Tanja Nickel and Katharina Obladen were quiet can high institute when they patented an concept to disinfect escalator handrails using UV light.
A decade later, their tiny German start-up UVIS can scarcely hold up with orders from nearly the earth because their coronavirus-killing escalators and coatings because supermarket trolleys and elevator buttons.
"Everybody wants it done yesterday," Obladen, 28, told AFP can the company's workshop can central Cologne.
"The pandemic has made businesses realise they shortage to invest can hygiene precautions because cling and customers. It's gone from nice-to-have to must-have."
As Germany begins to relax some lockdown restrictions, the start-up's five-person team has been inundated with requests from shops, offices and cafes anxious to reopen to a public newly conscious of the health risks lurking can shared spaces.
- contend -
Friends because kindergarten, Nickel and Obladen were 17 and 18 years old when they entered an inventors' competition.
Worried nearly the swine flu pandemic can the time, they wanted to festival up with something to create public places germ-free.
Inspired by New York City's avail of Ultraviolet radiation to sterilise drinking water, they designed a UV glitter box that can be built into escalators to disinfect handrails, with the radiation destroying the DNA of disease-causing micro-organisms.
They asked their families because assist filing the patent.
"They knew us and knew we used to cling with it," Obladen recalled.
After finishing university, the unite founded UVIS can 2016 with seed coin from programmes because start-ups. They remain a scare case can Germany of women running an engineering firm.
This year, the duo added an antimicrobial coating to their line-up, no based above UV technology. The invisible coating can be sprayed onto surfaces to break mould, bacteria and viruses comparable the fiction coronavirus, using the self-cleaning properties of titanium dioxide.
- Dangerous -
Europe's largest elevator and escalator makers -- Thyssenkrupp, Schindler, Otis and Kone -- were early customers, putting the women's Ultraviolet glitter boxes, called Escalite modules, can escalators can malls, hospitals and instruct stations.
But the coronavirus has seen request explode.
"We've already surpassed our revenue aim because 2020," said 27-year-old Nickel, declining to endow figures.
Interest has been specially robust can Europe and Asia. The start-up recently shipped above 30 escalator modules to Singapore.
Standing can the identical workshop where her electrician grandfather used to tinker away and where his old difficult hats quiet queue the shelves, Obladen demonstrated how the glitter box works.
Three blue-glowing UVC lamps, emitting the strongest friendly of UV beams and highly dangerous when exposed to hide and eyes, queue the inner of a rectangular metal case.
The escalator's handrail passes along the example because it continually loops around, getting a sum blast of germ-killing radiation.
The metal case, around the size of an adult arm, and an accompanying energy box can be fitted into any escalator, which Obladen said was "the biggest challenge".
UV disinfection was already routinely used can the provisions industry and hospitals worldwide ago COVID-19 spurred wider calls because the technology.
In China, where the germ first emerged, it has been used to clean buses and banknotes.
Obladen said they too were considering other ways to deploy UVC light, besides that safety comes first.
US headmaster Donald Trump recently suggested using UV rays above coronavirus patients, prompting stunned medical experts to warn it could effect burns and hide cancer.
The earth Health Organization too warns against using UV lamps above skin.
- New ideas -
Obladen said joy can the company's boom has been "dampened" by bargain above the pandemic and the struggles of friends can other start-ups.
Looking ahead, Obladen and Nickel plan to ramp up manufacture capacity and enlarge their coating services.
They dine already been busily spraying elevator panels, counter tops and seats because a mountain of soon-to-reopen businesses, also because handles of supermarket trolleys.
"We're looking can other areas too, we've had a beach asking nearly using UV glitter to disinfect coin can cash machines can blend with a coating because the touchscreen," Obladen said.
"It's exciting to consider nearly new ways to avail our know-how."
About Legia Smart:
Legia Smart holds the pride of being an expert in UV Disinfection Box manufacturing. The company strictly implements an ISO quality management system to make sure that high-quality products get to customers.
For more information, please visit https://www.legia.com.cn/
Phone: +86 18616861840