Troisdorf Major events despite Corona? The Troisdorf machine manufacturer Kitz has developed a hygiene lock which, among other things, measures the body temperature of visitors and disinfects their hands. And the device can do even more.
Gregor Goller steps into the white-painted overseas container and takes off his glasses first. A deep look, and sensors determine the body temperature at more than a hundred measuring points in the eye. "Anyone with a fever is identified directly in this way," says the head of strategic business development at the Troisdorf-based machine manufacturer Kitz.
His newly developed "Cleanstage" hygiene airlock is designed to ensure safe access to larger events even in Corona times. After measuring the temperature, the visitor must have both hands in a box sprayed with disinfectant before the turnstile opens. Then they can go to the football stadium, the theatre hall or the authorities. So much for the theory.
Potential use in universities and museums
However, the "Cleanstage", developed together with partner companies, is still in the trial phase. "The interest is great," says Goller. Kitz has not yet sold the systems, which start at around 30000 Euro. The Troisdorf-based company is holding talks with concert organisers, universities, hospitals and museums, among others. Rental companies for large tents are also hoping to use such systems to revive the business that was brought to a standstill by Corona.
The Troisdorf-based company plans to equip its mobile and weatherproof lock in different ways, depending on its use. For example, before football matches, it can not only measure the alcohol level of visitors via the air they breathe, but also use metal detectors to exclude guests with weapons from entry. The technology is contained in a used overseas container that is cut to size. "In this way we also ensure sustainability," says Goller. In mid-August, Kitz tested his airlock at a concert by the Cologne-based Bläck Fööss. "Every person reacts completely differently," according to Goller, that was one of the findings from the practical test.
Whether the airlocks will be in front of every hall in future or will soon no longer be needed depends largely on the unforeseeable development of the corona pandemic. "As a medium-sized company, we can and want to adapt quickly to new situations," says Goller. "This is why we do not see the virus as a catastrophe, but also as a business opportunity."
Fischer Technique for grown-ups
The family-owned company mainly supplies profiles for plant construction, "Fischertechnik für Große", as Goller says. Some orders have been lost, especially from the automotive industry. For this reason, the tinkerers in Troisdorf dealt with the business opportunities in the pandemic early on. "In the beginning it was all about simple spit protection walls and dispensers for disinfectants," Goller remembers.
But the ideas soon became more sophisticated. In close cooperation with Reifenhäuser, a company also based in Troisdorf, which among other things builds machines for the production of mask fleece, Kitz equipped the mask producers with conveyor belts. Also in the repertoire: a spit protection system for classrooms, in which the pupils are separated by stands and most importantly the teachers are separated in a kind of booth, because "they usually talk the most," says Goller. The school authorities are interested, but the willingness to invest is low. Nevertheless, he is convinced: "The spitting protection cabin for teachers will come.
Kitz Maschinenbau hopes that business with products developed specifically for the Corona crisis will almost compensate for the declines in other areas. The group of companies, with sites in Spain and the USA, among others, employs around 500 people, about half of whom are based at the company's headquarters in Troisdorf-Bergheim. The annual turnover of the family-owned company, now in its second generation, was most recently 73 million Euro.
The next business opportunity for "Cleanstage" could be Christmas markets, hopes business strategist Goller. Because the sluice not only disinfects and measures, it can also accurately display the number of visitors at a major event. "Depending on the hygiene concept, a counter with display could, for example, light up when the maximum limit is reached," he says. And the search for new applications will continue until Christmas anyway.
Original text: Delphine Sachsenröder. Translation: Mareike Graepel