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When outbreaks do occur, transit agencies alike are ill-equipped to get to the root of the problem and face lawsuits for infecting ridership with deadly ailments. Furthermore, their investments to sanitize the vehicles prove futile since traditional methods such as power washing, toxic chemicals, and fumigation are not enough to tackle emerging pandemics.
This is where SanUVAire, a developer of indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions, is a game-changer. Founded in 2016, SanUVAire has emerged as the market leader in providing tailored IAQ solutions to public transportation agencies. Leveraging its patented technologies, SanUVAire excels in the design and development of UVGI systems and re-usable UV Resistant air filters—for Air Purification (In- HVAC, In-DUCT, Coil Disinfection) and Surface Sanitization applications—in transit, motorcoach, marine, healthcare, commercial, and residential markets.
In this interview with CIO Applications, Chad Sleiman, the CEO of SanUVAire, touches upon his company’s innovative product line, vast engineering expertise, and a lot more.
What are the challenges plaguing the transportation industry, and how is SanUVAire mitigating them with its product suite?
Recent pandemic outbreaks such as the current spread of the Coronavirus have public transport agencies struggling to address daily health hazards faced by travelers and commuters. Rather than implementing proactive strategies and preventive plans, transit agencies are always reacting to problems.
We are focused on improving the lives of everyone involved within the public transport landscape, ensuring they inhabit a safe and healthy environment in their everyday commute, and we do this with SanUVAire 360–our comprehensive 360-degree approach.
What are the most prominent benefits of SanUVAire’s technology solutions?
From a health standpoint, our solutions provide comprehensive, proactive, instantaneous protection against any airborne infectious diseases or any of the microorganisms that are passed on—among human beings and/or outside air. Besides inhaling and exhaling unclean circulated air within vehicles, the ridership is prone to catching diseases from surface material. Furthermore, since HVAC is the primary air distribution system (inside buses), it becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses through the HVAC coil and used filters. Once these highly sensitive areas are affected, it’s extremely hard to remediate the problem. Through our technology and SanUVAire 360, vehicles will never face this impediment.
With regard to field economy, our technology extends tremendous benefits as well. While expensive chemicals leave residue and are harmful to the respiratory organs of passengers, drivers, and technicians, our technology facilitates sanitized and clean environments without the need to ingest gas. As a result, agencies see a reduction in the number of driver absentees and employee insurance claims.
Our technology ensures HVAC systems are kept in mint condition, allowing agencies to enjoy benefits of longer component life, reduced maintenance costs, and more significant ROI. Moreover, since AC coils are always disinfected and clean, the HVAC systems consume lesser energy. Overall, helping transit agencies become more environmentally friendly, greener, and sustainable by reducing fuel consumption, greenhouse gases, and landfill waste.
While others are being reactive to outbreaks and diseases, we are tackling the problem at the grassroots level
Aside from utilizing UVGI technology for air purification in public transport, we also offer a Surface-Safe Disinfection suite to protect passengers. Units, mounted at strategic locations, are activated upon the completion of vehicle cleaning. Within a 15-min span, the units kill 99.99 percent of harmful pathogens and shut off automatically. As part of the Surface-Safe suite, we provide a portable Mobile Tower, a lightweight handheld wand, and also a ceiling-mounted fixture that provides high-output surface disinfection in unoccupied spaces.
Could you explain how your solutions lead to accident prevention?
As part of SanUVAire’s safety solutions, we are involved in two projects: The S.T.O.P Project and The Curb Collision Avoidance Project. The former, designed to provide a new and effective way to reduce rear-end accidents, alerts trailing drivers with a flashing LED sign every time the bus driver ahead applies the brakes. Meanwhile, Curb Alarm is intended to reduce tire and wheel damages. The system alerts operators when their tires are within two inches of the curb so they could make a steering correction to prevent tire/wheel damage.
What does a typical SanUVAire product deployment look like?
First and foremost, we don’t just push systems and boxes. We actually educate clients to understand their requirements before building a customized ecosystem just for them.
Also, we work with vehicle manufacturers (bus, rail, maritime) and build a pilot version to test. This procedure is crucial since decision-makers can explore various options.
Since our products are user-friendly, vehicle or HVAC manufactures can easily install the units after we have educated them.
Could you cite a customer success story where SanUVAire helped a client overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes?
This transit agency was in the doldrums when a lethal outbreak of TB caused major issues on their buses. Forced to deal with bad odors and airborne disease, they tried to patch the issue rather than solving it, using methods such as power washing and fumigation. We stepped in and installed our systems, and the effect was evident within just 15 minutes! Gradually, the mold spores on the filters dissipated, the surface was spick and span, and the odor was gone. They continue to protect their buses with our technology.
What are the differentiating factors that give SanUVAire a competitive market edge?
As far as we know, there isn’t another company that specializes in air purification when it comes to public transport technology. We are the clear-cut market leaders. While others are being reactive to outbreaks and diseases, we are tackling the problem at the grassroots level and proactively providing a complete ecosystem with SanUVAire 360.
It has taken us years to win the trust of manufacturers and transit agencies, and we continue to prove ourselves through pilot programs, new solutions, and innovative products. Most of our new clients approach us due to our track record in the industry. Another differentiator is every SanUVAire product is made in America, which we take immense pride in.
Could you reveal any new initiatives or solutions in the pipeline?.
We will continue to implement green initiatives, innovate, and remain nimble; our products will always be reliable and affordable. We are also keen on fulfilling socioeconomic requirements such as minority-specific initiatives.
We have also taken on the mission to enable commercial industries and transit agencies to reduce their waste contribution to landfills and encourage a change of culture.
What does the future look like for SanUVAire?
Certainly, the present environment with the COVID-19 virus is keeping us very busy. We are receiving much reach out from agencies as our technology provides the ultimate protection. We are mobilizing to give each agency its required attention for a full ecosystem to combat the virus from every angle.
Going forward, we will continue to innovate since we are not beholden to investors. Over the last few years, we have made significant strides in providing credibility and visibility to clients, becoming a household name within the transit industry landscape.
From a product standpoint, our R&D team is enhancing our products to make them more integrate-able with modern transportation technologies.
Eventually, we want our products to be built into every vehicle, hospital, and aircraft across the world. We also wish to do everything in-house—from shipping, packaging, assembly, minor manufacturing, fabrication, R&D, and warehouse for inventory. While a very ambitious plan, it is our vision, and we won’t stop until SanUVAire is on the map. Air is Life, SanUV‘Air’e for Better Life!
Team SanUVAire is one big family, and we plan to grow together for years. We are just getting started and need to take many more leaps and bounds, and achieve milestones.