The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has manufactured 10,000 certified face visors to donate to charities and companies across Scotland to help them operate safely as the country emerges from lockdown.
So far, the team has distributed almost 9,500 visors to local and national charitable organisations and companies including care homes, hospices, counselling centres, youth groups, social enterprises and the Scottish SPCA.
In May, the NMIS team imported material from Sweden and got to work on producing prototype visors with the help of Ayrshire-based social enterprise Tsukure Hub. The prototypes underwent rigorous testing through the British Standards Institution (BSI) to achieve CE marking for the PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425. This certification was crucial in ensuring the effectiveness, usability and ultimate safety of the visors.
For the manufacturing process, Tsukure laser cut a 2,000m2 roll of A-PET plastic material and a team of engineering technicians at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, a specialist technology centre within the NMIS Group, used the cut material to fully assemble and securely package the visors.
Speaking about the efforts, Crawford Cullen, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at NMIS and lead on the visor project said:
Throughout lockdown the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, in collaboration with colleagues across the University of Strathclyde, has worked tirelessly to use the team’s expertise and capabilities to help society deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The manufacture of face visors is only one element of this work.
“For us, it was crucially important that anything we made had to be done to the highest standard to ensure the safety of all end-users. This is why we went through the certification process and we are delighted now to be able to play a part in helping organisations of all sizes, from across the country operate safely in the weeks and months ahead.
Speaking about working with NMIS, Adam Short from Tsukure Hub, said:
It was a privilege to have been able to provide support and help realise the vision of those involved at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.
It is an exemplary example of individuals and organisations combining their knowledge and resources to tackle an issue head-on. We look forward to working with the team again in the future, on other projects.
NMIS donated 2,000 visors to nearby Erskine Care Homes. Dougie Beattie, Head of Facilities and Support Services at Erskine said:
We are immensely grateful for this donation of visors from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. Items such as these visors are essential in helping Erskine to continue looking after our residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a charity we are reliant on donations of this type to help keep our residents and staff safe and provide the exceptional level of care our Veterans deserve.
After receiving 1,000 visors, Scottish SPCA deputy head of field operations Graeme Innes said:
We are so grateful to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland for its generous donation of face visors.
"We have continued to deliver our vital services over the pandemic and these essential items have kept our teams safe when providing animals with the best possible care.
"They have been used by the staff in our animal rescue and rehoming centres and dedicated national wildlife centre and our vets have found them invaluable to carry out routine checks and emergency operations.
"Our frontline has worn the face visors when attending incidents and rescuing animals in need.
"We are so thankful for this incredible donation, it has allowed our teams across the Society to continue to operate and protect members of the public and themselves.
To help reach smaller charities, the NMIS team worked with Third Sector Interfaces, including Engage Renfrewshire, to distribute a further 1,800 visors.
Iain Cunningham, Third Sector Development Officer at Engage Renfrewshire, said:
I would like to say a big thank you to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the University of Strathclyde. This is a perfect example of how collaboration between academia, public sector and the Third Sector can bring about change and respond to local needs.
"The impact that COVID-19 has had on the local community is there for everyone to see, however with positive support and joint working we have been able to distribute 1000 visors to local charities so that they can safely deliver vital support services to those who are most vulnerable in our local communities.
The NMIS team also worked with industry members to distribute the visors across the country in boxes donated by Smurfit Kappa Corrugated.