October 8, 2019

How warehouse operator Christie Lites is boosting cleaning productivity with Neo, the robotic industrial floor cleaning machine

Warehouse management is hard, and managers are under pressure to “do more with less”. This is why more and more managers are turning to automation — including Neo, the robotic industrial floor cleaning machine — to boost efficiency, productivity and safety.

Take the case of Avidbots customer Christie Lites, who recently doubled the size of their Las Vegas warehouse for rental lighting equipment. This new, larger space made their legacy, walk-behind floor cleaner even less attractive from a cost and efficiency standpoint. That’s when they turned to Avidbots’ Neo. As a purpose-built floor-cleaning robot, Neo fits the requirements of Christie Lites’ management team for a thoughtfully designed warehouse floor scrubber.

“When the CEO of a production company comes in (to one of our warehouses) and sees the level of professionalism, including cleanliness, they’re more likely to want to work with us over our competitors”, says Dan Souwand, Vice President of Equipment, Systems and Warehousing at Christie Lites.

A significant challenge for Christie Lites regarding warehouse floor cleaning is their operation requires significant “flex space” to deal with rental equipment shipments and returns. They often use what Dan Souwand, Vice President of Equipment, Systems and Warehousing, calls “guerilla cleaning”, or opportunistic cleaning. In other words, when an area is available, facilities personnel need to be able to clean that area right away. One of the key features that Christie Lites saw in Neo was its cleaning flexibility, allowing their staff to choose between using the autonomous cleaning mode or manually sending Neo to an area to clean.

Cleaning Christie Lites’ Las Vegas warehouse would be a challenge for any autonomous industrial floor cleaning machine, since the number of workstations and amount of product to navigate is tremendous, not to mention both human and forklift traffic that must be avoided. Christie Lites found that Neo is perfectly designed to handle these navigation challenges, with the ability to designate no-go zones and slow down zonesFurthermore, Neo's object detection capabilities allow the robot to sense and avoid objects as low as 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) from the floor.

The ability to improve cleaning efficiency and productivity weren’t the only criteria that Christie Lites had for their warehouse floor scrubber — it also had to improve worker safety and satisfaction. Neo did just that by allowing the cleaning team to focus on more important maintenance projects besides floor cleaning. And with redundant safety features such as an emergency stop button, safety bumpers and an electronic brake, Neo can work in environments where products move around from day to day and hour to hour without worrying about the safety of people, products or equipment.

For Christie Lites, Neo not only improves efficiency, productivity and safety, it also makes financial sense. Avidbots Command Center supplies data on every clean, by every robot, in every sector, allowing the company to track key performance indicators that they couldn’t get from their legacy, walk-behind industrial floor cleaning machine. Get the entire Christie Lites story here.

What automated forklifts and automated storage and retrieval systems have done for supply chain operations, Neo robotic floor scrubbers are doing for facilities management functions in these same warehouses. To learn more about how the Neo robotic industrial floor cleaning machine is helping warehouse operators improve efficiency and increase productivity, download the new eBook: Boosting Warehouse and Supply Chain Productivity with Floor-Scrubbing Robots.