Page 39 - Issue 13
P. 39

  Protolabs plays key role in Italy and the UK on Covid-19
Projects for testing kits and face visors
GTMA supplier Protolabs, which employs over 450 people at its European headquarters in Telford, is playing a key role in supporting Italian engineers in the conversion of ‘Easybreath’ snorkelling equipment into ventilator masks for
front line medical staff.
3D printed ‘Charlotte’ valves are being rapid- ly produced and shipped direct to its cus- tomer Isinnova, who are producing kits that can be used to create non-invasive ventilator masks that will help save lives.
The company is also urgently working with a highly multiplexed molecular diagnostics specialist to produce a series of plastic cas- settes that will help house a critical medical solution used in testing for COVID-19.
AusDiagnostics approached Protolabs to see if it could injection mould 500 sample parts, a challenge that was immediately picked up by the Shropshire-based on- demand manufacturer.
The first CAD drawings were not fit for man- ufacture so were quickly updated and the right material specified, and production was set to be shipped by early April.
“We’re currently working on a number of customer projects that are critical to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bjoern Klaas, Vice President and Managing Director of Protolabs Europe.
“With the ‘Charlotte valve’ in Italy it is already having a really positive impact on the chal- lenge faced by medical staff and the wider society, whilst our latest involvement with
AusDiagnostics is crucial in the UK’s ramp up of testing for the virus.
“The tests will be used by over 20 large NHS trust hospitals in the UK, as well as medical diagnostics centres across Europe. The cus- tomer makes almost 200 kits a day, but this figure will increase rapidly to meet the demand for more testing, with our injection moulding line ready to manufacture 20,000 cassettes every quarter.
“Digital manufacturing can provide incredible speed of development and continues to be essential in equipping our front line staff with the solutions they need.”
Protolabs provides critical prototyping and manufacturing services to medical supply chains, telecommunications providers, ener- gy companies, water treatment services and other sectors vital to keep society moving.
The company will continue to remain opera- tional across its UK and German manufac- turing facilities, ensuring that staff adhere to work from home policies where possible, and hygiene and social distancing measures.
Bjoern concluded: “Protolabs employees play a vital role in helping us support the needs of our customers in what is a genera- tion-defining moment. I am extremely proud of the commitment and expertise everyone is showing and I am humbled that, in our own way, we can contribute to saving lives across the world.”
For further information, please visit the website:
How GTMA suppliers answered the Covid-19 appeal....
GTMA suppliers have been coming together to support the NHS and other sector workers as they fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Across the country both companies with a track record in medical and others with no previous sector experience have offered their technology and expertise.
On these pages are just a few of the case studies of those who stepped forward.
Below we also include others who have come to our notice and deserve recogni- tion and thanks.
There may well be others who are involved who we are not aware of but if they contact us we will highlight them in our next issue (email the Editor, John Sparey, please at
ADM Precision Tools Ad-vance Engineering Agentdraw
AMS Technical Plastics Boneham & Turner Broomfield Carbide
Central Scanning
Crossen Engineering
Denroy Plastics
Faulkner Moulds
Fenton Precision Engineering K A Tooling
Midas Pattern Company Mouldtech Solutions
Omega Plastics
Paragon Rapid Technologies Patterson & Rothwell Pentagon Plastics
SPE Swiftool Precision Engineering Sprint Tool and Die
Toolrite Tri-tech 3D

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