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Innovation centre passes 10,000 Covid visor milestone



The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has passed the milestone of making 10,000 certified face visors for charities and companies.

In May, NMIS imported material from Sweden to producing prototype visors with the help of Ayrshire social enterprise Tsukure Hub. The prototypes underwent rigorous testing to achieve CE marking.

Tsukure laser cut a 2000m roll of A-PET plastic material and engineering technicians at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, part of NMIS, used it to assemble and securely package the visors.

Crawford Cullen, senior manufacturing engineer at NMIS, said: “Throughout lockdown the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, in collaboration with colleagues across the University of Strathclyde, has worked tirelessly to use the team’s expertise and capabilities to help society deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The manufacture of face visors is only one element of this work.

“For us, it was crucially important that anything we made had to be done to the highest standard to ensure the safety of all end-users. This is why we went through the certification process and we are delighted now to be able to play a part in helping organisations of all sizes, from across the country operate safely in the weeks and months ahead.“

So far, almost 9,500 of the visors have been donated to charities, organisations and companies including care homes, hospices, counselling centres, youth groups, social enterprises and the Scottish SPCA.

Adam Short from Tsukure Hub said: “It was a privilege to have been able to provide support and help realise the vision of those involved at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

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“It is an exemplary example of individuals and organisations combining their knowledge and resources to tackle an issue head-on. We look forward to working with the team again in the future, on other projects.”

NMIS donated 2,000 visors to nearby Erskine Care Homes, where head of facilities and support services Dougie Beattie said: “We are immensely grateful for this donation of visors from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

“As a charity we are reliant on donations of this type to help keep our residents and staff safe and provide the exceptional level of care our Veterans deserve.”

After receiving 1,000 visors, Scottish SPCA deputy head of field operations Graeme Innes said: “We have continued to deliver our vital services over the pandemic and these essential items have kept our teams safe when providing animals with the best possible care.

“They have been used by the staff in our animal rescue and rehoming centres and dedicated national wildlife centre and our vets have found them invaluable to carry out routine checks and emergency operations. Our frontline has worn the face visors when attending incidents and rescuing animals in need .”

Third Sector Interfaces, including Engage Renfrewshire, helped to distribute a further 1,800 visors, which were packed in boxes donated by Smurfit Kappa Corrugated.

Iain Cunningham, Third Sector Development Officer at Engage Renfrewshire, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the University of Strathclyde. This is a perfect example of how collaboration between academia, public sector and the Third Sector can bring about change and respond to local needs.”

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