As a result of a personal connection to the Coronavirus outbreak, In-Comm Training & Business Services has joined forces with fellow Made in the Midlands member, HK Technologies to produce reusable PPE for their local NHS trust.

With the United Kingdom now entering its 44th day of lockdown, no corner of British life has not been impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. But for Stuart Dallaway, the Academies Manager at In-Comm training, the situation is particularly true with his working in their local A&E department.

Yet when his wife came home at the start of the lockdown discussing the low stock of the much needed PPE, Stuart looked for a practical solution. Coupled with the fact that In-Comm’s site has temporarily shut down due to the virus, and through the help of fellow MIM Member HK Technologies, and their 3D Printers, Stuart was able to use the time and space to start producing facemasks for his local NHS trust.

Talking about the entire project Stuart said, “We’ve got to make sure that even if we (In-comm) are shut down due to the Coronavirus, then we must do whatever we can do to go forward.

The collaboration with HK Technologies comes in the form of their Markforged 3D Printers, which have been providing Stuart with the ability, to so far print 40 face visors, a number that continues to grow every day.

“So far we’ve sent 20 face visors to our local NHS trust, and since then, we’ve had more people contacting us for them, and because of that, we’re going to continue printing them. Likewise, since the initial print, we’ve been able to print a further 20 face visors” said Stuart. 

One such advantage that came with the collaboration is that the computer file needed to send to the printer was already available, meaning that as Stuart put it, “The process was quite quick. There was virtually no lead time in having to physically design the process.” 

As a result, Stuart was able to start the process of printing in quick succession. “From pressing print to having a final product it takes around 7 hours and 15 minutes. Right now we can only print one-offs, but since you can put multiple printers on one line, we’re looking to get some more printers to print multiple visors at the same time” said Stuart. 

Since the delivery of the first batch of 20 facemasks, Stuart was thanked by the matron at the hospital who thanked him for the delivery of the PPE, specifically on the quality. This comes as Stuart described to the Made in Group how the face visors were designed to be reused multiple times, over traditional PPE that must be disposed of after a single-use.

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