Canadian Manufacturing

Robot manufacturer expanding from healthcare disinfection to food manufacturing

Val Ramanand expects to be in many food processing plants later this year, and their technology is already in a Kelowna winery disinfecting grapes at a processing plant.

April 28, 2021  by Sadi Muktadir

Solaris Lytbot expanding into food processing and manufacturing

Solaris Robots is an IoT robotics company in the healthcare and disinfection industry which began the development of its proprietary Lytbot over 8 years ago, pre-dating the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, Val Ramanand, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman was concerned with developing technologies to combat improper cleaning techniques and inefficiencies, attempting to save time on sanitizing medical workplaces and tools.

Val Ramanand noticed issues with disinfection and sanitation practices in healthcare facilities and hospitals across the country. According to his research, 75% of the time a patient’s room is cleaned, it is still left with some form of pathogen that’s still there for the next occupant. With UV pulsed technology, the capability to remove all harmful pathogens is possible without any touch required.

After the pandemic hit, Solaris experienced unprecedented growth, including a 300% percent increase in the demand for their touchless, automated robots. However, Val noted some hesitancy from Canadian public health units in adopting the technology.

“We’re very encouraged by our presence in US hospitals and healthcare facilities. The US has very high adoption rates, we have around 400 disinfection robots in the US, while there are only a handful in healthcare facilities in Canada, so the Canadian adoption rate is definitely a little disappointing,” said Val Ramanand.

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When queried about how Solaris was responding to their exponential growth, Val listed a few acquisitions, research on air disinfection capabilities and partnerships with food manufacturers and processing plants.

“There’s a big opening in the food processing sector,” Val said. “We’re currently in a factory that is having an issue with mold, and we have four robots in there to mitigate those issues. We’re also in the final stages of a 2-year study with the University of Waterloo to target listeria, e-coli and salmonella, and it’s been very encouraging.”

Val Ramanand expects to be in many food processing plants later this year, and their technology is already in a Kelowna winery disinfecting grapes at a processing plant.

Solaris is already moving beyond the healthcare industry and into food manufacturing and processing, and notes that the Lytbot also has capabilities for manufacturing plant floors and warehouses in many industries. The UV technology can help bolster a safe return to work and strengthen the manufacturing industry’s demand for top-notch sanitation and disinfection standards, and will be an interesting technology to follow through the coming months.

Click here to listen to the engaging interview with Val Ramanand, as part of our Canadian Manufacturing podcast.


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