Dimatix Face Shields for COVID-19 Response
"Never Stop" Philosophy Guides FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc. in Helping Produce Face Shields for COVID-19 Response
Employees at the FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc. (FDMX) Lebanon, New Hampshire facility are assembling and shipping protective face shields for their local health system and other hospitals in the region during the pandemic.
The effort launched immediately as the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was noted in local and national media. A core team at FDMX met to discuss how they could help, and they quickly realized that their production expertise was perfectly suited to manufacturing and distributing face shields needed by frontline healthcare workers and first responders.
"It was definitely 'Never Stop' for us, and an incredible team effort" says FDMX Director of Supply Chain, Richard Correia. “In a little over a week, we went from an idea to design, production, review, and our first shipment to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, our local hospital system.” With a team of eight employees working in two 4-person shifts, they’re able to produce between 800 - 1,200 shields per day, meeting an immediate need for 20,000 masks and ready to produce more.
The production process wasn't always smooth. Elastic straps, originally specified in the headband design, couldn’t be found anywhere. To overcome the challenge, project coordinator Jay Landry and lead design engineer Robert Wells reached-out to longtime supplier New England Die Cutting, which was able to source an industrial “hook and loop” fastener strap that worked perfectly with a redesign of the original shield.
Correia realizes that the effort would not be possible without the essential employees that are keeping the company running during New Hampshire's workplace social distancing measures.
"It’s important that we send our thanks to all of the employees dedicated every day to our core business and producing our printheads," he notes, “because without them we wouldn't be able to be here or carry on this extra effort."
As the need for PPEs continues worldwide, the production of the masks is designed for scaling-up. Other Fujifilm businesses, like Bedford, Massachusetts-based FUJIFILM Recording Media, U.S.A., Inc. have taken an interest in leveraging their manufacturing strength and workforce to meet the growing need.
"We welcome the support of any other Fujifilm companies that want to get involved," says Correia.