News | October 2020
New Indian Component Manufacturers’ Association
In India, the Elevator & Escalator Component Manufacturers' Association of India (EECMAI) was founded in September.
The infection risk in lifts is very high. A new disinfection method per UV light should be able to considerably improve the hygiene in lifts and other rooms autonomously.
At the moment, the Corona virus is showing how fast and strongly pathogens can influence our everyday life. In addition, the annual flu outbreak is leading to many more infected people.
On top of this, according to the information of the Federal Ministry of Health, every year about 600,000 people infect themselves with nosocomial infections, i.e. those acquired in hospital. Experience shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult to combat pathogens with the available antibiotics. Consequently, it is important the infection chains are broken as early as possible.
Most infections are transmitted as droplets or smear infections - i.e. by bodily contact, through the air or contact with surfaces. Lifts are used every day by hundreds to thousands of people. Since people are in a confined space and most users touch the surface of the control panel, the infection risk is very high precisely here.
Hospitals and care institutions are sensitive locations for infectious diseases, since many older people and those with impaired health with weakened immune systems are treated there. But these institutions usually have many lifts used daily by patients, employees and visitors. Hygiene there is also the top priority – but not always easy to implement.
A recently published study in the "Journal of Hospital Infection", a research team from Greifswald and Bochum investigated how long Corona viruses can survive on surfaces. On average, pathogens survived four to five days, but in some cases they are also supposed to have survived for up to nine days.
Since chemical (wipe) disinfection is performed almost exclusively manually and at specified intervals, greater pathogen loads develop on surfaces between the disinfection processes. Uventions, a start-up from Hamburg, has developed a solution completely autonomously to improve the hygiene in lifts in ongoing operations with the help of UV light.
How does Uventions’ solution work? Daniel Ehlers, the co-founder and managing director of the company, "Numerous sensors reliably detect to one hundred percent whether people are in its range of action and as a result exclude any danger to the user. If the lift is empty, a high performance microprocessor launches the highly effective disinfection process. This eliminates manual intervention for starting and stopping. Every disinfection is documented and meaningful reporting can be transmitted via a communication interface in internal backend systems or the cloud."
Uventions’ solution can be retrofitted as additional equipment in every lift on the wall or ceiling. The system is intended to save operators a lot of time for disinfection and the use of chemical disinfection agents. In addition, lifts are then disinfected when in operation and only if they have actually been used - immediately after use and as a result any possible contamination.
However, UV light disinfection is not only for hospitals and frail care and old age homes, but rather for all buildings with lifts and where many people assemble, emphasised Ehlers. "Uventions makes an effective contribution to companies protecting their employees and customers effectively and reliably against the transmission of infectious pathogens." However high the economic damage might otherwise be is shown currently by the Corona virus.
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