Volvo CE produces and donates personal protective equipment to local healthcare workers
Through internal crowdsourcing of designs, materials and assembly techniques, employees are producing PPE for healthcare workers on the front lines
Through internal crowdsourcing of designs, materials and assembly techniques, Volvo Construction Equipment employees are producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for local front line healthcare workers.
In less than one month, a cross-functional task force led by the technology team has prototyped and delivered more than 1,600 face shields and ear guards for local healthcare providers and first responders in Shippensburg, Chambersburg, Carlisle and the surrounding region, with plans to double that amount in the coming weeks.
The Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, campus efforts feed into the broader Volvo Group North America pandemic outreach. The group is providing financial aid, medical supplies, purchasing expertise and other donations to nonprofits in multiple locations across the U.S. and Canada.
The face shield is now one of the most in-demand pieces of equipment. It is used as a second barrier to cover and protect the N95 respirator mask and extend the mask's life. The shield lenses are sourced from an internal supply of replacement lenses, normally stocked for fabrication grinding, and attached to 3D-printed visor brackets to make a functional equivalent to the medical-grade face shields used in hospitals. Foam rolls, sourced from the cab assembly line, are cut and used to pad the shield visors, as well as shipped to fellow Volvo Group sites to support their face shield production activities.
The ear guards help alleviate the discomfort of wearing N95 masks for long shifts. The 3D-printed expandable attachments hold the elastic straps of the masks around the head instead of looping over the ears and causing irritation.
Both the visors and ear guards are produced on fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3-D printers, owned by the technology department or employees, at a rate of about 40 per day. Several employees are also using a thermoforming process to heat strips of plastic to form into the visor design.
Pulling in the purchasing power of the Volvo Group, the Shippensburg task force has connected WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital with potential vendors to supply it with 100,000 surgical masks, another standard device now in short supply.
Tens of thousands of PPE units are being donated from Volvo Group North America sites in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, in the U.S., and Quebec, in Canada.