Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has already made several of its media fleets around the world available to Red Cross volunteers to help countries with the current Covid-19 outbreak.
Now the carmaker reports it will build protective visors for key workers in the United Kingdom health sector, JLR is utilising its creation centre in Gaydon to answer the UK government's call for more vital equipment to fight coronavirus.
According to JLR, it is the only reusable, National Health Service-approved visor of its kind, the design has been developed in consultation with a team of NHS healthcare professionals for efficient rapid prototype printing at the advanced product creation centre in Gaydon, home to one of the most advanced 3D printing facilities in Europe.
It comes as a national shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for NHS staff on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 has resulted in many vital workers suffering injury from wearing uncomfortable equipment for long hours or going without essential protective wear.
Through collaboration with companies such as Pro2Pro in Telford, the ambition is to produce 5000 visors a week for NHS trusts across the country. Pre-line trials have already taken place with a team of healthcare professionals at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust before assembly began at JLR in Warwickshire on 31 March.
Using rapid prototyping technology has enabled the engineers to work through several iterations of the design in under a week, allowing for medical staff to feed back and improvements to be made. Engineers in the Additive Manufacturing Centre, who have designed and manufactured the visors, are now in discussions with suppliers and partners to scale up production.
They hope to create a tool that will enable mass production. It is Jaguar Land Rover’s intention to make the open source CAD design files available to Additive Manufacturers and suppliers, so many more protective visors can be printed over the coming weeks.
Each face visor has been designed to be reusable, and can be easily dismantled and cleaned before being used again; safeguarding NHS trusts against future shortages as the situation develops.