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COVID-19 Manufacturing News Digest: May 13, 2020

Alan Rooks
By Alan Rooks Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturers across the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in many different ways. These are some of their stories.

Cyber Tech Firm To Supply 50 Million Covi-Pass Digital Health Passports

International Digital Health Technology firm Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE) has signed a deal with VST Enterprises Ltd (VSTE), the British cyber security company founded by tech entrepreneur Louis-James Davis (31) to integrate its state-of-the-art VCode & VPlatform technologies into the COVI-PASS Digital Health Passport. Powered by VST Enterprises’ cyber security technology VCode & VPlatform, Circle Pass Enterprises has contracted with VST Enterprises for a secure Digital Health Passport - COVI-PASS, to be paired with approved testing kits. CPE plans to release 50 million COVI-PASS Digital Health Passports to both the private sector and governments in over 15 countries, including Italy, Portugal, France, Panama, India, the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands. The COVI-PASS Digital Health Passport works on an intelligent color mapping system (green, amber, red) to authenticate and validate a COVID-19 test providing test history and relevant health information. This allows for accurate data metrics to assess those who have tested positive and negative and the location only of their testing. The COVI-PASS Digital Health Passport can be used as an authenticated gateway for Public Services, Businesses and Employees to manage a safe return to work, life, and safe travel.

BYD Motors to Donate $1 million in Medical Supplies

BYD Motors LLC., Los Angeles, will donate $1 million in medical supplies, including PPEs and hand sanitizer to transit agencies and first responders in the United States and Canada. The supplies arrived at various U.S. distributions centers to be closer to those locations where they are needed most. The supplies include FDA-approved Adult Surgical Masks and KN-95 respiratory protective devices as well as hand sanitizer that is 99.999 percent effective. Several thousand PPEs have already been delivered to agencies that include the City of Los Angeles, the Valley Medical Center in San Jose California, the Toronto Transit Commission and the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

EnvisionTEC to 3D Print Mass Quantities of Swabs

EnvisionTEC, Dearborn, Mich., a manufacturer of desktop and production 3D printers and materials, has completed a clinical trial to use the EnvisionTEC 3D printed Nasopharyngeal (NP) Swabs for COVID-19 testing. EnvisionTEC, as well as a growing number of their Envision One cDLM customers who have also registered with the FDA to take part in this endeavor, have the mass production capabilities to produce up to a million of the swabs per day. The traditional manufacturing method for the swabs is tedious and limited, with the final testing swab needing to exhibit unique properties of softness and flexibility that are difficult to produce. EnvisionTEC worked with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to develop a swab design and material to be printed on their best-selling Envision One cDLM 3D printer.

DetectaChem Launches Hand Sanitizer

DetectaChem, Sugar Land, Texas, a producer of portable detection technologies, announced the launch of its own low-cost hand sanitizer product, now available to purchase on the DetectaChem website.  The company made this move in response to product shortages that have made it difficult for many first responders and members of the law enforcement community to secure this safety product during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 4 ounce pump bottle of hand sanitizer gel, manufactured at the company’s Stafford, Texas facility, is available for $4.99. As part of the launch, customers who place MobileDetect drug field test pouch orders of $250 or more online receive free ground shipping and a free bottle of sanitizer.

Poarch Creek Indians Produce Lifesaving COVID-19 Supplies

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Atmore, Ala., announced that a company the Tribe owns, Muskogee Technology, started producing PPE to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The equipment will be provided to Baptist Health Care. Muskogee Technology delivered their first batch of gowns in mid-March. Woodruff began working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) upon learning of the shortage of PPE necessary to combat COVID-19. Muskogee Technology has been able to retain their 77 employees. Muskogee Technology (MT) is owned by the Creek Indian Economic Development Authority (CIEDA), the economic development arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI.) MT provides a variety of services to meet the needs of the aerospace, defense, heavy machinery, wind energy, and oil and gas industries. For more information about the tribe, click here and for more about Muskogee Technology, click here.

OnScale Launches Project BreathEasy to Develop Digital Twins of Lungs

OnScale, Silicon Valley, Calif., a developer of Cloud Engineering Simulation, has announced Project BreathEasy, a consortium of multiphysics FEA/CFD vendors, medical device manufacturers, engineers, and doctors from around the world who are developing digital twins of the lungs of COVID-19 patients to help doctors improve patient outcomes and optimize use of limited ventilator resources in major outbreak areas. OnScale and LEXMA, a provider of advanced fluid flow and biomechanical simulation technology, have partnered to create patient-specific digital twins that may accurately predict oxygen and blood flow in a patient’s lungs, helping doctors make critical decisions about ventilator and intubation requirements for COVID-19 patients.

Lakeview Industries Mass Produces Face Masks

For the past 40 years, Lakeview Industries has been making custom foam, plastic and rubber parts for many industries. Its medical products range from die cut cushions and molded silicone bumpers to conductive gaskets that provide an electromagnetic interface (EMI) shield to protect sensitive electronic devices. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lakeview Industries produced and donated 40,000 single-use face masks to the state of Minnesota. Shortly thereafter. With more orders coming in, the company began to produce 100,000 of the masks. Now, the firm expects to ship more than 250,000 a day by July.

From Drones to 3D Masks

Fortem Technologies makes autonomous drones and AI-driven software to protect against malicious drones – products not even remotely related to the medical industry. But when the Provo, Utah police put out an urgent plea for protective masks, Fortem Technologies engineers set to work producing protective masks using the company’s 3D printers. Within the first day, they had produced and donated 100 masks to the police department. After adding more 3D printers into the mix, Fortem Technologies is now turning out 200+ masks per day, which are being shipped to other police departments and hospitals from Los Angeles to Texas.

Trelleborg Supplies Boeing with Component for 3D-Printed Face Shields

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, Northborough, Mass., a provider of solutions to Boeing’s aircraft, is supplying a face shield component to the aerospace manufacturer. Boeing approached Trelleborg at the end of March 2020, to manufacture and supply an elastomer strap needed for the adjustable headband of 3D printed face shields. The Trelleborg Sealing Solutions dedicated aerospace facility in Northborough supported a 48-hour turnaround of prototypes using methodologies including 3D printing. The following week, the site was able to ramp up production to 5,000 straps per week. Boeing plans to produce face shields using its additive manufacturing machines at various sites across the US. Boeing is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on this effort.

New Low-Cost Ventilator

VentLife, a non-profit under the umbrella group the Giving Back Fund, has developed a novel mechanical ventilator to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients. Based on first principles, with input from over a dozen medical doctors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, the device has been designed to work effectively at a low cost. The VentLife team is located all over the U.S. and is led by Glen Meyerowitz – a former Space X engineer, now graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. VentLife is seeking funding and partnerships to bring this device to market as quickly as possible. For more information about the project, team, visit https://www.ventlife.org

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