Brittanie Begeman and Sophia Dilberakis
Holland, Ohio (May 6, 2020) — 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, mold 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 mold 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 mold. However, six days after receipt of the mold material, the mold 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.”
PTI is recognized worldwide as a leading source for preform and package design, package development, rapid prototyping, pre-production prototyping, and material evaluation engineering for the plastic packaging industry. For more information: www.pti-usa.com.