Pioneering Eco-Engineering Solutions

From creating eco-friendly contact lens packaging to designing the Park-N-Wash system that reduces dishwashing time in Food and Beverage (F&B) outlets, K-One Industries has been at the cutting edge of sustainable innovation across various industries.

K-One Industries is an innovative and service-oriented company that aims to bring environmentally-friendly solutions to industries, with a focus on water-treatment systems, dish-washing systems and assembly automation systems. Since its inception in 1997, K-One has seen remarkable growth, extending its reach across Asia, with plans to set up in the Middle East and Europe as well.

The K-One Eco dishwasher, for example, consumes 65% less energy, 66% less water, and can save up to $550,000 in operating expenses a year. Their Eco-Spot Cooler consumes minimal energy, all while keeping an environment cool enough for customer comfort. Their patented Food-on-Demand Robotics arm enables customers to directly order food from an app and have the food assembled automatically. These innovative advancements could revolutionalise traditional operations and processes, and yield huge savings in manpower and energy.

K-One is setting up a base in the Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Centre (SMIC) at Ascendas OneHub GKC, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC). SMIC is a collaborative platform jointly created by IE Singapore and Ascendas-Singbridge where providers of advanced manufacturing solutions can partner with other like-minded innovative enterprises and co-create “smart factory” standards and solutions.

Here’s what Kong Mun Chew, Managing Director of K-One Industries looks forward to achieve in this new venture.

What innovations are you working on at SMIC?
(i) Eco Mobile Dishwasher
We are working on revolutionising conventional dishwashing methods with our cart-roll-in dishwasher otherwise known as the Eco Mobile Dishwasher. Traditionally, dishwashing is the most labour-intensive activity in the entire F&B industry. Eco Mobile Dishwasher aims to simplify and improve the efficiency of the entire washing process.

(ii) Eco-SpotCooler
K-One has innovated flow-up cooling and heating air distribution for an effective and efficient cooling and heating system. Compact Eco cooling media is now being installed beneath the tables or chairs where the human body is typically centralised when seated, thus saving energy required in cooling or heating the entire building.

(iii) Food-on-demand Robotics
We have now patented our Flexible Robotic Assembly System and integrated it with our proprietary food on-demand app. Passengers can order their food directly from the app.Acommand will be sent to enable the robotic system to assemble the meals for them accurately and in a hygienic manner.

(iv) Compact IoT Wastewater Treatment and Recycling
We have also ventured into digitalising the entire wastewater treatment process, which has enabled us to develop a Smart Compact & Efficient Wastewater Treatment System.

What is the role of automation in the modern day business?
Cost savings is one of the key results of successful automation. Automation enables business operations to generate higher returns as machines can produce quality goods at constant pace and do not experience fatigue, which is ideal for high volume manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is now pushing the boundaries of digitalisation. The role of automation changes as well. It is now not just employed to ease the physical aspect production; it can even analyse, make a decision or predict outcomes! Automation is no longer a want but a need in order to maintain market leadership and sustainability.

Your company deals with ‘Green’ technology. How important do you think sustainability has become? What are the benefits of opting for greener tech?
Sustainability is not a choice but a precondition for mankind’s development for both present and future generations. This is where K-One is able to play a small part in ensuring sustainability by emphasising “Green” and “Efficiency” during our design and development phase. Over the years, we realised many of our customers are very concerned about conserving natural resources and reducing operating costs. They do not hesitate to replace conventional systems with our eco machines for higher productivity and energy savings. This presented immense opportunities and allowed us to penetrate into many new markets competitively against other reputed brands.

What is the key to keeping up with rapid industry and technological changes?
Disruption to a certain extent has presented many new opportunities. Of course the downside is risk. Companies that are able to accept, adapt to and adopt such changes promptly and use those platforms appropriately may build more sustainable businesses and find opportunities to get ahead of their competitors.

What do you hope to achieve in SMIC / Guangzhou?
Our main objectives are to present our “Green Technology” concepts and to look for the right partner, integrator or customers to adapt and work with us. K-One is open-minded with our inventions and we invite system integrators, technology developers and users to collaborate with us to extract values from our Intellectual Properties locally and/or globally. We believe that our collaborators can benefit from various stages of our value creation relating to the inventions that are legitimately protected for the interests of all stakeholders. We offer attractive deals to license our technologies wherever our inventions can deliver welfare to the society and bring profit to our collaborators regionally if not globally.

What are the determining factors in choosing which location to base your company at?
We have to ensure our team of designers and researchers are constantly trained and updated on the latest market problems, needs and technology trends so that we stay relevant. Thus, the location must allow us to easily access a large pool of relevant human resources that have the right aptitude and attitude, knowledge and culture. The location preferably must be pro-business, respect patent rights, encourage green technologies and is safe for our staff. Being easily accessible to a pool of different companies that could complement each other’s skill sets is also a critical factor. In this respect, IE Singapore and Ascendas-Singbridge have put in a lot of effort in setting up the Singapore Manufacturing Innovation Centre and have done a good job in pooling a great source of expertise within one location.

The workspace of today has greatly evolved, from the cubicle setting to open-concept and co-working spaces. What will the ideal productive workspace be for your industry?
Being a design and solutions provider, a conducive open environment that enables us to cultivate and motivate practical creativity in our team is of utmost importance.

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