Hands-free door opener

LVD Company and VIVES University of Applied Sciences have collaborated on the design and production of a “corona-free” door opener and are making the device available to healthcare institutions and public services in East and West Flanders. 

The coronavirus survives on smooth surfaces and materials such as door handles. Virus droplets can be ingested by making contact with the mouth, nose or eyes after touching a contaminated surface. The hands-free door opener helps lower the risk of contamination by preventing such contact.

Lecturers Manufacturing at the VIVES Department of Applied Engineering and Technology developed the concept of the stainless-steel door opener, a device that is mounted on to an existing door handle and allows a user to open and close a door with their arm. 

“The device is affixed to the door handle using three simple cable ties and fits both interior and exterior doors. The design fits 95% of existing door handles of all shapes and sizes and also applies to hydraulic doors,” said Pieter Desplenter, VIVES Lecturer Production/Automation.

LVD brought the door opener to life, manufacturing the first batch of product using its high-speed,Electra fiber laser cutting machine  and Dyna-Cell robotized press brake housed at its Experience Center in Belgium.

“Using our showroom equipment, we were able to quickly produce the door openers. Parts were nested and precisely laser cut using the fiber laser cutting machine and then formed on the robotized press brake in an automated bending operation.  From a single sheet, we are able to produce 200 parts,” explained Sébastien Van Neste, LVD Application Engineer. 

LVD has been active in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the collaboration with VIVES, LVD has provided personal protective gear to local hospitals, AZ Groeninghe and AZ Delta, and to its subsidiaries in China, Slovakia, Italy and the US. 


VIVES has released the design files for the “corona virus” door opener, inviting fabricators around the world to manufacture the product for non-commercial purposes. Therefore they need to register on the VIVES site:

“The CAD drawings and instructions are made public so that any sheet metal fabrication company can make the door openers. We will allow them to customize the design with their company logo,” said Tom Scharlaken, VIVES Lecturer Mechanical and Electronic Engineering.

“Samples can still be requested from VIVES, with priority given to healthcare and public institutions.”