BSI Turns on Idle 3D Printers To Build Critical Components for PPE Gear for COVID-19 Responders
Much has been made of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face shields for doctors and nurses working with COVID-19 and other patients, and now BSI, a division of NEP Group and its U.S. Specialty Capture division, is helping out. The company’s two industrial 3D printers use new materials to produce chin and head straps that can be used with PPE gear.
Dean Coughlan, director, engineering and technical operations, BSI, says the engineering and manufacturing team was 100% on board with the idea of using idle 3D printers to make a difference.
“Everyone has wanted to do something to help our community, and they didn’t hesitate to step up to volunteer their time and skills,” he says. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”
The BSI team is working with Baltimore-based We The Builders to create 1,000 face shields. The process is relatively simple: 24 hours a day, a BSI engineer removes the completed parts from the printer and then does a thorough cleaning and sanitizing process before restarting the 3D printing process for the next batch. Completed parts are packaged in sets; placed in a sealed, marked bag; and delivered to an assembly point operated by Open Works Baltimore without any personal contact between volunteers.
Dan Grainge, president, U.S. Specialty Capture division, NEP, adds that one of the corporation’s core values is “One Team” and it’s great to see the BSI staff working together and with the community.
“BSI and many of NEP’s divisions are using this down time to look for ways to get involved,” he adds. “We’re considering other opportunities like this, including how we can produce parts for ventilators and the equipment needed most right now.”
Currently, BSI’s goal is to complete 100 sets of parts each week, and the team is looking for ways to make the process even more efficient.
Written by Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG