3 February 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Robot cleaners deployed at all Circle Line stations, cleaning staff upskilled to operate the machines
- From 1 February 2021, SMRT has deployed 13 robot cleaners to supplement existing cleaning efforts for commuters at all Circle Line MRT stations. This is to enhance the cleaning regime at train station premises in the COVID-19 era of heightened cleanliness.
- Each robot can clean large floor areas two to three times faster compared to manual cleaning. Cleaning staff will be trained to manage several robots efficiently and they can be freed to perform other duties. The cleaners are also upskilled to troubleshoot minor faults, such as clearing obstacle-related faults.
- The move towards higher productivity through automation gives cleaning staff opportunities to upskill themselves. They will learn to use smart devices and build their confidence in the use of technology as the industry shifts towards the increasing use of automation in facilities cleaning and hygiene management.
- Mr Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has led many to better appreciate the benefits of a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene in public areas. SMRT strives to meet that standard for our commuters by using a two-pronged strategy – leveraging on technology and automation, and to better utilise limited resource thereby optimising cost.”
- In addition to robot cleaners, smart panels and ammonia sensors will be progressively installed in most of the MRT station toilets maintained by SMRT, so that cleaning resources can be optimally deployed when needed to maintain consistent hygiene standards, rather than rely only on scheduled cleaning hours at fixed times every day. The smart panels and ammonia sensors will indicate when a toilet is more heavily used and requires cleaning on a need basis.
- Mr V Ganesan Velu, 46, a senior supervisor with A-Force Maintenance, one of SMRT’s cleaning contractors, said: “This is my first time working with robots in my job. After getting the training, I could operate the robots easily – these new skills will be useful for my future progression. The cleaning robots have also made it faster and easier to clean the stations compared to how I did it in the past.”
- SMRT conducted a trial of different cleaning robots from May to September 2020, before deciding to deploy nine robot cleaners from Canadian company Avidbots, two from Singapore-based LionsBot, and two from Chinese firm Gaussian Robotics. They were chosen for their operational and safety features to operate effectively in SMRT-operated stations. SMRT has plans to eventually deploy robot cleaners at all train stations on the North-South and East-West lines.
- Mr Emerson Hee, Executive Director of Restroom Association Singapore, said: “The Restroom Association (Singapore) has been strongly advocating the adoption of technology in cleaning and maintenance, when we introduced it as a new criterion for our Happy Toilet Programme in 2019. We are heartened that SMRT has been actively adopting technology and has now begun to adopt the use of robot cleaners. We hope more building owners and operators will follow suit as we move towards becoming a Smart Nation.”
About SMRT Trains Ltd
SMRT Trains Ltd is the first and largest train services provider in Singapore. As a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation Ltd, we manage and operate train services on the North-South Line, East-West Line, the Circle Line, the new Thomson-East Coast Line and the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit.
We have set our core values to be Integrity, Service and Safety, and Excellence. SMRT Trains is committed to provide safe, reliable, and comfortable service for our commuters.