LGC Global, headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, is a contracting company that focuses on facility management, specifically Federal and Municipal Infrastructure markets.
They pride themselves on helping clients “achieve innovative visions of growth by building and maintaining world-class critical infrastructure in Federal, Government, Municipal and Commercial markets.”
LGC aims to implement new technologies and approaches for improved efficiencies and safe work environments across the many properties they manage.
The LGC team brings this philosophy with them to the Detroit Public Main Library, one of the many facilities they are responsible for cleaning and maintaining.
The original DPML (Detroit Public Main Library) structure opened in 1921 and is now over 102 years old. The architecture is modeled after Italian Renaissance styles and after an addition done in 1963, adding what are known as the “Cass Avenue wings,” the facility is now 420,000 sq. ft. and home to the Detroit Library Systems’ Administration Offices.
The historic building is comprised of a marble staircase, marble and wood walls, tile floors, ornate wood, metal, and iron work and grand ceilings throughout.
Because of the historic brilliance of the building, LGC takes great care in making sure the facility is impeccably clean to help maintain and preserve the library’s architectural integrity, and so the many patrons that love to spend time in the library can do so comfortably.
Cynthia Randall is LGC’s Project Supervisor at DPML and oversees cleaning and maintenance of the building.
Randall points out that due to the size and architectural details of the building, cleaning and maintaining the building is an exhaustive job; one that is never done.
“There is a lot of cleaning that must be done each day. From wiping down all surfaces, cleaning bathrooms, refilling supplies, and dust mopping and scrubbing the floors, cleaning takes a lot of time,” she says.
Some of the largest surfaces throughout the building are those of the tile flooring that wraps throughout the many departments of the library.
The original floors still exist and are in prime condition; the LGC team takes great pride in keeping them looking nice.
Julius Titsworth and Charles Williams are Floor Techs for LGC at the DPML. Their number one priority every day is to ensure the floors are clean, that includes dust mopping and scrubbing each day.
“There is a lot of cleanable floor space that has to be cleaned each day” Titsworth notes.
Caring for the floors at DPL takes a lot of time and persistence. The floor techs must make sure the floors are cleaned every day before the library opens to the public.
In the past, this took hours as the team had to dust mop all floors and then come back around and scrub the floors, the old-fashioned way, with a mop and bucket. This task alone consumed Titsworth’s and Williams’ entire shifts.
“It was challenging and tiring. Everything had to be done by hand,” says Williams.
On top of that, there are areas where the floors have grout in between tiles. The previous method of cleaning the floors, with dust mops, left dust and dirt behind in the grout lines making it hard to get the floors spotless.
On top of that, the janitorial team must work together to keep up with cleaning and stocking the bathrooms and wiping down all surfaces throughout the building to help prevent the spread of illness.
“Daily cleaning challenges arise due to the many people that come into the facility. The bathrooms are heavily used and result in the maintenance team having to spend quite a bit of time keeping them clean,” Randall says.
Between the bathrooms, floors, and wiping surfaces, the team has a lot to do each day to keep the DPML in tip top shape.
“There is a lot of cleanable floor space that has to be cleaned each day."
In January of 2023, LGC decided to work with ICE Cobotics and bring on Cobi 18, an autonomous floor scrubber, to join the floor tech team at DPML.
Titsworth and Willimas quickly learned to use Cobi 18 and adopt the scrubber as part of their team.
“Cobi is a part of the team. Every day I come to work I use Cobi. It's like a part of me, I enjoy it very much,” says Williams.
Willimas runs Cobi as soon as he starts his shift early each morning. Together, he and Titsworth work to get all the floor cleaning done before the library opens to the public. Once they deploy Cobi on its path, they can focus on other areas that need more detailed work and other departments in the building.
By adding Cobi to the floor tech team, Titsworth and Willimans are able to get more floor cleaning done. “Using Cobi saves a lot of time. While it’s running, I can go maintain other areas of the building,” says Titsworth.
Another way that Cobi supports the janitorial team at the library is when it comes to staffing. This is a huge help for Randall who oversees the staff. She notes, “if someone is off, the floors can still get cleaned and staff can keep up with bathrooms and wiping surfaces.”
The LGC team was surprised by a few things as they worked to adopt Cobi onto their team. Initially, Williams wondered if Cobi would do a thorough job.
He quickly discovered just how effective Cobi is at achieving results and was surprised to see the difference in the floors. He also went on to note:
“Cobi is very easy to use. You must keep it up, if you keep it clean and keep it charged and everything, it's going to do its job, you just have to do your part.”
Titsworth echoes the same sentiment and says, “Cobi is easy to use. Once you map the routes and get it started it's easy to maintain the floors with Cobi.”
Another great feature that surprised the team is the short amount of time it takes to maintain Cobi each day. It only takes them 15 minutes to clean magnetic parts on Cobi to keep it functioning at its best.
Since deploying Cobi 18, the LGC team has seen many positive results.
The team notes that using Cobi helps save them at least 2 hours of work each day and frees them to help out in other departments.
Randall says, “Since bringing on Cobi, the floor techs are able to take on other tasks and help cover shifts in other departments if a staff member is off.”
On top of that, the floors are cleaner! Titsworth estimates the floors to be 80% cleaner than prior to using Cobi and he gets lots of complements from the library staff noticing a floor cleaning job well done.
Each Day Cobi Saves the Team
On top of that, Titsworth points out how the grout between the tiles no longer collects dust and soil due to Cobi’s brush and hopper system that helps collect soil and debris off the floor as it works. This extra level of cleanliness adds to the newly shining floors.
“Cobi does a perfect job,” says Titsworth
“Since bringing on Cobi, the floor techs are able to take on other tasks and help cover shifts in other departments if a staff member is off.”