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PET PLA.NET: Coronavirus – Daily Industry Updates

Plastic face shield image


PTI, a leader in plastic package design and development, has manufactured and donated 5,000 face shields to 15 healthcare facilities in Northeast Ohio. “When the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic wore off, many of us in the plastics industry began thinking of ways to help the frontline doctors, nurses, caregivers and even the grocery store clerks. As that was happening, we were approached by the University of Toledo, with whom we are a corporate partner, to 3D print face shields for its affiliated medical facilities. Because the university was aware that we design, manufacture, mould and test plastic containers for brand owners for more than 30 years, it also knew that our core competency is all about finding answers to problems, explains Sumit Mukherjee, chief technology officer, PTI. “We quickly identified that we could go beyond just 3D printing a face shield to designing, building a mould in order to produce a higher volume of parts to help fill a critical need.” PTI knew that in order to be most relevant, speed was critical. To avoid starting from scratch and going through multiple iterations, the company reached out to healthcare industry professionals who pointed them to readily available editable CAD files for face shields. The next step was to select a design, 3D print it, and then tweak it to produce a viable part.

“We also relied on our partners who jumped in with support. Tekni-Plex donated 10,000 feet of extruded PET sheet in various thicknesses so that we could validate what worked best. Braskem donated their PP resin which we used to produce headband fixtures. Dana Corporation helped us modify and simplify the shield design so that we could puncture the PET sheet to accept the headband with a commonly available three-hole file puncher. We went through a couple of iterations to make sure the headband was the right fit around the forehead and nose, and even comfortable for someone wearing glasses,” Mukherjee said.

The company was also challenged with building the mould. However, six days after receipt of the mould material, the mould was finally installed into the machine. After the shield was produced, the PTI team worked to trim the gate, cut the shields to size and punch the holes. The end result was more than 5,000 completed shields delivered to healthcare facilities in Northwest Ohio. This included ProMedica, UT Medical College of Ohio, The Toledo Clinic, St. Luke’s and St. Vincent. “We encourage other companies to look at how they can harness their own capabilities to help our healthcare providers during this challenging time,” Mukherjee concludes. “We plan on continuing our efforts so that we help even more healthcare facilities.” (May 07, 2020)

Wittmann Battenfeld Valves for respiratory masks from Oldrati Guarnizioni Industriali S.p.a., Villongo, Italy, produced on an injection moulding machine from Wittmann Battenfeld. Oldrati, based in Villongo, Italy, uses its expertise in manufacturing full-face snorkeling masks for the fight against Covid-19. For several weeks now, this company has been producing high-quality respiratory masks for use in hospitals. The valves for these masks are manufactured on an EcoPower 180 Combimould injection moulding machine from Wittmann Battenfeld. The Oldrati associates are proud of being able to make a very substantial contribution to the fight against the Covid 19 virus with this mask. And Wittmann Battenfeld is glad to support Oldrati with its innovative injection molding technology in making the valve for this life-saving product. (May 4, 2020)