Henry Unger, founder of the global company that has been producing innovative and trusted professional cleaning tools for over 50 years, has received the ultimate accolade – a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA).
The story began back in 1964 when a young window cleaner decided to take a chance. It was in that year that Henry Unger took the latest window cleaning innovations from the United States and introduced them to German window cleaners.
His discerning eye for quality products, tireless pursuit of new and better ways to clean, and his practical experience of knowing the issues that window cleaners faced, proved to be a recipe for success. The company started from humble beginnings, the attic of Henry’s wife’s grandmother in Hamburg, but soon grew to become the global concern it is today. Unger now has business partners in 80 countries across the world.
Passionate about improving the lives of window cleaners, he strived to design products that achieved the best results while making jobs safer, quicker and easier for the professional. He was an active member of the IWCA from the start, strongly supporting its mission to develop professionalism, ethics and standards of safety.
The IWCA Lifetime Achievement Award was established to honor a current or former individual member of the IWCA who has made major life-long contribution to the window cleaning industry as a practicing window cleaner, supplier, promoter or leader. It is above and beyond honorary membership. The Lifetime Achievement Award is extremely elite and not intended to be awarded each year.
Mark Unger, Henry’s son, still helps to guide the company today, together with his two brothers, reaffirming their father’s core values of quality, innovation and customer service.
“This award comes at a time of great significance for Unger as we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year. The fact that the IWCA are also celebrating an important milestone – their 25th anniversary – makes this even more special,” says Mark Unger.
“Although Henry is no longer with us, having passed away in 1996, his legacy lives on. His greatest wish was to be remembered as someone who helped to make the industry more professional, developing equipment that enables window cleaners to accomplish their tasks in the easiest, quickest and safest ways possible. The IWCA Lifetime Achievement Award recognises his incredible achievements, and is a fitting tribute to a great man who was proud to be a window cleaner.”
Half a century of dedication, innovation and understanding the needs of the professional cleaning sector will be marked next year, as Unger celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014.
When Henry Unger seized the opportunity to improve the working lives of German window cleaners back in 1964, by introducing them to the latest innovative products from the US, he could not have guessed that he had started a European cleaning revolution. From humble beginnings – he launched the business from his grandmother’s attic in Hamburg – the company now spans the globe. The family values that inspired his vision remain strong today, and continue through his three sons, who still guide Unger, reaffirming their father’s core values of quality, trust and customer service.
Unger window cleaning tools
Unger’s 50 years so far have been filled with major milestones. The S Squeegee was the company’s first breakthrough in 1966 – made from stainless steel, not bronze, and featuring a quick release mechanism to make changing the rubber strips easy, speeding up the cleaning process. Fast forward to the Ergotec® Ninja, a quantum leap in squeegee design, form and usability; followed by the development of the HiFloTM PureWater cleaning system for windows and façades, and it’s plain to see that Unger has never stood still in its quest to make window cleaning safer, swifter and even more successful in terms of results and profitability.
Plans for the half centenary celebrations include:
- Special limited edition products made available to valued customers to help them commemorate this milestone with Unger
- Celebratory events across the world, where customers and distributors will join with Unger to mark the occasion
- Product promotions to thank and reward Unger’s customers for their continued loyalty
- And much more – watch this space!
2014 will not just be a time of celebration for Unger, it will also mark the start of another 50 years, and more, of innovation to come.
A brief demonstration of the Unger nLite brush for water fed poles.
New Unger HiFlo™ nLite – Evolutionary Water Fed Pole Technology for Professionals
Unger is ushering in a new age of enlightenment with the launch of HiFlo™ Unger nLite pole– the most advanced water-fed pole system to hit the market in years.
This latest innovation from Unger, the company that provides smart cleaning solutions to more than 80 countries worldwide, will change the way that windows and façades are cleaned forever by combining the best features of its telescopic and modular poles into a brand new system that delivers unrivalled results and adaptability.
The key features of the new Unger HiFloTM nLite system are:
- Perfect balance – better rigidity for more control, and yet up to 50% lighter in weight thanks to its carbon fibre technology
- Hi tech design – every part of the system, from clamps and levers to brushes has been created to deliver the highest standards with cutting edge looksEase of use
- Comfort and safety – the weight/rigidity balance makes HiFloTM nLiteeasier and more comfortable to use, even for longer periods of time
- Easy assembly – extensions can be added quickly and easily, and equipment adjusted to tackle any cleaning situationAdaptability
- Mix and match – only use as many poles or attachments as you need
- Multi-talented system – the HiFloTM nLite can be used to clean glass and building facades, stain
less steel, solar panels, signage, and vehicles
- Unique hose management system – allows the user to have the hose inside or outside the pole. The highest professional cleaning standards are even easier to achieve with the HiFloTM nLite system thanks to its perfect balance between weight and rigidity. Not only are the poles lighter than conventional versions, the use of cutting edge design and technology means that even when extensions are added rigidity is not compromised, and yet the weight and ergonomics of the system still make it a pleasure to use.The four section master pole cleans up to a height of 6.63m/22ft, but taller locations are easily reached by adding two-stage extensions to the base of the master pole. These extensions, each adding another potential 11ft of reach but crucially not adding anything to the width and feel of the pole, measure 35mm in diameter – an optimum size that fits easily into the hands of the professional for quick and comfortable cleaning. Even if you’re cleaning to a height of around 65ft the HiFloTM nLite offers the ‘gold standard’ in terms of ease of use and results – because it combines just the right amount of rigidity to control your cleaning, but in a lightweight system that’s better for the professional to use.Every part of the new system has been designed specifically with the user in mind. The clamps, which adjust pole height or attach the extensions, are simple to operate – no fiddly allen key-type devices needed – and easily adjustable to ensure the right tension; plus the gooseneck attachment is made from carbon fibre, again keeping weight to a minimum. Even the brushes are lighter – but that doesn’t mean less features or functionality. On the contrary, a selection of brushes are available, one of which, at 60cm/24in, is large enough to quickly clean solar panels, featuring bristles designed to get into the smallest corner and help with scrubbing actions. Whereas conventional brushes usually only have two jets, HiFloTM nLite brushes can feature up to ten quick release jets, making it much easier to control the water flow and rinse surfaces.Dave Rogers, Unger Europe’s European Sales Manager, said: “We believe that the HiFlo™ nLite is a truly revolutionary new product, the next generation of water-fed cleaning pole systems. We are confident that HiFlo™nLitewill be received enthusiastically by window cleaners and contract cleaners across the globe, thanks to its innovative features, ease of use and cost benefits. The launch of HiFlo™ nLite is a high point in Unger’s history, a real leap forward in the evolution of professional cleaning equipment.”If you want to be ‘enlightened’ the HiFlo™ nLite will be unveiled to the global cleaning industry on stand 1.205 at ISSA/Interclean, Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands 8-11 May.www.ungerglobal.com
When is a scraper blade needed?
The following situations would likely require the use of a scraper blade.
- After construction or decorating work has been carried out.
- Stubborn dirt or stains such as egg, bird excrement or splashes caused by pressure washing.
- When adhesive tape, vinyl lettering or stickers need removing.
- The first time windows are cleaned after many months or years.
Checks to carry out before using a scraper blade
Scraping glass with a scraper blade can damage the glass. Certain kinds of glass are more susceptible to scratches than others.
- Check if glass is scratch resistant and suitable for scraper use. (It is not recommended to use a scraper on Plexiglass, crown glass, solar glass, safety glass (ESG) etc.
- Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions.
- Perform a scrape test in advance on a hidden section.
- Before starting work, check the glass for damage and report it if necessary.
How to use a scraper blade correctly
- Never use a glass scraper on dry glass.
- Always use the blade on a wet surface.
- It is best to use with a soapy cleaning agent. This lubricates the blade and makes it easier to see where you have passed the blade (think of it a bit like shaving a beard!)
- Always scrape in one direction! Never pull the scraper back. (Dirt accumulated on the blade can be trapped under the blade and pulled over the surface of the window causing scratches.)
- Apply even pressure holding the blade flat against the glass. The corners of the blade can cause scratches.
- Change or reverse the blade if it becomes blunt, rusty or chipped.
- Clean the blade regularly by swishing it about in a bucket of water.
- Do not keep an open blade in your work pouches. Always replace the cap or retract the blade for your protection.
It is a good idea to ask the customer to sign a Scratch Waiver Form. (This is basically a simple form which states that you do not accept responsibility for any scratches that occur and that the customer understands that the task does carry an element of risk.)
Use the appropriate kind of scraper for the job at hand.
Just in time for winter, Unger has announced the re-launch of its protective Neoprene gloves range, with an impressive line-up of new features and improvements.
To begin with solid reinforced stitching, as well as a glue seal, have been added along the seams to achieve extra durability and protection against water ingress. Yet the gloves feel soft and comfortable on the inside with the thread on the seams virtually undetectable due to the “blind” stitching technique.
The standard Neoprene version will keep your hands warm and dry, whatever the weather, with added protection against the wind due to adjustable Velcro straps around the wrist. Made of 3mm thick 100% rubber Neoprene, just like the former versions, the new gloves feel more flexible due to the material enhancements.
The premium ErgoTec® version is now loaded with more features than ever. In addition to the Velcro wrist straps and great insulation against cold, the screened-on silicone patch on the palms offer exceptional grip on all tools.
New knuckle inserts and pre-curved fingers enable the gloves to follow the shape of the individual’s hand. Combined with the ultra smooth feel of the 95% Neoprene and 5% Nylon material on the inside, the ErgoTec® gloves provide a natural skin-like feel and fit.
Both standard Neoprene and ErgoTec® gloves now come in 4 sizes – S, L, XL and XXL, and are available from Unger dealers nationwide.
If you fancy trying a pair for yourself, here is a bit of a great news. Unger UK is giving away 5 pairs of the Neoprene Gloves to 5 lucky winners – for your chance to win text UNGER followed by your name and address to 66777. The winner will be drawn on December 16th 2011, and notified by Unger directly.
Competition is open to UK and ROI residents only.
The team behind the number one Window Cleaning brand utilised its world class expertise to produce an easy-to-use, one step System for indoor window cleaning. The System is perfect for any user without window cleaning experience and does not require extensive training – just a few practice runs. It also offers safe and quick access for cleaning high level windows, skylights and glass balustrades, with Unger’s best selling telescopic pole.
So, how does it work? The essential component of the Indoor System is a 20cm wide Padholder with a swivel head, featuring Velcro backing. Depending on the level of soiling a user can choose between 2 microfibre pads, attachable to the Padholder with Velcro. The pad with ultrafine, short fibre is ideal for every day cleaning, as well as polishing of glass and mirrors. For periodic washing or heavy soil, Unger provides a more absorbent 15mm microfibre pad. Fit the Padholder with the right pad onto a pole, spray the pad with deionised water and you are ready to go!
Why deionised water? Purified of minerals, deionised water provides a streak free finish, without the need to squeegee or dry the windows, resulting in sparkly clean finish and improved time and labour efficiency. All you need to do is simply wipe the glass or mirror surface until clean and leave to dry on its own.
There are 2 System kits available within the new HiFlo™ Indoor Window Cleaning System. The Starter Kit (RRP £48.70 excl. VAT) is designed for those already in possession of the basic cleaning equipment and consists of the Padholder, 5 Polish Pads and a thread Adapter – which means that the Padholder fits onto any existing Unger pole.
A complete Master Kit (RRP £98.42 excl. VAT) also includes the Unger 2.5m TelePlus™ pole, a Sprayer on the Belt as well as the practical ErgoTec® Belt and Pouch for storing clean Pads.
The System, covered by Unger’s 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, simplifies the cleaning process for indoor windows and other fixtures, saving time and money with improved safety.