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BAE Systems is manufacturing face shields to help the NHS workers on the front line

Posted on - 9th April, 2020 - 1:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Health, Preston News
BAE Systems is manufacturing visors to protect frontline NHS workers

BAE Systems has rallied to support the work of the NHS by supplying vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect medical staff in Preston and around the UK.

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Employees in the Air sector, who normally produce parts for combat aircraft including Eurofighter Typhoon, and our Submarines business are 3D printing parts for newly designed face shields.

The manufacturer, which has bases at Warton and Samlesbury, is sourcing tens of thousands of additional face shields through its supply chain to distribute to the NHS to deliver more than 120,000 face shields to the NHS this month.

1,000 face shields have already been delivered to Royal Preston Hospital with a further 1,000 delivered to Worden Medical Centre in Leyland and 5,000 to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Read more: Nurses at Royal Preston Hospital claim they were given ‘just flimsy masks and gloves’ to treat Coronavirus patients

Dave Short, Technology Director, explains: “We’ve all been moved by the personal bravery of those working in the NHS who face the virus close up every day, so we wanted to help in any way we could.

“Our employees heard about the need for face shields, so we looked for the quickest way to get effective products to users.

“At the same time as talking to suppliers, colleagues from our Technology team and our Air sector joined forces to design and manufacture our first 3D printed face shield in less than 24 hours.

“We kept in constant dialogue with our NHS contacts to ensure this met their requirements and had the first shields with them in less than two days.  

“We’ve already delivered the first batch of 3D printed face shields, but to really make a difference, our supply chain is manufacturing a further 120,000 face shields to their own designs.

“More than 20,000 face shields are already on their way to locations around the country, with the remaining face shields set to be delivered to the NHS this month.”

Read more: Temporary morgue under construction at BAE site in Warton

Subject to Government approval, in line with industry regulations issued on 4 April, BAE Systems plans to scale up production of the 3D printed face shield to deliver around 10,000 single-use visors with a smaller number of re-usable head straps over the coming weeks.

They are also continuing to work with our supply chain to source further face shields, which will be donated to the NHS.

Andy Schofield, Director of Manufacturing Technology, BAE Systems – Air said: “We have already delivered more than 700 to the GP near Barrow and we are now delivering them to NHS Trusts in Lancashire.

“We are producing them at a rate of up to 180 per day, in total we aim to send out 10,000 single-use clear plastic visors with smaller number of head straps.

“Using additive manufacturing technology means we can repeat the exact same build standard on thousands of parts, guaranteeing the right level of quality.

“Everyone has been hugely touched by the work of NHS workers up and down the country and we are pleased we are able to make even a small contribution to help keep them safe.”

Read more: Latest news from Blog Preston

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