Lisarow-based company, Guru Labels, has partnered with the University of Newcastle in a major operation to supply hundreds of critically needed face shields to medical workers on the front line as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Professor Liz Sullivan, said teams had been mobilised to develop and deliver the shields, with 300 already in use in the field and orders for hundreds more.
Unlike other 3D models still in development, the chosen design is made from standard PET plastic laser-cut in bulk, strips of foam and pieces of elastic and is easy and quick to assemble, with Guru Labels assisting with the mass laser cutting of the PET for the shield.
University physicists, engineers and designers worked in conjunction with health professionals to ensure the design addressed their needs, with the Centre for Organic Electronics team leading the project.
“Providing our medical and health workers with the resources they need to do their jobs safely is of paramount importance,” Sullivan said.
“This is a truly collaborative effort.
Guru Labels Director, Nick Lowe, said the company had been collaborating with the university on a wide range of innovative products.
“Most recently we were contacted by (the university) requesting urgent assistance to utilise our laser cutting equipment to help cut components for medical mask shields,” Lowe said.
“The cutting process was very different to our usual work and (we delivered) mask components to spec and in a timeframe that the university required.
Professor Paul Dastoor, Director of the Centre for Organic Electronics (COE) within the Faculty of Science, said researchers had arrived quickly at a face shield prototype which could be manufactured quickly.
“Industry partners were also quick to support the cause, with Guru Labels laser cutting the PET in bulk and the Australian National Fabrication Facility team based at the University contributing to the build of the shield assembly line,” he said.
“There’s truly a community rallying together to contribute what they can in this crisis.”
University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering, Professor Brett Ninness, said the university was developing a range of projects.
“As scientists and engineers, our responsibility is to try and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges, and right now, COVID-19 is it,” he said.
Media releases, Apr 9
University of Newcastle; Guru Labels