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Clive company creates self-sanitizing vending machines

Wittern Group says the UV lights that sanitize high-touch surfaces can be used for more than just COVID.

CLIVE, Iowa — A Clive company has developed new sanitization technology you may soon be seeing in your office break rooms. 

"Our thought process behind this was how can we help provide a safer experience in the workplace for consumers?" Wittern Group Chief Marketing Officer Ashley Hubler said. 

Wittern Group, a vending machine company, has created a sanitizing technology to make sure high touch areas on vending machines are germ-free after every use. 

"Not only will this be effective for COVID, but for any other spread of viruses and bacterias," Wittern Group director of engineering Andres Martinez-Negrete said. 

After weighing several different options, they settled on using UV lights to clean the surfaces. 

"We recognize 'Okay this is a proven, safe, effective technology that's been used in these other areas so why not vending?'"

The biggest challenge they faced when developing the technology was making it safe for everyday use because UV rays can be harmful if you have prolonged exposure. 

After extensive research and testing, they developed two safety mechanisms.

"It has a shielding that directs all the exposure and radiation to the target surfaces and we have a motion sensor that detects any consumer that is approaching the vending machine and it shuts off the system," Martinez-Negrete said. 

Wittern Group said their first UV vending machine shipments just recently went out to companies around the Midwest.

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