WMU tests new UV sanitation devices made in Kalamazoo

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University is working with a local company in Kalamazoo to test new devices that sanitize using ultraviolet light.

WMU has 20 AVAUV devices stationed at locations throughout campus.

The majority are the smallest model, which can fit several phones, keys and wallets.

Students and staff are encouraged to use hand sanitizer while they wait the 30 seconds for the machine to finish a cycle. 

Junior Felipe Miller uses the devices and says they are especially helpful during the pandemic.

“You just walk in, you sanitize your hands, you sanitize your phone and get that all done in one go,” Miller said.

The university is also testing out five cabinet-sized models. One is being used in the Valley Dining Center kitchen.

The company behind the product, Tekna Inc., has years of experience developing UV technology for other applications.

AVAUV, an ultraviolet sanitation device, on Western Michigan University’s campus made by Kalamazoo-based company Tekna Inc. (Oct. 22, 2020)

Mike Rozewicz, the vice president of the company, says the focus is on sanitizing the most difficult to kill viruses and bacteria.  

“We can support a multitude of environments. Especially university-based, school campuses and businesses that are plagued with the flu and cold virus in the fall. The pandemic was just an easy trigger point,” Rozewicz said.

Pete Strazdas, the associate vice president of facilities management at WMU, says the devices provide an additional tool on top of the enhanced cleaning methods being used to combat COVID-19.;

“What we’re challenged with is, we can’t control what people bring into our building, so they’re bringing in things they touch regularly like keys, wallets, phones,” Strazdas said.

The AVAUV devices are being provided to the university to use for free during the testing period.

The company plans to start bringing the products to market in January. If you would like more information on the sanitation devices, visit the AVAUV website.