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Colorado Company Develops Automatic Hand Washing Machine For Better Hygiene

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) - A Colorado company working for decades to help people do a better job cleaning their hands is hoping to help more people and companies implement technology to keep people safe and clean.

"Only about 5% percent of people wash their hands correctly. The reason to automate that is to really break down and overcome that human behavioral issue. Because every time someone washes manually they wash a little differently," said Paul Barnhill the Chief Technology Officer at Meritech.

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(credit: Meritech)

The company was founded 30 years ago by a group wanting to blend engineering and chemistry to increase the human hygiene experience. One of the founders came from a car washing background so it's not surprising the Meritech products use a similar process for hand washing.

"What it does is the photoelectric eye sees your hand. There's 40 nozzles in total, 20 on each hand, and then at first it gives you a quick one second pre-rinse. Then it mixes the hygiene solution, or the soap as some people call it. Mixing and sanitizing your hand, and washing your hand for 5 seconds. Then you get another potable rinse. The whole thing takes 12 seconds," Barnhill said.

The company has been playing a pivotal role in the medical and food industries for years. But now the pandemic has put their automated hand washing machines even more in demand.

"We've also been in back of house for restaurants for many years, but we're seeing more and more trend moving toward front of house," Barnhill said.

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(credit: Meritech)

The company says recently a number of units were purchased by a grocery store chain for implementation near the produce aisles.

"We want to try and protect that fruit and vegetable, we want to protect ourselves and hygiene is one of the best ways to do that," Barnhill said.

The company has reworked its manufacturing space to increase production to meet the demand. Barnhill says the company will still have a focus on industrial spaces, but also wants to expand so the culture of hygiene can expand.

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(credit: Meritech)

"What the coronavirus outbreak has done is make people more aware of hygiene," Barnhill said.

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