Trolley to hasten table clearing

PHOTO: Trolley to hasten table clearing

Frustrated by the long wait for your table to be cleared at food centres? The Obloo might just be the solution.

Following feedback from the National Environment Agency (NEA) on the challenges faced by cleaners, a team of three Ngee Ann Polytechnic facilities management students embarked on a project to study the behaviour of cleaners at food centres.

Their aim was to shorten the turnaround time for clearing dirty crockery and cutlery and getting the table cleaned for other customers.

With the information gathered, former product design student Tan Yan Ting designed the Obloo for her final-year project to improve the cleaners' efficiency.

It is a three-tiered trolley that can be used by cleaners to clear plates and leftover food from tables in food centres.

The Obloo features three removable containers on the top tier that hold utensils, bowls and plates separately.

The containers are deep enough to hold up to 30 plates and bowls each, stacked on top of each other.

This system introduces compartmentalising into the routine of clearing tables to increase efficiency.

"There are compression springs at the base of the containers so that the cleaners, who are mostly old people, don't have to bend their backs repeatedly when stacking and storing the plates and bowls," said Ms Tan, 20.

At the centre of the trolley, a bin which can slide out on both sides allows the cleaner to sweep scattered litter from tables directly into the bin.

Space is provided on the middle tier to place mugs that cannot be stacked due to their handles.

And cleaners can place food trays on the lowest tier.

As for whether we will see the Obloo at food centres soon, deputy director of the School of Design & Environment Chan Chien Hong said that Ngee Ann Polytechnic will continue working with NEA.

Ms Tan won one of the three Motorola Solutions Design Competition Winner Awards for third-year students and received a $2,000 cash prize.

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