The north east Wales institution is using 3D printers to manufacture vital PPE (personal protective equipment) for NHS staff and frontline workers facing up to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nick Tyson, Assistant Principal and Director of Technology, Engineering and Construction, and Engineering Technology instructor Len Robinson have been hard at work creating more than 50 visors a day at the college’s University Centre in Deeside.
Using the equipment and materials they have at their disposal the pair hope to support the NHS with mass production of the visors over the coming weeks.
“It’s quite a balancing act keeping all eight printers in operation at the same time, but between the two of us but we’re managing to do so successfully,” said Nick.
“We can produce around 50 a day for the NHS if required, because this is vital equipment they are desperate for.”
He added: “In essence we have a bank of powerful 3D printers linked to software that is batch printing the safety visors out of various coloured polymers.
“Our unique capability and investment in this technology has been the enabler for this project; it’s a ‘special’ print run and a great example of how the right investment in skills linked to the advanced manufacturing technology sector can support our fantastic doctors, nurses and staff at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.”
Coleg Cambria is also using innovative laser cutting machinery to shape face masks for hospital staff.
Large supplies of goggles, gloves, aprons and face masks from the college’s science departments have been given to the NHS and local healthcare facilities.
And tables and chairs earmarked for exams have been donated to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at Broughton to ensure social distancing as Airbus steps up its ventilator challenge and 150 people prepare to begin training and testing on-site.
Chief Executive Yana Williams thanked staff for their contribution and ingenuity in going “over and above” to support essential workers and frontline staff in the region.
“We are at the heart of the community so it’s important we do all we can to help those who need it most during this extraordinary and challenging period in our lives,” said Ms Williams.
“I am overawed by the kindness, as always, of our amazing staff, but also their ability and inventiveness in finding ways to provide a solution to what is a national issue.
“We will continue to do all we can to support and inspire those who need it most and hope all of our students and staff at home self-isolating remain safe and well.
“Please keep an eye one our website and social media channels for the latest information – we hope to see you all soon.”
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for the latest from Coleg Cambria and how to apply online for courses and qualifications.