Pella Makes Face Shields for Health Care Professionals
April 13, 2020
Pella Corp. is making facial shields in its 3D printing facilities in Pella, Shenandoah and Sioux Center, Iowa. By dedicating four full-time team members to this effort, Pella can produce over 600 clear protective face shields per day, according to a news release.
“We have a real drive to want to help out,” says Aaron Ryan, senior engineer team leader of the Design Assurance Lab at Pella. “Our 3D printing is a stop-gap until the usual injection-molded parts get back on the market and can meet the increasing demand. We are planning to help in this capacity as long as our community needs it.”
By coordinating with the Marion County Health Department, representatives from Pella identified one face shield design that could be used by many different front-line workers across the county, such as first responders and hospital professionals.
The 3D printers used by Pella to manufacture the shields normally provide tailor-made hardware to Pella’s manufacturing plants across the country. By following the design of a Swedish manufacturer, Pella is using 3D printers to produce one face shield every 20 minutes. The laminate used for the shields has been donated by Ricoh, one of the company’s supply partners.
“3D printing is faster than traditional production line manufacturing so we’re able to quickly create protective facial shields and get them delivered to workers who need them,” says Ryan.
Pella Corp. delivered over 400 face shields to Marion County health officials in the past few days. The company is planning continual, daily donations of 300-plus face shields to Marion County and the Shenandoah and Sioux Center-area hospitals moving forward.