As well as supporting the national ventilator effort, employees across our business have rallied to donate vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the NHS to help protect medical staff around the UK in the fight against Coronavirus.
Employees in our Air sector, who normally produce parts for combat aircraft including Eurofighter Typhoon, and our Submarines business are 3D printing parts for newly designed face shields. Meanwhile, we are sourcing tens of thousands of additional face shields through our supply chain to distribute to the NHS on our behalf, which means we will deliver more than 120,000 face shields to the NHS this month.
Dave Short, Technology Director, explains:
“We’ve all been moved by the personal bravery of those working in the NHS who face the virus close up every day, so we wanted to help in any way we could. Our employees heard about the need for face shields, so we looked for the quickest way to get effective products to users.
“At the same time as talking to suppliers, colleagues from our Technology team and our Air sector joined forces to design and manufacture our first 3D printed face shield in less than 24 hours. We kept in constant dialogue with our NHS contacts to ensure this met their requirements and had the first shields with them in less than two days.
“We’ve already delivered the first batch of 3D printed face shields, but to really make a difference, our supply chain is manufacturing a further 120,000 face shields to their own designs.
“More than 20,000 face shields are already on their way to locations around the country, with the remaining face shields set to be delivered to the NHS this month.”
Subject to Government approval, in line with industry regulations issued on 4 April, we plan to scale up production of our 3D printed face shield to deliver around 10,000 single-use visors with a smaller number of re-usable head straps over the coming weeks. We are also continuing to work with our supply chain to source further face shields, which we’ll donate to the NHS.
A number of other projects are underway as employees across the business continue to look at ways to help the country at this difficult time.