A new visor aimed at protecting frontline workers against the threat of Covid-19 has been developed by nine manufacturers and an engineering design agency.
The Manufacturing Assembly Network has invested over £30,000 into the design and manufacture of the manKIND Visor, which they said is easy to assemble, reusable and more comfortable than the current options.
Backed the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the collective took six weeks from initial concept and prototyping to create a bespoke tool at Barkley Plastics able to produce 500,000 units per year.
The first 20,000 are being donated to charitable causes, with South Warwickshire NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, Support Staffordshire and the Pen Museum in Birmingham some of the first recipients.
Once this allocation has been finalised, the manKIND visor will then be sold directly to healthcare organisations, schools, retailers and businesses.
In a statement, Austin Owens, Founder of Grove Design and the driving force behind the project said: “We initially started 3D printing and distributing a few visors to help the NHS, but quickly realised we needed a more robust poduction method to keep up with demand.
“This is when we approached other members in the MAN Group to look at options and came up with the plan to design and develop our own version, tapping into Barkley Plastics’ toolmaking and moulding expertise and the collective’s supply chain capability for sourcing the right materials and distribution.”
He continued: “Our visor is lightweight, easy to assemble with a push clip feature, suitable for repeated use, can be easily cleaned, and includes a full peak for better protection.
“Comfort was also a priority and this is reflected in the inclusion of a ‘stretch’ headband that removes the need for a foam band and elasticated straps. Importantly, the user also has space to wear a face mask underneath it and the visor fits a variety of head sizes, making it suitable for many children.”
Central to the success of the manKIND visor was the development of the mould too, which was developed by Barkley Plastics in three weeks. According to MAN, the final tool can produce between 8,000 and 12,000 units per week.
Matt Harwood, Business Development Manager at Barkley Plastics, said: “This is a fantastic effort from the MAN Group and shows what can be achieved in a short timeframe when manufacturers pool resources and expertise. The first 20,000 are being delivered now to frontline workers and this will hopefully go a long way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect lives.”
With nearly all 20,000 donated items ready for dispatch, Grove Design and pressings specialist Brandauer are now commercialising the manKIND visor.