QinetiQ has been redeploying its defence-ready expertise and equipment to support the COVID-19 response and PPE requirements near its Farnborough base.

The company has been producing and supplying face shields to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, nursing and care homes and ambulance services including its local Frimley Park Hospital and healthcare settings in the Fleet and Farnborough areas and beyond.

QinetiQ has donated around 1,500 units so far and aims to reach 2,000 units sent out to healthcare settings over the coming weeks. The company will be making another delivery of 200 face shields to Frimley Park Hospital and local doctor’s surgeries this week.

Investment into 3D printing allowed QinetiQ team to create suitable design

Investment and expansion of QinetiQ’s 3D printing capability across its UK sites enabled a suitable design to be created, which is in-line with the requirements of standard-issue face shields

The design includes the frame 3D printed in a stack, made of PLA (a biodegradable material), an A4 PVC binder folder cover as the visor; an elastic strap for adjustability around the head and a 10mm strip of neoprene where it sits on the user’s forehead to allow for greater comfort with extended use.

A team of QinetiQ employees completed the process from start to finish; designing, producing, assembling and distributing face shields themselves, whilst adhering to social distancing and safe working practices. By the end of the first week of production the team had already produced 426 fully assembled face shields, individually bagged and boxed and delivered. The team aims to continue to work on producing face shields for as long as possible.

Ability to “pivot our people and equipment to the challenge at hand”

Cathy Kane, Engineering Director at QinetiQ, said: “We are really proud of the hard work and endeavour of our employees to respond to this national challenge and delighted to be able to do our part locally to help our fantastic health workers. At the very heart of our business is problem solving, with the ability to quickly pivot our people and equipment to the challenge at hand – we were delighted to be able to put this capability into action for such an important purpose.”

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