OPG’s 3D printers producing face shields to protect health-care workers
First batch of 200 face shields to be ready for shipment April 8; to increase production of the shields to 500 per week.
TORONTO — Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is using 3D printing technology to produce plastic face shields to address the pressing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The utility has partnered with Ontario Tech University in Oshawa to fast-track the production of the face shields.
OPG’s X-Lab innovation hub is producing the headband piece used in the assembly of the face shields, and has secured materials for the plastic visor and adjustable elastic strap through its vendor partners.
“OPG is excited to have recently received approval from Health Canada to produce these crucial shields that will help protect our frontline health-care workers when assisting patients,” said Ken Hartwick, OPG’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We have a lot of innovative and passionate people on our X-Lab team and I want to thank them for thinking outside of the box in anticipation of a medical supply shortage in the province.”
The face shields provide a barrier to protect frontline health-care workers from spray, splashes and splatter when assisting patients potentially infected with the virus. Ontario hospitals have confirmed a need for these plastic shields, with some hospitals in OPG’s local communities at risk of running out of the shields and other important protective equipment, such as face masks.
OPG and Ontario Tech have already distributed a batch of their face shields to Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ont.
The first batch of 200 face shields is expected to be ready for shipment to Ontario’s Ministry of Health on April 8, with a plan to increase production of the shields to 500 per week. The ministry will then distribute the shields to hospitals, long-term care homes and any other essential health-care providers in the most-needed areas of the province.
More about OPG’s efforts against the spread of COVID-19 here.