On 10 April Boeing delivered the first set of reusable 3D-printed face shields to support healthcare professionals working to stop the spread of Covid-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the USA accepted the initial shipment of 2,300 face shields. In turn, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is delivering the shields to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, which has been established as an alternate care site to treat patients with Covid-19.
Boeing says it is set to produce thousands more face shields per week, gradually increasing production output to meet the growing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in the USA, with distribution of additional face shields to be coordinated with HHS and FEMA, based on immediate needs.
Boeing is producing face shields with additive manufacturing (3D printing) machines at its sites across the USA, namely: St. Louis, Missouri; China Lake, El Segundo and Huntington Beach, California; the Puget Sound region of Washington state; Mesa, Arizona; Huntsville, Alabama; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Portland, Oregon.
Boeing subsidiary Argon ST in Smithfield, Pennsylvania, is also participating in this project.
Solvay, a long-time Boeing supplier, provided the clear film for the face shields. Another supplier, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, donated the elastic used for the adjustable headband.
Face shield production and donations are part of a larger effort by Boeing to leverage company and employee resources to aid with Covid-19 recovery and relief efforts. To date, the company has donated tens of thousands of units of PPE – including face masks, goggles, gloves, safety glasses and protective bodysuits – to support healthcare professionals battling Covid-19 in some of the hardest-hit locations in the USA.
Boeing has also offered use of its unique airlift capabilities, including the Boeing Dreamlifter, to help transport supplies to healthcare professionals. The company is coordinating closely with government officials on how best to provide airlift support.