Face shields for personal protection

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By Brad Root | Apr 09, 2020
Man wearing a protective face shield

Throughout March of 2020, more and more cases of COVID-19 were tested and confirmed in the United States. As more patients were stricken, doctors, nurses, and other front-line responders struggled to find adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). Many responders were beginning to create their own makeshift masks, face shields, visors, and more. Knowing that GMN could pivot some resources and equipment to help produce PPE and alleviate the shortage, we began working on the new challenge.

Thinking about how we could best leverage our production capabilities to provide the most aid, we began to focus on creating high-quality, protective face shields. Having access to face shields would not only provide health care workers with an extra layer of protection, but also allow them to reuse their face masks, which were already in short supply.

On March 18th, 2020, GMN’s team created a rough drawing of a face shield design. A mere two days later, the design had gone from a rough sketch to a ready-to-use face shield prototype. Knowing that time was of the essence, the prototype was hand delivered that morning to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA for feedback. Later that same day, GMN’s team returned to Swedish with multiple new designs based on the feedback they had received.

The most important attribute to get right was the form factor, making sure they were comfortable to wear over the course of the front-line responder’s grueling shifts. Various prototypes featuring different lengths of elastic, foam, and polyester were provided to nurses at the Swedish Medical Center to wear and test over that same weekend. After they had been extensively tested, a final design was decided on that immediately went into production.

As of today, tens of thousands of additional face shields are being manufactured throughout the Seattle, WA division, the Monroe, NC division, and at the China division for use by countless front-line responders.

As a custom manufacturer, GMN prides itself on being able to pivot to new projects and engineer new solutions. GMN is honored to be able to help support our community and help alleviate the current shortages of protective equipment.