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Eaton’s four-inch touchless tool helps protect healthcare professionals from novel coronavirus

April 16, 2020

  • Eaton device helps open doors, twist faucets and push buttons without touching potentially contaminated surfaces
  • Eaton’s 3D printing expertise crucial to fast-paced design incorporating hospital feedback and ability to quickly scale manufacturing

CLEVELAND, OH … Hospitals need immediate access to tools that help reduce the potential for front line healthcare providers to be exposed to the new virus.  Power management company Eaton activated its additive manufacturing expertise to rapidly develop a touchless tool that helps medical workers avoid contact with surfaces and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. University Hospitals in Northeast Ohio collaborated on the design and development of the new Eaton tool. 

“The entire community here is indebted to innovative organizations like Eaton, who are flexing their technological muscles and making a difference in these challenging times,” said Brian Rothstein, MD, pediatric neurosurgeon at University Hospitals. 

A recent study indicates that one of the best defenses of healthcare workers is through barrier protection from surfaces that become contaminated (Journal of the American Medical Association, March 2020). Eaton’s four-inch touchless tool resembles a plastic wrench and is intended to help medical workers grab door handles, turn faucets and push buttons on phones and other devices without touching surfaces. 

“We’re looking for ways that we can apply our design engineering and manufacturing expertise to help address the critical needs in the healthcare industry, and our teams are making it happen,” said Michael Regelski, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Electrical Sector at Eaton. “As this tool and our face shields demonstrate, we’re able to use our additive manufacturing, or 3D printing capabilities, along with a healthy dose of innovation to compress product development timelines and rapidly deliver solutions for healthcare workers on the front line.”

Eaton provided the first batch of touchless tools to University Hospitals, where doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and other healthcare workers are using the device. The tool enables University Hospitals to help address concerns associated with contracting the new coronavirus from contaminated surfaces and reduces the number of times healthcare workers need to change protective equipment. 

“To help fill critical needs of our healthcare workers during this crisis, we moved from concept to production in a few short days,” said Srinivas Garimella, global head of the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence at Eaton. “This kind of speed and adaptability reaffirms the power of additive manufacturing, and I am proud of our teams across the company who stepped up to help local communities.”

Eaton is leveraging its additive manufacturing expertise to deliver much-needed supplies for hospitals, including supporting medical workers with hundreds of thousands face shields in the fight against COVID-19. 

Learn more about how Eaton is helping communities during COVID-19.  

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; power quality, back-up power and energy storage; control and automation; life safety and security; structural solutions; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer customers’ most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. We provide sustainable solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently, and more reliably. Eaton’s 2019 revenues were $21.4 billion, and we sell products to customers in more than 175 countries. We have approximately 95,000 employees.

Hilary Spittle, (440) 523-5352
Regina Parundik, (412) 559-1614