Advanced Manufacturing

Building PPE Visors for NHS, Using 3D Printing – JCB Coronavirus Response

JCB and a team of volunteer employees have set up mini production lines to come to the aid of the nation’s NHS heroes in need of personal protective equipment.

Principal Electronics Engineer and father-of-two James Morley – who is normally based at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester – has converted the garage at his Derbyshire home to produce vital supplies.

And inspired by his efforts, JCB has re-opened its Innovation Centre at the World HQ so colleagues and Tooling and Moulding Engineers Joe Mumby, 22, and Joe Bagley, 25, of Ashby de-la-Zouch can also volunteer and have free use of the company’s 3D rapid prototype machines to help produce medical grade visors for NHS staff. The World HQ and JCB’s other UK manufacturing plants fell silent last month as a result of the disruption caused by the Coronavirus and the vast majority of employees furloughed.

For Joe Mumby, of Hilton, Derbyshire, volunteering to produce the vital NHS kit has also taken on a poignant significance as he and his family come to terms with the death of his father’s cousin from Coronavirus in the past few days.

3D printers take Computer Aided Design data and build it into a 3D object using very fine layers of melted plastic. The plastic is heated up to around 210°C and then extruded on to a flat metal plate, that is also heated up to around 60°C. Over the next few hours, the printer will finish the object before it is simply peeled off the flat plate and used.

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