Over the last month or so, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic has captured our collective consciousness across the globe and forced us to rethink every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Hexagon too has taken some concrete steps to protect our workforce and to minimize risk to the supply of our products and our services to our customers. For instance, we put in place a work from home program to use our smart manufacturing software packages and put together additional online learning options for manufacturing professionals.
One interesting project undertaken by our team in Belgium was about using in-house knowledge and available material and tools to solve a specific issue posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. Across the globe, there have been several reports of hospital workers suffering from shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), due to the unprecedented demand across the world.
The Hexagon | e-Xstream team at Belgium heard about a requirement for PPE, specifically face shield holders, in a nearby hospital. The team decided to chip in and do its bit by conceptualizing an additive manufacturing solution to the problem. The team had access to a 3D printer and suitable material within the office. The team first found an open CAD model that was available online and plugged it into the 3D printer and used the design to 3D print some face shield holders right at the Hexagon office.
Backed by a thorough understanding of Additive manufacturing techniques and knowledge about the use of Digimat and e-Xstream in plastic printing, the team was able to think smart and deliver on what the doctors required. In the coming weeks we will also be increasing the production count. The finished product met the need for equipment that could protect hospital staff. The key thing is these plastic PPE liners can be disinfected easily and reused by the hospital. Depending on material available you can print in various colors for easy identification.
This gesture by our Belgium team stands out as a great example of how the right hardware and software tools combined with the proper knowledge can bring in quick, practical solutions to solve real-life issues quickly and effectively.