Nissan and Ferrari add to global automotive efforts with logistics and 3D printing support for medical device manufacturing.
Global automotive manufacturers are continuing to deploy their considerable development, manufacturing and logistics expertise to overcome the acute shortages of medical devices and consumables throughout the world.
Now, Nissan and Ferrari have added their resources to the pool with the provision respectively of protective visors and ventilator masks to the healthcare industry to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nissan is using its advanced supply chain to help get hundreds of thousands of protective face visors to frontline workers. A team of volunteers have created a parts processing line in the final assembly area at the company’s Sunderland Plant to sort thousands of individual visor parts and pack them in sets of 125 for shipping direct to the UK’s National Health Service.
Initially, the team took delivery of hundreds of boxes of visor parts from volunteers across the country who had been using their 3D printers to make the personal protective equipment (PPE). The success has led to Nissan setting up injection moulding facilities in Lancashire, Coventry and Gateshead to ramp up volumes and is now forecasting deliveries of 100,000 sets per week throughout the current crisis.
Adam Pennick, Nissan’s Production Director said: “It’s great to be able to play our part in helping to provide the NHS with these visors. Our people are experts in the logistics behind an effective supply chain.”
3D printing is also the technology being used by Ferrari at its Maranello plant in Italy to produce Respirator valves and fittings for protective masks. Made from thermoplastics, these components are being produced using the additive manufacturing facilities in the department that usually focuses on building parts for prototype Ferrari cars.
Some of the valves have been developed by Mares, a diving equipment manufacturer, tailor-made to fit their masks so as to create emergency masks to assist patients suffering from respiratory failure.
Ferrari is currently planning to manufacture several hundred items of equipment that are already being distributed by some of the companies involved to various Italian hospitals including those in Bergamo, Genoa, Modena and Sassuolo.