others in the space are ignoring. I also think that I would use the app myself.

I think that I have a minimal viable product done where the product will provide the substantial value that I hoped. I think that I want to get feedback from other people on the user flow and user experience. There some rough areas of improvement that I still want to do. But, I don't know if I should get more feedback before I jump in to fixing those areas.

My impression of B2C is that users are generally less forgiving of unintuitive user interfaces and the experience needs to be tuned quite a bit more than if you were making B2B software. Otherwise, I could be throwing marketing money and time at these users that would get lost in an unintuitive flow.

I've thought that my next step at this point would be to create internal builds in the app store and share them with people I know to get feedback from them.

What's the best way to collect feedback from after that process? Is responding to app store comments the best way? Or should I have an internal-to-app mechanism to collect feedback? Is there any general advice from others who have launched B2C phone apps and been in this position? What do you wish you'd done?

As a side question, the app requires a "network" of people geographically close to you for it to work well. My plan was to buy paid ads (likely Facebook ads) to get people to join and throw money at user adoption. I make quite a bit of money in my day job and am already financially independent and think I could throw a lot of money at ads if I wanted to. This is in lieu of seeking investment capital or looking for another co founder that would do marketing. I've had so many bad experiences with other potential co founders that I'd rather just avoid finding someone and go alone until I know i find the right person. I also hear a lot that if you don't have a co founder, you're likely to fail. Do I need to go find someone for the sake of having a co founder?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

The Best Commercial Cleaning Services

Cleaning and sanitizing a business requires a lot more work than simply straightening up around the house. Whether you run a small retail store or a company with hundreds of employees, you need a professional cleaning service that has the staff, resources, and materials to handle a big job.

In other words, you need a commercial cleaner. While most of them operate nationwide, it’s common for them to franchise. Much like the chain fast food restaurants in your neighborhood look and feel like every other location around the country, they’re owned by a local person who follows corporate rules and regulations.

So how do you find a good commercial cleaning service? Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from. Even better, most have been in business for decades. These big national cleaners can handle everything from vacuuming your company’s carpets to sanitizing surfaces after a viral outbreak.

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The 10 Best Commercial Cleaning Services

Commercial cleaners can tackle just about any cleaning task you have in mind. Most of the big names can even deliver medical-grade cleaning services, which requires certain protocols and products to remove bloodborne pathogens and microorganisms.

1. Anago Cleaning Systems

• Customized pricing
• Advanced cleaning methods
• Over 1,700 locations
• Total satisfaction guarantee
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In business since 1989, Anago Cleaning Systems services just about every industry you can think of. Their site touts their experience in education, government, manufacturing, health care, hospitality, worship facilities, and property management. Basically, they do it all. They also offer cleaning services 24/7, which is ideal if you don’t want your customers or employees sidestepping cleaners during the day.

Every franchise in Anago’s network gives its customers a Total Satisfaction Guarantee, which means an Anago cleaning team will show up at your site within two hours if you call with any concerns after their initial visit. This is great for those times when you notice the cleaners missed a spot on the carpet or neglected to take care of some overflowing trash.

Headquartered in Florida, Anago has over 1,700 locations. Most locations are located in the United States, but the company also has a handful of franchises in Canada.

2. Bonus Building Care

• Customized pricing
• Superior scheduled cleaning
• Totally green cleaning options
• Quick, courteous and convenient
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Bonus Building Care is a smaller national cleaner compared to others on the list, but it has a good reputation online. It also has an impressive pedigree, having been founded in 1997 by Arleen Cavanaugh, one half of the husband and wife team who started commercial cleaning behemoth Jani-King. Using her experience and background in the commercial cleaning space, Arleen started Bonus Building Care after the couple’s divorce.

Headquartered in Oklahoma, the majority of Bonus’s franchisees are located in the south. Bonus also offers totally green cleaning through its BoGreen program, which uses plant-based cleaners rather than harsh chemicals.

3. Buildingstars

• Customized pricing
• Commercial & medical
• Comprehensive nightly cleaning
• Floor care & window washing
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Buildingstars was founded in 1994, and it breaks its commercial cleaning services down to five industries: health care, offices, financial, industrial, and educational. The company has four primary headquarter locations in Arizona, Missouri, Florida, and Illinois. It has around 800 franchisees spread across the United States.

As part of its routine office cleaning program, Buildingstars disinfects “common touch” areas like door handles, elevator buttons, vending machines, and water coolers. It also provides hand sanitizer stations to cut down on viral transmissions (since, as the Buildingstars website points out, 15 percent of men and 7 percent of women don’t wash their hands).

Buildingstars’ comprehensive cleaning service offers nightly cleaning, floor care, window washing, and carpet cleaning.

4. CleanNet USA

• Customized pricing
• Flexible to fit your schedule
• 1,700+ franchise locations
• Specialized cleaning services
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According to CleanNet USA, the company cleans over 160 million square feet of commercial space each day. The company got its start in 1987 and now operates about 1,700 franchises throughout the country.

CleanNet USA also oversees its franchisees by using proprietary quality control software that lets corporate keep track of maintenance standards. If needed, the company can step in and provide remedial training if a particular franchise is failing to meet CleanNet standards.

Businesses that use CleanNet can also track their cleaning services through the company’s mobile app. The company is headquartered in Virginia and also pairs with local licensed contractors to offer pest control, painting, and handyman services.

5. Coverall

• Customized pricing
• Advanced disinfecting
• Preventative maintenance
• Services 14,000+ health providers
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Founded in 1985, Coverall has over 8,000 franchises in the United States. The company’s focus is on medical facility cleaning, and it services over 14,000 health providers. This makes it a good choice for doctor’s offices, hospitals, dental clinics, dialysis centers, and veterinarian offices.

However, Coverall also operates in a wide variety of other industries, including business offices, schools, industrial, retail, and fitness centers. The company uses hospital-grade disinfectants, no-dip flat mops, HEPA vacuums, and microfiber cleaning cloths.

Unlike a lot of commercial cleaning services, Coverall offers a cost estimate on its website. While you’ll still need to get a quote to determine exactly how much you’ll pay, Coverall says that basic service for a small office a couple times a week ranges between $ 170 and $ 250 per month, with service for larger facilities spanning anywhere from $ 800 to thousands per month.

6. JAN-PRO

• Customized pricing
• Detailed & accountable
• EnviroShield disinfection
• Founded by a military veteran
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JAN-PRO got its start in Rhode Island in 1991. Today, it has over 8,000 franchises in the United States. Its main service offering is its EnviroShield® disinfection process, which adheres to the same cleaning requirements used to sanitize hospital operating rooms. JAN-PRO cleaners also use color coded microfiber cloths to avoid cross-contamination from one cleaning area to another.

Founded by a military veteran, the company also features a special program designed to make it easier for veterans to open a franchise. JAN-PRO also gives all its franchisees five weeks of rigorous training in the company’s procedures and protocols.

JAN-PRO also offers a satisfaction guarantee. If a customer is unhappy with a cleaning, the next standard cleaning service is free.

7. Jani-King

• Customized pricing
• Services most business types
• 120 offices in 10 countries
• Consistent, quality cleaning
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Jani-King bills itself as the “world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company” and it has the numbers to back this up. The company operates 120 support offices in 10 countries and maintains a global network of 9,000 franchisees.

Jani-King handles just about every industry out there, including office buildings, retail, sports venues, hotels, health care, restaurants, college campuses, and manufacturing facilities.

The company is also one of the oldest commercial cleaning services on the list, having been founded in 1968. Jani-King offers a number of video reviews from big name clients on its website. Reviewers include the House of Blues, Methodist Hospital for Surgery, Marriott Hotels, and Coca-Cola.

8. ServiceMaster Clean

• Customized pricing
• Specialty cleaning services
• Project based options
• In business since 1929
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ServiceMaster Clean has been in business since 1929, when it started out as a moth-proofing company. It switched to commercial cleaning in 1952 and has grown to become one of the largest commercial cleaning services in the country, with over 8,000 company-owned and franchise locations.

ServiceMaster Clean also has several well-known brands under its corporate mantle, including Merry Maids and Terminix. One of the company’s mottos is “any building, any industry, we can clean it.” Indeed, ServiceMaster Clean counts every industry from banks and hospitals to schools and retail stores among its customers.

9. Steamatic

• Customized pricing
• Disaster recovery services
• Document recovery & art restoration
• A leader in commercial cleaning
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Steamatic is a bit different from the other commercial cleaning services on the list in that it offers disaster recovery services in addition to commercial cleaning. The company handles restoration and recovery cleaning following fire, mold damage, flooding, and wind damage from hurricanes and tornadoes.

The company also offers customers the option of bringing a Steamatic crew on site or shipping damaged items to a Steamatic location for cleaning.

If a customer chooses the “pack-out” option, Steamatic can handle the inventory, packing, transportation, and property storage. This can work well for things like document recovery, dehumidification, and art restoration, which are all services offered by Steamatic.

Steamatic was founded in Texas in 1948 and began franchising under the Steamatic, Inc. name in 1967.

10. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

• Customized pricing
• Tailored to meet your needs
• Advanced janitorial equipment
• 18,000+ commercial cleaning accounts
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Vanguard Cleaning Systems was founded in 1984. Today, it has over 3,000 franchisees around the United States and Canada. It also offers janitorial services, which can be convenient for a business looking to hire one company to handle both commercial cleaning and janitorial duties.

According to Vanguard, it operates over 18,000 commercial cleaning accounts. While Vanguard has earned a number of awards for its franchising opportunities, its site doesn’t list any cleaning or eco-friendly cleaning certifications.

How to Choose the Best Commercial Cleaning Service for You

Commercial cleaning can be a pricey addition to your business’s budget, so you want to make sure you get the most value for your investment.

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And that’s exactly how you should view commercial cleaning services: as an investment. Ideally, you want to find a cleaner you can work with over the long haul. That way, you’re not constantly getting quotes and dealing with a revolving door of cleaning crews.

So what should you look for in a commercial cleaning service? What kinds of criteria should you use to measure the various companies side by side? Here are five tips for picking a cleaner that will keep your business sanitized and healthy for your employees and customers.

1.  Experience

Look for a commercial cleaner that’s both reliable and knows your business. This means you want to look for a company that’s been around for at least several years. Fortunately, the majority of national cleaning companies have decades of experience under their belts, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

However, also make sure the cleaning service has experience handling your type of business. Some commercial cleaners are known for their excellent work in a medical setting. While they might be perfectly capable of cleaning your 10-person office, do you really need that level of cleaning? Furthermore, are you prepared to pay for it?

In this case, you’re probably just fine going with a cleaning service that focuses on retail stores or office buildings.

2. Availability and Flexibility

What kind of hours is the cleaning service willing to work? Does it charge more if you request a nighttime cleaning?

The reality is that most businesses don’t want a cleaning crew coming through in the middle of the workday. Not only is this disruptive to employees, but it can be a major turn off and inconvenience for customers.

A good commercial cleaning service will accommodate your schedule rather than trying to strongarm you into working around theirs.

The majority of national commercial cleaners state explicitly that they offer nighttime cleaning as a standard service.

3. Scope of Services

When you hire a commercial cleaner, you’ll often save money by combining two or more services. For example, many commercial cleaning companies offer janitorial services as well as cleaning. It’s also common to see cleaners provide regular maintenance cleaning along with more in-depth cleaning on a quarterly or semiannual basis.

Think about the cleaning tasks your office needs and what makes your facility unique. Do you have industrial work areas that gather a lot of dust or debris? Or maybe your office building features dozens of windows that require regular cleaning. These are all considerations you should take into account when looking for a commercial cleaner.

4. Supplies and Equipment

If you’ve ever hired a residential cleaner, you might have encountered a service that required you to supply the cleaning products and equipment. This isn’t something you want in a commercial setting. For one thing, the cleaners required to achieve a deep clean or a hospital-grade sanitation usually need to be stored in specific temperatures and under certain conditions.

Also, most business owners don’t have time to source a large volume of cleaning supplies and equipment, price it out, and manage the inventory needed for an entire office building or business with multiple locations.

A good commercial cleaning service will have its own cleaning products and equipment, and its workers will be trained on their proper use.

Additionally, many commercial cleaning services offer green or eco-friendly cleaning services that use plant-based cleaning solutions. If this is important to you and your business, ask a commercial cleaner what kind of products it uses, if it carries any environmental certifications, and if it’s willing to provide you with a list of ingredients in its products.

5. Trustworthiness

Most commercial cleaning services do their work at night. This means they’ll need to work inside your building when employees are absent and the office is closed to the public. You want to make sure you contract with a commercial cleaner that employs reliable and trustworthy professionals.

If your business handles sensitive records, such as patient information or customers’ financial account data, you need to know you’re working with cleaners who will take appropriate steps to protect records and documents.

You should also verify that the commercial cleaning service is insured. That way, you’re not responsible for any injuries a cleaner suffers while working on your property.

Conclusion

Life gets messy, whether you’re at work or at home. In a business setting, foot traffic and product production can create industrial size messes. Fortunately, commercial cleaning services have the manpower and resources to tackle even the biggest jobs. If you do your homework and take time to get a few quotes, you can find a commercial cleaning service that eases the burden of keeping your business in top shape.

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