Applied Polymer Technologies (APT), an Enterprise Ireland-funded Technology Gateway hosted by the Materials Research Institute at Athlone Institute of Technology, has teamed up with industry to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers.
APT, which was set-up to support Ireland’s €2 billion polymer industry, has donated a state-of-the-art injection moulding machine to Total Plastic Solutions, a Limerick-based company, who is using it to mass produce face visors for HSE staff.
The Total Plastic Solutions team is using the Zhafir Zeres Haitian injection moulding machine, which was originally supplied to APT by DG Systems, to “fast-track” the development of these visors. The visors will help protect wearers from COVID-19.
Sam Foley, who owns Total Plastic Solutions, explains: “The initial prototypes were 3D printed items, but as expediency was key to the struggle, we (Abbey Moulding Contractors Ltd and Total Plastic Solution Ltd) dedicated our team to design and build an injection moulding tool to enable production volumes of the visors to be produced at our site in Dromcollogher, Co Limerick.
“The process, from concept through tool design and build to producing high volumes, took 10 days. I would like to thank Danny Gleeson and the staff of DG Systems and APT for providing the moulding machine and associated equipment on short notice. I would also like to thank Liam Quaid of Weener Plastics Limited who assisted to fast track a visor solution for our front-line heroes.”
“Engineering is a key component in the design and manufacture of many of the critical devices needed in the fight against Covid-19,” said Dr Noel Gately, who manages the APT Technology Gateway. “AIT and APT continues to support the industry during this period with the supply of services and manufacturing equipment as requested.”
Danny Gleeson, who is the managing director at DG Systems, added: “DG Systems is delighted to support this vital initiative by providing the necessary moulding and ancillary equipment to progress this project to fruition. Protecting frontline workers in these extraordinary times is paramount and we are more than happy to play our part.”
Notes to the Editor:
The APT Gateway is a dedicated resource for the Irish polymer manufacturing industry and regularly provides training and information dissemination, as well as production demonstration days for companies. Using its suite of characterisation equipment and pilot polymer processing facilities, APT covers all areas of the production lifecycle from concept design and prototype development towards commercial launch of a development product, production optimisation and troubleshooting for existing processes and end of life recycling.
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DG Systems supply a large range of plastics processing and ancillary equipment including, Injection Moulding Machines, Loading, Drying, Granulation, Blending & Dosing, Bulk Storage Systems, Temperature Control, Cooling, Plant Supervision, Process & Production Monitoring
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