Cleaning, technical services, security, catering, all services provided by our company division, Dussmann Service, are changing very fast. Increasingly, digitalization and smart solutions enhance our services and contribute to high quality standards, increased efficiency and more added value for our clients.

Our goal is to deploy the latest technologies for the benefit of our clients and to set standards on the market. We rely on our innovative strength, which has been a distinguishing feature for decades, and on the experience gained in service provision around the world. The most important fields of innovation currently include cobotics, security robotics, digital twins in technical services, smart applications in catering, and more effective processes in the fight against COVID-19.


We have launched the Food Service Innovation Lab with food service futurist, Christian Hamerle to introduce groundbreaking technology to catering operations and to in-crease sustainability.

Our goal is to establish completely new, digital-based standards and processes with a platform-economic solution – a kind of app store for the food service industry – rather than supplementing analog systems with modern technology, as has been usual in catering to date. The platform will enable us to create a holistic hospitality culture. By rethinking and automating many processes, we can achieve increased efficiency and higher quality standards.

If, in the future, kitchen chefs no longer need to complete spreadsheets or order by telephone or email, they will have more time for creative processes and the guests; it will enable us to create an ambience in which the guest is the center of everything we do. Through regional partners and suppliers, we also do something for the climate.

We use futuristic digital technology in our security services too. For example, in Luxembourg, we have added the security robot “Gookie” to our service portfolio; an intelligent camera recognizes a variety of threats, for example at large events like football games. It carries out autonomous patrols during the day and at night, avoiding obstacles.

When encountering security team members, it recognizes them using face or uniform recognition to avoid triggering an alarm. Using swarm technology, it exchanges data with other security robots and the central control center. It relieves service personnel of routine tasks and expands service provision.

We are developing many smart solutions in catering that make use of machine vision and artificial intelligence. In 2020, we launched a pilot project in cooperation with the high-tech company auvisus.

Our goal is to develop and introduce a camera-based payment system, which perfectly matches our catering services. The system processes images using artificial intelligence. First, the system scans all meals and stores digital data. At the checkout, the system automatically identifies dishes with the help of image recognition and assigns the price. To pay, the customer simply holds their authorization card to the sensor. As a result, waiting times are shorter for the customer, the service provider must deal with fewer errors and the workload of personnel is lightened.

Many international subsidiaries were able to expand the range of services provided to existing clients such as additional disinfection services and through taking on responsibility for additional assets.

In the Czech Republic, for example, our colleagues disinfect shopping trolleys, doors and other contact surfaces in retail outlets and shopping centers in addition to floor cleaning. Our Hungarian colleagues have also succeeded in increasing the service scope. In addition to disinfection services by the cleaning division, security staff carry out measurement of body temperature with thermal cameras and partition walls are erected in offices and production facilities.

Dussmann Service Switzerland won a contract with a major new client, a transport company, for disinfection fogging of buses and trains each night.

The term “cobotics” is a combination of the words “cooperation” and “robotics”. It describes the collaboration between people and robots. In cleaning operations, for example, we apply the principle with the intelligent cleaning robot “Whiz”, the professional mop robot “LeoMop” and the autonomous scrubber-dryer “Ecobot 75”. We have been deploying Whiz, the first commercially approved cleaning robot, on our clients’ sites since 2021. It cleans even large areas completely autonomously at any time of the day, thanks to the timing function and the dock-ing station. It also has a HEPA filter system that filters fine dust, hair and other particles from the air that passes through it. The collaborative cleaning robot ideally complements manual cleaning, freeing up employees for more complex tasks, such as disinfection.

LeoMop, our professional mop robot, can do much more than mopping floors; it navigates itself around its surroundings autonomously, avoiding obstacles, while cleaning. Our cleaning professionals program the daily cleaning route over smartphone. They also determine the interactions that it will make, because it can sing, tell jokes and ask questions too. This is why it is suitable for areas where there is contact with building users. In addition, it consumes around only one liter of water per hour, compared with 30 to 60 liters for conventional machines.

The Ecobot 75 scrubs and dries autonomously, but can also be operated manually. It can run six hours without replenishment of water as it has a built-in water treatment system. It cleans up to 2,500 square meters per hour and due to its ingenious design, cleans right up to floor edges.

The autonomous cleaning robot Sparky cleans large floor areas, cleaning operatives are relieved of the more physically strenuous and monotonous tasks.

Innovative camera technology is used to create digital twins. These are used increasingly in technical services. We photograph building interiors with 3-D cameras to make a digital map of interiors.

The result is an exact virtual replica that can be transferred to further digital applications and has many uses. For example, rooms are presented and explained over long distances; maintenance, renovation and conversion work is planned and documented; new employees or customers can familiarize themselves with premises without being physically present.

In the battle against the coronavirus, we are deploying new technologies and procedures. This applies particularly to cleaning and disinfection of sensitive facilities such as hospitals, care facilities and clean rooms.

Since last year, the Antonio Cardarelli Hospital in Naples, the biggest and most important hospital in southern Italy, is among the clients who put their confidence in our services. The hospital has very strict cleaning and disinfection requirements, such as the use of disposable cleaning materials, to ensure high standards of hygiene. The size of the hospital poses an additional challenge, but due to a detailed study of hygiene procedures throughout the facility, we have succeeded in ensuring accurate and efficient services to meet the exceptional hygiene standards everywhere.

Also in Italy, we have started a new service for the railway company, Trenitalia; passengers can request a Dussmann Service operative to clean their seat. The passenger scans the seat’s QR-code and sends it using an app. The cleaning operative on board is informed and quickly carries out cleaning as requested.

In the United Arab Emirates, we developed new disinfection and hygiene services for offices, villas, residences, hotels, gas stations, vehicles, ships, storage facilities and retail outlets in 2020. The innovative approach and methodology has received the approval of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai city administration. Services such as bio-spray disinfection using a fogging machine are carried out in gas sta-tions and offices. This method prevents the spread of infection, eliminating bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.

The chemical industry places high demands on cleaning and disinfection, as demonstrat-ed at Treibacher Industrie AG in Kärnten, where we have been providing services since 1997. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been carrying out highly effective disinfection services including cold fogging. This process involves distribution of hydrogen peroxide as a fine aerosol in the room, ensuring disinfection of even inaccessible surfaces.

We also support Treibacher Industrie AG with a number of other services to fight the pandemic, from specialist cleaning to access control with temperature measurement and distribution of protective masks.

Dussmann is a reliable and professional partner for its clients. This was clearly demonstrated at the beginning of 2020 when we were asked to disinfect a building following the first officially reported case of coronavirus in Germany. Our cleaning team carried out hygienic cleaning at the facilities of our longtime client, Webasto, after employees there fell ill with the coronavirus. When Dussmann Service was contracted with the job, there was still very little information available about the coronavirus.

The Webasto Group is a global innovative system partner of almost all automotive manufacturers and is among the 100 largest suppliers to the sector. About 1,000 people work at the headquarters in Stockdorf. After the first coronavirus cases were reported, Webasto made the decision to close the facilities and contracted Dussmann Service with the disinfection of the entire premises. Dussmann Service has been responsible for all facility management services since 2008 and also provides services at other German Webasto locations.

Following the call from Webasto and learning of the suspected coronavirus infection in Stockdorf, the work for Stefanie Dolgow, Dussmann Service project manager, and her colleagues Laura Kappl and Sandra Weiß began. “We prepared the operation, pro-cured disinfectant and personal protection equipment (PPE) for our staff and obtained detailed technical information from a recognized hygiene institute, all within 24 hours. There were no standardized procedures to deal with the coronavirus. Researching information swiftly but thoroughly, participating in the crisis meetings and assembling and briefing the team – these were the first steps”, she recalls. In only three days, 26 Dussmann cleaning operatives, for the most part experienced regulars, cleaned and disinfected all work places, meeting rooms, sanitary facilities and wipeable surfaces.

Service provider and client agree on positive outcome

At the end of the operation, Dr. Holger Engelmann, board chairman of Webasto, commented: “The Dussmann Service team cleaned the entire building. Afterwards, Stockdorf was probably the microbiologically cleanest Webasto location in the world.”

For the Dussmann team, the project at Webasto was an exceptional experience: “From a professional point of view, a pandemic is intriguing. Every day, you learn something new and you grow with your challenges. It has brought us, as colleagues, closer together, each team member taking on the tasks they are best at – from needs assessment to materials procurement to client communication.”

But the experience wasn’t completely unique: “Our cleaning teams in hospitals are exposed to the risk of infection every day. From that perspective, this job was nothing out of the ordinary, we were just dealing with a previously unknown pathogen”, says Stefanie Dolgow.

This article is a shortened version of an article from rationell reinigen 2/2021.