Companies and Universities Band Together in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
What have companies and universities around the world been doing to provide assistance during the pandemic?
Calumet Electronics, 3M, and Georgia Tech use their expertise in science and technology to rally against COVID-19.
In a recent article, we learned how companies like Honeywell were doing their bit to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the production of N95 face-masks. As the virus spreads globally, more and more resources are needed.
Calumet Electronics Helping Out
High-volume manufacturer of PCBs, Calumet Electronics, is working with their team to manufacture and distribute components used in ventilators for the healthcare community.
VP and COO, Todd Brassard, mentioned that a company who produces equipment for breathing machines reached out to place a large order with them for ventilators that were needed to help aid COVID-19 patients being treated.
Brassard added that Calumet staff has prioritized these orders and is working to get them out ASAP. The company prides itself on 50 years of experience that has prepared them to deliver this product with consistency and efficiency.
Calumet filling rush orders to help fight COVID-19. Image used courtesy of Calumet Electronics.
The Calumet community is banding together to meet the demand for healthcare supplies and is unnerved by the challenge. To ensure the safety of their gallant task force, Calumet continues to follow the recommendations of state and federal officials, restricting travel, restricting access, monitoring health, encouraging social-distancing, and incorporating aggressive clean and disinfect regimens.
3M Ramps up Production of N95 Face-Masks
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, also known as 3M, has recently committed to ramping up the production of N95 face-masks to nearly 100 million per month globally, including over 35 million per month in the United States.
The company is working with governments, medical officials, customers and distributors around the world to help get respiratory munitions to individuals at the epicenter of the disease; healthcare professionals, nurses, and infected patients.
N95 Face-Masks in hospital. Image used courtesy of 3M.
"We are mobilizing all available resources and rapidly increasing the output of critical supplies healthcare workers in the United States and around the world need to help protect their lives as they treat others," says Mike Roman, 3M chairman, and chief executive officer.
During this crisis, 3M has been working in continuity with its global community, partnering with agencies such as Direct Relief, the Red Cross in Wuhan, MAP International, and Global Giving.
Georgia Tech Respond to the Supply Chain Challenge
In addition to the shortage in the availability of ventilators and face-masks, other personal protective equipment (PPE) is critically low across the global healthcare community. The challenge to overcome is the heavy depletion of materials and resources in international supply chains from countries who dealt with the first waves of the virus outbreak.
In a joint effort, Georgia Tech faculty members, students and the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) have designed two types of face shields to suit specific healthcare needs.
The designs were made to be easily shared and adopted by engineers in the maker space, major manufacturers with injection molding capabilities, and anyone with laser cutting or 3D printing capabilities.
This open-source designs will be critical in allowing rapid manufacture and deployment of PPE within the rapid response environment induced by COVID-19.
Georgia Tech helps meet the need for face shields for healthcare workers. Image used courtesy of Georgia Tech.
The Georgia Tech team has created a site that aims to solicit non-conventional PPE materials and to provide updates on any of their latest developments. Both GCMI and Georgia Tech are working together to help source materials and components.
They are also working with regulators at the FDA to help speed up production and maintain control and risk mitigation strategies.
Other needs from the medical community that Georgia Tech is aiming to address are disinfectant wipes, respirators, and ventilators. The institute is working with several other universities and is actively testing researched non-conventional materials to help reinvent PPE provision for alleviating an already stressed supply chain.
This international effort to support healthcare communities and protect the public acts as sober encouragement for moral in these uncertain times. No effort is being spared and no stone left unturned.
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