As hospitals and healthcare providers continue to express need for protective equipment to fight the spread of COVID-19, Siemens, in coordination with Georgia Tech and local manufacturers in metro-Atlanta, has stepped up to the challenge. Through partnership with local manufacturers EIS-Fabrico and Underwood Mold Company, we’ve organized a full-scale production network that will manufacture 25,000 new face shields a week for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to supply to hospitals across the state in need.
The project began with the leadership of Dr. Chris Saldana and a team of faculty and students at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Leveraging the school’s Flowers Invention Studio and Montgomery Machining Mall, they produced a face shield design that protects clinicians against harmful splashes while also extending the life of soft respirators that filter out virus particles.
That’s where Siemens came in. We reached out to the Georgia Tech team to see how we could help, and it became quickly clear that we could open our Atlanta manufacturing network to rapidly scale production of the Georgia Tech design.
Within hours, we had transferred Georgia Tech’s design to local laser cutting firms, coordinated material procurement and logistics with Georgia Tech, and funded production of 5,000 laser cut face shields (and counting). Each of these face shields were delivered to Emory Healthcare in late March.
We’ve now worked to scale this production further by funding construction of steel-ruled die and rotary die tooling at Kennesaw-based EIS-Fabrico so they are able to increase shield production. Underwood Mold Company in Woodstock is also engaged to support even greater capacity of headband frames for the shield. And our own R&D center in Tucker, GA will serve as the assembly and shipping center for the face shields. What began as a concept two weeks ago with production of 10 face shields will now reach 100,000 over the next month.
Our efforts to leverage our local manufacturing network is being mirrored by the company’s announcement this past week to open its global Additive Manufacturing (AM) Network for free to any and all designers and makers to 3D print items to address protective equipment shortages.
And across the U.S., Siemens teams are busy keeping factories up and running and helping maintain operations at hospitals, power plants, government facilities, military sites and data centers. They’re also supporting city services such as transportation, water and waste, and national security emergency response systems.
The company is also a part of collaborative on-the-ground efforts to support the expansion of existing and new hospital spaces, ensuring these facilities have reliable power, fire and life safety systems, and the tools they need to treat patients – from portable X-ray and ultrasound systems, to cloud-based platforms and remote monitoring to optimize converted spaces.
Additionally, Siemens Healthineers has developed a new test kit for #COVID19 that can help researchers diagnose infection in less than three hours.
In this time of crisis, our entire team is incredibly proud of what we’re doing to play our part. By leveraging our expertise in engineering design, procurement and manufacturing, we’re able to make a difference for our community and deliver on our mission to make real what matters
For more on what Siemens is doing across America to fight the pandemic, visit the Siemens USA homepage.