The award, sponsored by Putman Media's Plant Services and MRO Marketplace magazines, publications serving the industrial manufacturing sector, was based on reader votes solicited in the May Issue of MRO Marketplace magazine.
According to magazine editor Denise Lontz, "The annual MRO Marketplace 'Problem Solver' program offers readers the opportunity to see how their peers solve problems, and vote for the best solutions."
The May issue listed 37 finalists selected by editors. "We invited vendors to send us real-life examples of their products in action, solving their customer's problems and providing genuine, quantifiable benefits," said Lontz. Pro-Team's entry highlighted use of its MegaVac Backpack Vacuum at 3M's 150,000 square feet Valley, Neb., facility producing single-use industrial respirators. During manufacturing, 3M layers odor-absorbing carbon between other filter materials, producing carbon dust that sifts onto floors. Removing the fine dust was difficult until contractor crews switched to backpack vacuums. Workers now clean more easily around machinery, shipping dock equipment and other obstacles, and in 3M's offices using the backpack's lightweight aluminum wand.
Productivity has also improved. According to the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), a backpack with a 14-inch floor tool cleans at a rate of 7,407 square feet per hour versus a similarly configured two-motor upright (3,243 square feet per hour) or a 24-inch push broom at 3,896 square feet per hour.
Backpacks also reduce downtime because they have no belts or beater bars to break and fewer moving parts than other vacuums.
Winners in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories will be formally announced in the August issue of MRO Marketplace.