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An out-of-the-’box’ solution

Necessity is the mother of invention might be a frayed expression, but not for us humans, who are learning to survive in a pandemicgripped world.

Published: 05th August 2020 04:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2020 02:31 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Necessity is the mother of invention might be a frayed expression, but not for us humans, who are learning to survive in a pandemicgripped world. If anything, the coronavirus has ushered in an era of frugal and smart innovations — from dinner pods to see-through face masks — to combat its potent presence. And out of this very need of the hour was born Swachhbox. It was just another rant about the prevailing circumstances when three Chennai-based friends, Sriram Santhanam, Shyam Renganathan, and Mercy John, had a Eureka moment, paving the way for CE certified UV-C disinfectant boxes.

With their intent combined with effort and action, this timely innovation was launched in the second week of July. “In the past few months, we’ve all been apprehensive about every item that’s brought home from outside. Disinfecting each item, time and again, might be a painful task. It took 20 days for me to come up with a prototype powered by UV-C light technology in specific wavelengths combined with various design parameters. I finalised the design in mid- May.

The disinfectant box kills viruses, bacteria and other pathogens with 99.9 per cent efficiency. I have a factory in Puducherry that manufactures components for railway and construction industries. We had the bandwidth to bulk produce this prototype with materials available at the factory, and there was no challenge in procuring anything. We can make even 1,000 in a day,” explains Sriram, who has an engineering background. The disinfectant boxes are available in 30- and 60-litre variants. The device has received globally-recognised CE certification as well as CSIR-CSIO (Central Scientific Instruments Organisation) certification from the Government of India. It can be used to disinfect groceries, food items, keys, masks, laptops, phones, clothing, and even currency notes.

The team conducted multiple trial runs with their family and close friends for a week, before the launch. “People were skeptical about radiations resulting from leakage of UV-C light. But the disinfectant box is coated with an anti-microbial layer and a smart cut-off design to prevent leakage. All you have to do is place the object inside the box, close it, and click on the switch. It operates similar to a microwave oven and gives 360-degree coverage to an object. It runs on electricity.

The timer is automatically set to 10 minutes after which the disinfected item can be used without stress. UV light is widely used as an industrial sanitising agent at hospitals, research facilities, and in the pharmaceutical field,” explains Shyam, an entertainment artist by profession. Of the initial 100 boxes, 30 were sold in the last two weeks. The trio visits every customer’s house, installs the box and explains the functioning. “We have approached our B2B clients with bigger size variants, especially restaurants where we have delivered 500-litre disinfectant boxes.

We are also working on a 15-litre box for those living alone. We developed the disinfectant box as a one-time household investment to improve the quality of domestic life and hygiene factors. We want it to be a long-term solution rather than only capitalising on the current situation,” sums up Mercy, an ex-radio jockey. The disinfectant boxes can be shipped across India.

The boxes are priced at Rs 11,999/ Rs 16,499  For details, visit: swachhbox.com, or call: 8047192003

Variants
The disinfectant boxes are available in 30- and 60-litre variants. The device has received globally-recognised CE certification as well as CSIR-CSIO (Central Scientific Instruments Organisation) certification from the Government of India.


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