A combination of ideas, need, tools and know-how led to the creation of the world’s first automated COVID disinfection system for security trays.
International train service Eurostar has remained operational throughout the Pandemic although footfall fell from 24,000 people a day to just over 200 during the peak of the crisis. With travellers’ safety paramount, manual cleaning was introduced for the security trays used for scanning on Eurostar’s 11 security screening lines in St Pancras International, London. This was slow, time consuming, costly and with each tray set to be used five times in 15 minutes, they were never going to be cleaned effectively and maintain throughput.
It was at this point that Eurostar Head of UK Security Matthew Rogers had an idea for an automated tray disinfection system and contacted Alan Redpath, Senior Engineer at RedteQ, to discuss it. The result was a UVC Portal click here which utilises germicidal UVC lamps such as those in hospitals and food production, to deactivate viruses and bacteria.
Tests carried out on the trays before the UVC Portals were installed on the lines showed an astonishing level of bacteria present but when repeated, once the portals had been installed, demonstrated that some 99.9% of the bacteria had been removed.
“Matt approached us with an idea and need for an automated disinfecting system and I had it in my head how we could do it. We were already using UVC light ourselves for disinfection so working from this, carried out a lot of research and built a prototype to see what could be done,” explained Alan Redpath.
The end result was the UVC Portal which is fitted as an add on to existing tray return systems or xray equipment. The germicidal lamps emit UVC at the optimum wavelength of 254nm disrupting the DNA / RNA replication process in the cells of bacteria and viruses. Located on the return line of the automated system, it is easy to install and maintain and requires no additional operator training.
Portals have been installed on all 11 of Eurostar’s security lines replacing the need for manual cleaning and returning throughput to its previous rate.
“Within 10 weeks we had recouped the cost of the portals and the cost savings overall compared to manual cleaning are massive,” said Matthew Rogers.
“I am very pleased and proud of the disinfecting system. We were the first to install something like this and ahead of the competition by some eight or nine months. It continues to be in use today ensuring Eurostar passengers remain free of COVID contamination while using the trays on our security lines.”
For more on the COVID UVC Portal click here or contact us on 0800 161 5512.