Monday, June 24, 2013

The DOI (Distinctness of Image) Difference for Floors

This article was originally published in Facilities Management Magazine.

We've heard it many times: One of the first things people notice upon entering a facility is the floor, and if those floors aren't shiny and clean, it reflects poorly on the facility. In addition to potential health risks, dirty floors can give visitors a negative image of a business or facility's overall operations while clean, well maintained floors create a positive first impression. One way building owners and operators can improve customer perception of their facilities is to ensure their floors have a high distinctness of image (DOI).

What is DOI?

DOI is best defined as the measure of how crisply and sharply an image is reflected from a surface, indicating the clarity of a reflection seen in the floor. DOI is gaining popularity and quickly becoming the new measure of floor restoration, protection, and maintenance quality. It should not be confused with other measures like gloss, haze, and RSpec measurement.

Gloss. The most popular term used to describe the appearance of a floor's surface is gloss. Gloss refers to shine or light reflection and causes surfaces to have a polished or lustrous, metallic appearance. Many factors can affect gloss, including the maintenance materials used, condition of the flooring, and frequency of polishing. For customers, gloss has been one of the most important aspects of visual perception.

To measure a floor's gloss, a meter projects a beam of light onto the floor and measures the amount of light reflected back in a narrow angle range centered at an equal but opposite angle. The amount of light measured in this angle range is used to calculate gloss. However, the clarity of a reflected image is dependent on the spread of light within the measured angle range. If light is predominantly at the center of the range, the image will be crisp and clear. Light spread more evenly across the entire angle range will result in a blurry image. Thus, the amount of reflected light measured on two different floors might be the same but have a much different distribution across the measurement. So two floors with an equal gloss could have very different appearances.

This is why traditional gloss measurements alone don't always equate to a favorable customer perception.

This is the milky halo or "bloom" on a floor adjacent to the reflected image. If you place a high light source on a surface and the reflection image blooms and creates a blurry halo, the surface is considered high haze. Haze is an important measure for highly polished surfaces. Higher haze values indicate lower quality and can be caused by dirt or oil contamination creating a rough surface. If the surface or coating is not completely smooth, the reflection of light or image is scattered, broadening the specular gloss.

Floor maintenance professionals strive for a low haze value, which is seen to have a deep reflection and high-reflected contrast. Hence, haze is a common measurement of maintenance quality. Yet while haze affects the clarity and reflection of surfaces, it is only one aspect of surface quality and doesn't measure the overall floor's appearance.

RSpec. Peak specular reflectance (RSpec) is the peak gloss value of a surface. It is the gloss measured only at the specular angle and is the peak gloss reading. Specular gloss is the reflection of an object on a perfectly smooth surface, such as a mirror, in which the reflection is sharp and clear. Of course, if a surface is not perfectly smooth, it scatters the reflection of the light beam and broadens specular gloss.

RSpec is limited in measuring the true appearance of a surface because it only represents the peak gloss value. It does not take into account the distribution of light around the specular angle.

DOI takes this distribution into account, and therefore is an accurate measure of the clarity of the reflected image.

Read the full article here to learn how to measure DOI and how to achieve high DOI.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Attack Tough Carpet Stains

The Bext® Pro features a simple clam shell design, which permits easy component access and maintenance, while a 13 gallon solution tank enables you to tackle large jobs or easily maneuver in compact areas. Equipped with exclusive circuit finder technology on heated models, the Bext Pro easily identifies when the machine is plugged into separate circuits. The Bext Pro also offers self-contained storage for the power cord and a compartment for detergent bottles, hand tools and other cleaning accessories—providing increased cleaning convenience.

Monday, June 10, 2013

What You Can Learn About Job Satisfaction From a Janitor

This article was originally published on

What’s the worst job in the world?

Answers certainly differ based on personal preference. But cleaning up after hospital patients would surely be towards the top of most people’s lists. So what could janitors possibly have to teach entrepreneurs about career satisfaction?

A fascinating recent study uncovered a surprising answer.

Amy Wrzesniewski, now a professor at the Yale School of Management, had the radically simple idea of talking to the custodial staff at a hospital in detail about their jobs to discover what strategies they might employ to find satisfaction in their admittedly low-skilled, low-paid jobs. The wisdom she uncovered should serve to humble anyone who has ever made the error of thinking of those who work in the profession with condescension or not at all.

Turns out, they have much to teach even the most high-flying professionals about maximizing career satisfaction. The essence of this wisdom, author David Zax reports, is the idea of "job crafting." That doesn’t mean changing your work, it means carefully crafting how you think about your work. Some of the custodial staff, he reports,

Felt their labor was highly skilled, they described the work in “rich relational terms,” says Wrzesniewski, talking about their interactions with patients and visitors. Many of them reported going out of their way to learn as much as possible about the patients whose rooms they cleaned, down to which cleaning chemicals were likely to irritate them less. “It was not just that they were taking the same job and feeling better about it, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and whistling. It was that they were doing a different job.”

This second, happier group didn’t see themselves as custodial workers at all. One described forming such a bond with patients that she continued to write letters to some of them after they were discharged. Another paid attention to which patients seemed to have few visitors or none at all, and would make sure to double back to spend some time with them... What these workers were doing, Wrzesniewski came to realize, was quietly creating the work that they wanted to do out of the work that they had been assigned -- work they found meaningful and worthwhile. Wrzesniewski and her colleagues call this practice “job crafting,” and they think it could be the key to happiness in all sorts of jobs.

The idea of job crafting is available to everyone, Wrzesniewski believes. Though there are obviously times you should quit a terrible job, the impulse to always look for the perfect career situation rather than try to find ways to thrive in your current one and connect with the value of the work you already do, makes a lot of people unnecessarily miserable.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Clarke Focus® II MicroRider™ Scrubber

The Clarke Focus® II MicroRider™ is a small, easily maneuverable machine that is designed to clean the areas that are inaccessible with larger riders—including those with limited access or tight corners. Yet, with a 26 or 28 inch deck, the Focus II MicroRider offers a wide cleaning path for maximum productivity in your larger cleaning areas.