- THE MAGAZINE
According to Bob Robinson, Sr., Kaivac’s President: “Our experience based on involvement with thousands of comparative ATP measurements is that we have just scratched the surface of the potential of measurement in all its forms to improve performance and cleaning’s ability to affect the bottom line of business. To take it to the next level, we need experts in the field who can support measurement, see results firsthand to convince themselves and others, and help facilities systematically select processes for better, faster and healthier outcomes.”
Dr. Jay Glasel, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Microbial, Molecular and Structural Biology at the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington, Connecticut, and Managing Member and Founder of Global Scientific Consulting, LLC is one of the scientists involved in the ICM Field Lab Program. He comments on the need for a field assistance program:
“At present, swabs, as an example, are widely used in the cleaning industry to perform Integrated Cleaning and Measurement (ICM). Both the accuracy and consistency of estimating the amount of microbial contamination are highly dependent on the material nature of the swab, its moisture content, the physical features of the surface being sampled, the swabbing technique used by the human sampler, and even the species of microbial present on the surface (because different microbials adhere differently on surfaces).
“Swab sampling is therefore a method with a very large number of variables-many of them unknown to the person doing the sampling-that can affect the meaning of the microbial contamination data derived from swab samples.
“If the swab sampling pickup and deposit efficiencies vary greatly from sample to sample the microbial count data becomes meaningless no matter how many samples we obtain even though the samples are scored using a perfectly accurate instrument-for example, an ATP luminometer. This is another example of ‘garbage in, garbage out’.
“The reason the meaning of contamination measurement data obtained in the field from swab samples needs to be discussed is that if cleaning efficacy based on the data is charted on a day-to-day basis, and the numbers being charted have no constant interpretation, the ‘M’ in ICM stands for ‘meaningless.’”
Tom Morrison, Kaivac VP of Marketing concurs: “Our goal is to help the cleaning industry select better products and processes to enhance cleaning, productivity and health benefits with expert level guidance. The ICM Field Lab program with the support of the scientific, consulting, and cleaning and facilities communities will help us do just that.”
Elliott Affiliates, Ltd., a national consultancy for cleaning performance improvement and ICM advocate will also be assisting with the ICM Field Lab Program. “What’s measured gets improved and the quality of the measurement affects the quality of the data,” says Vince Elliott, principal. “Our responsibility will be to assist in promoting accurate and meaningful measurement and quality assurance in the consistent gathering, collating, analysis and reporting of the real-world field data.”
Kaivac invites inquiries as to the availability of ICM Field Labs in various geographic areas. “The program is embryonic but we expect it to grow based on the strong interest in ICM, process improvement, healthier indoor environments and the need to improve various bottom lines,” Morrison concludes.