ifm develops door handle adaptor that reduces the risk of virus transmission
Published: 29 May 2020 - Rachael Morling
To help with the worldwide efforts to bring the Covid-19 coronavirus under control, ifm electronic has used the skills and expertise of its development team – which usually works on the company’s world-leading industrial sensors – to devise a novel door handle adaptor that reduces the risk of virus transmission. The adaptor makes it easy for doors to be opened by pressure from an elbow, rather than by using the handle in the usual way, which involves touching it with the hand.
After testing the new adaptors in its own factories and offices, the company has now repurposed part of its injection moulding facility to produce the adaptors in larger quantities and make them generally available.
Moulded from durable and easy-to-clean high-grade plastic, the adaptors can be fitted in seconds to any round door handle with diameter between 20 and 22 mm. No drilling is needed, there is no risk of damage to the handle and the adaptors can be removed just as quickly and easily as they are fitted, should this be necessary.
“Like most companies, we wanted to make a contribution to the control of the coronavirus,” said Rob Birkett of ifm electronic, “but we have no textiles expertise so the obvious option of making PPE wasn’t open to us. What we do have is a team of first-class designers who knew that door handles could be a breeding ground for pathogens, and it wasn’t long before they came up with the idea for the handle adaptor.”
“We tested the adaptor in our own premises and found it to be very useful and much appreciated by those working there,” he continued. “So, less than three weeks after our designers had the initial idea, we now have the adaptors in full production, and we can offer fast deliveries for anyone who wants to purchase them.”