Boosting the country’s valuable reserve of personal protective equipment (PPE), JCB and a team of volunteer employees have set up mini production lines.
JCB’s principal electronics engineer and father-of-two James Morley, normally based at the firm’s world HQ in Rocester, has converted the garage at his Derbyshire home to produce vital supplies.
He said; “While browsing social media on the state of the Covid-19 situation, I was aware that there was a huge shortage of medical grade personal protective equipment for our NHS and other healthcare communities around the UK. It made me dust off my 3D printer and help contribute to the fight against Covid-19 and support our heroic NHS.”
Inspired by his efforts, JCB has re-opened its innovation centre so colleagues (tooling and moulding engineers) Joe Mumby, 22, and Joe Bagley, 25, of Ashby de-la-Zouch can also volunteer and have free use of the company’s 3D rapid prototype machines to help produce medical grade visors for NHS staff.
For Joe Mumby, of Hilton, Derbyshire, volunteering to produce the vital NHS kit has also taken on a poignant significance, as he and his family come to terms with the death of his father’s cousin from Coronavirus.
Mr Mumby said; “Helping with the production of visors is the least I could do as this is a very testing time for everyone, including my own family.”
So far, the volunteer production line set up at JCB has produced 50 visors for distribution to surgeries in the Rocester and Uttoxeter area, with the help of material donated by the JCB Academy.
Meanwhile, James Morley, 43, has set-up his rapid prototyping machine in the garage of his home in Belper, near Derby to produce NHS kit.
Having made 20 visors, he is now diversifying his domestic production line to make components, which convert snorkelling masks for use with hospital ventilators. He is also rapid prototyping so-called ‘superhero nurse’ headbands which make face masks more comfortable for medical staff to wear, as they fit on the back of the head rather than on to the back of ears.
Massey Ferguson recently announced that while its manufacturing activities are on hold because of the coronavirus situation, in its Beauvais production facility, France, it will use its 3D printing capacity to donate full face shields to its local community medical staff.
Spurred on by a shortage of medical equipment, the manufacturer responded to a call created by French non-profit organization Les Visières de l’Espoir (Hope’s Face Shields), initiated by 3DNatives.com, a French 3D printing media specialist.
Along with several French companies, including L’Oréal, BASF, Lactalis, Aereco, Proteor, Sculpteo and Solvay, the immediate aim is to produce 13,000 face shields, destined for 94 hospitals around the country.