Facing COVID-19: the manufacturing specialists opening doors for the NHS
A team of manufacturing specialists at the University of Sunderland has created a tool that could help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across NHS sites.
Staff from the University of Sunderland’s Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) and the ERDF-funded Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing Project (SAM) have developed two 3D-printed prototypes in bid to reduce the risk of infection in hospitals and other facilities.
The project has designed a door handle attachment, which allows people to open doors with their forearm as opposed to their hands, as well as a door-opening device which acts as a personal portable hook used to open door handles.
Head of AMAP and SAM technical lead Roger O’Brien is leading the technical team, which is sharing the product design files to allow manufacturers to produce them free-of-charge, as well as producing products at material-cost for organisations without the technology required to produce their own, such as the NHS.
Roger commented: “As the coronavirus continues to spread at unprecedented rates, manufacturers across the country can help by stepping up and channelling as much of their energy as they possibly can, given the difficult times and challenges they now face, to help tackle this pandemic.
“We’ve already seen a host of manufacturers, as well as organisations like ours register to rise to the government’s challenge to produce extra ventilators for the NHS, which has been incredible to see.
“However, there’s no reason why others cannot join the efforts by helping and using their manufacturing equipment to support and assist in other or novel ways.
He added: “We all have a part to play and that’s why we’re establishing a consortium of manufacturing organisations, both SMEs and larger companies, to respond to the various challenges posed by coronavirus.”
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