17 APRIL 2020
Corporate Member, Ricoh, is, through its Ricoh 3D division, producing 40,000 face shields per week for NHS workers, designed to improve comfort and offer a re-usable solution as they tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
company is in discussions with medical establishments and NHS Trusts across the UK, and is working to get effective protective equipment to the frontline using the rapid prototyping capabilities of additive manufacturing.
Just 24 hours after receiving the design file, the Ricoh team 3D-printed the face shield and had the remaining components sourced and assembled using their supplier network. Having refined the design aimed to enhance comfort and reduce contamination, the face shield has now been approved for production.
Mark Dickin, additive manufacturing & moulding specialist at Ricoh 3D, says: “Our site is uniquely set up to take a product from concept to prototype to serial production, and that is exactly what we have done here in a very short timeframe. This really is a testimony to the strength of our supplier relations and the cross-functional team who made it happen so quickly”
It is estimated in London alone more than 150,000 face shields will be used every day in the battle against COVID-19. Ricoh will upscale to full production utilising a 150-tonne injection moulding machine.
Jason Pott, lead research nurse for emergency medicine at The Royal London Hospital, said: “In our tests, staff commented on the comfort of Ricoh’s solution over existing equipment. We tested across a range of male and female staff in the emergency department with different head shapes, hairstyles and headscarves – everyone was happy with the fit.”