The Print Industry has jumped in amazingly the last few weeks. There are numerous stories of firms stepping up and producing products that hopefully make a make difference in the fight against this COVID-19 pandemic. We asked ourselves what can we manufacturer or offer that will make a difference? Last week, Summa one of our equipment partners, posted an online video blog of their manufacturing facility located in Belgium cutting out fabric respirators upon their demonstration systems. The design idea intrigued me and I immediately shared the link with our leadership team. It’s trying to read daily reports about the severe shortages our nation’s healthcare forces are facing in trying to protect themselves all while caring for the sick.
I forwarded the video link to our production team and asked if we could start making the same respirator masks?
Unfortunately, the idea bombed. Turns out, we have the wrong kind of cutting/routing units, had no access to the respirator fabric, no sewing machines, nor access to trained stitching personnel. Worse, how could we possibly convert our printing plant into a clean “lab environment” to produce sterile products? I’m pretty sure most non health-care, manufacturers are asking themselves the same question today. Our plant has all this really cool game-changing technology and hardware – but we lack the necessary environment to produce sterile products that a healthcare professional requires.
After an exhausting weekend of combing through our plant looking over available inventory, Cory our General Manager, came across several rolls clear polyester media. He immediately set upon designing a Protective Face Shield that could be cut utilizing our existing cutting and slitting equipment. I should add, only a week earlier no online plans even existed for producing Face Shields in house yet! We know this design isn’t perfect – but simply, it will help protect the user! Further, users will have to attach the faceplate to the head band using two brass clasps that we’re including with all face shields. The shields can be disinfected and cleaned for use. We hope in the very minimum, the shields help to extend the number of uses
that the P-95 respirator masks are recommended for use.
Just maybe we can help by extending out the decreasing inventory of the masks that healthcare organizations or First Responders currently have on hand. We hope it’s enough to buy some time for healthcare teams while they wait for the nation’s larger mask producers to catch up.