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Covid-19: Indian firm develops UV-based baggage disinfection systems

TV Jayan New Delhi | Updated on August 18, 2020 Published on August 18, 2020

A medium-sized Indian technology company, in collaboration with a government lab in Hyderabad, has developed an UV radiation based baggage disinfection system that can be used at airports, bus stations, commercial complexes, hotels and railway stations.

The Greater Noida-based Vehant Technologies launched two variants of the baggage disinfection system named KritiScan early this month. The firm, incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi in 2005, has been the only Indian firm manufacturing airport-compliant X-ray scanning machines.

“Many of our existing clients approached us in March and April this year asked us whether we can develop a disinfection system for baggage as they were concerned about the Covid-causing SARS-CoV2,” said Kapil Bardeja, CEO and co-founder of Vehant Technologies.

“UV is already used world over to disinfect food and we decided on it,” he said.

“This prompted us to work with International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New materials (ARCI), Hyderabad and IIT Bombay. Since we did not have any expertise in UV radiation, particularly in deciding the effective dosage that can used for killing the virus, we wanted their help,” Bardeja told BusinessLine.

The firm co-developed KritiScan together with ARCI. The scientists from ARCI and IIT Bombay helped the firm to arrive at the right dosage of the UN radiation.

“We have already got an order for 15 systems from the Philippines. They plan to use it in hotels, commercial complexes and even in government buildings,” he said adding that a deal for nearly 200 such systems is in the final stages within the country.

Though Vehant, which specialises in artificial intelligence, machine learning and image processing, entered the X-ray baggage scanning business only six years ago, it currently enjoys 25 per cent market share in India. “Our X-ray machines are used at airports, hotels, malls, and railway stations. Even major temples like Sabarimala and Tirupati are using our machines,” said Bardeja.

Vehant, which earned ₹65 crore in revenues last year, has two plants in Greater Noida and Una in Himachal Pradesh. “Currently we have a production capacity of 250 KritiScans a month, but we can easily increase this to 500 a month,” Bardeja said. The variants are priced around ₹4 lakh and ₹7 lakh apiece

He said similar systems developed by firms in Europe and the US are entering Indian market, but he is confident about price and quality advantages enjoyed by his products.

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Published on August 18, 2020
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