Cleaning at High Levels of MRT Station False Ceilings
Challenge Statement Owner: SBS Transit Rail
Automation & Robotics
Some of the MRT stations have false ceilings as high as 30m. To clean these ceilings, scaffolding is required. Furthermore, there is a large surface area (up to 2000m2) to clean, and the work at height can only be done in a maintenance window of three hours. The false ceilings that need to be cleaned not only span across the platform but also the staircase and escalator areas, which increases the difficulty to access the false ceilings to carry out the cleaning.
The false ceilings in MRT Stations are most commonly assembled using perforated ceiling boards made of aluminium alloy. The cleaning is done in a two-step process: dusting and cleaning using portable water. If stains are present, the cleaner would need to use either degreaser or all purpose cleaning agent. Force applied onto the false ceiling boards during the cleaning process, sometimes causing them to dislodge from their positions.
We are interested in innovative tools or robotics that can carry out cleaning at high levels while eliminating the need for scaffolding. Besides the false ceilings, it is also desirable that the solution can clean cladding wall panels, staircases and other hard to reach areas located at height. The solution should meet the following requirements:
The solution must not cause false ceiling boards to dislodge or loosen during the cleaning process.
The solution must not cause damage to smoke detection, fire sprinkler and aircon systems.
The solution must be mobile within the MRT station. Access to the train platform can only be done via staircase or passenger lift. If a robotics solution is being proposed, the solution shall be able to access passenger lifts.
The robotics solutions or heavy equipment shall have counter-weight to prevent it from toppling at platform or staircase landing.
How might we perform the cleaning of MRT station false ceilings safely and efficiently?