From cleaning disk drives to cleaning dishes

SINGAPORE - Small and medium-sized enterprises can take heed of cleaning-systems maker JCS-Echigo's strategy to stay ahead of the game.

Its main business used to be in the precision cleaning of hard disk drives. But JCS-Echigo decided to play on its core strengths and cleaning process know-how, hoping that could open doors to new business opportunities.

It made its foray into a new market: washing for the food and beverage (F&B) sector.

JCS-Echigo took up the Spring Singapore Capability Development Grant, which subsidised up to 70 per cent of the costs involved in designing and making new equipment for F&B cleaning.

While visiting the JCS-Echigo's Woodlands facility yesterday, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said: "By tapping government support, new possibilities have emerged for the company. By doing so, they are not only opening up new revenue streams, they are also creating value for the F&B sector by encouraging higher efficiency and productivity levels."

Through its wholly owned unit, Hygieia, JCS-Echigo can lease and sell cleaning equipment to companies in the F&B sector, including restaurants, hotels and inflight catering services.

The new equipment speeds up the washing process from 300 to 500 pieces an hour without automation, to as many as 3,000 items an hour.

Executive director Elsie Low said: "We have taken a bold step forward in entering the F&B sector with our ware-washing equipment and services... It is especially critical for SMEs like ourselves to continuously upgrade our capabilities and improve productivity to drive business growth."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.