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DESIGNER … Gary Thompson

Member Article

Designer playing his part in battle against COVID-19

A TYNESIDE designer and engineer is producing vital Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the emergency services.

Gary Thompson, Managing Director of Jag Design (4m) has so far produced and delivered 50 visors and is now working on the production of an innovative, reusable face mask.

“I’m an engineer and a manufacturer so I am in a position to help frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19,” said Gary, whose business is based at Hypoint in Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead.

“I joined a Linkedin group encouraging companies to provide PPE for key services and was sent the design files. I already had a 3-D printer and bought a couple more so I could print the visors off. It takes between two and four hours to print a visor and they are high-spec ones, top grade.”

The visors he’s made have been delivered to a Spennymoor doctor’s surgery and to Northumbria Police.

“I think if you can do something to help stop the spread of coronavirus, which I obviously can, you have a duty to do so,” he added.

While continuing to produce visors, Gary is also working on a prototype mask using a new anti-bacterial material.

“I’m excited at the potential of these masks, they incorporate a copper oxide-infused membrane and could make a real difference. I’ve developed prototypes and have two out on test. I’m developing the masks based on the feedback I’m getting and hope to submit them for further tests at Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre (NHC).

“The NHC is a new £22m facility which offers research and collaboration in the bioscience sector and I’m hoping they’ll validate this new membrane in the mask which removes about 99.85 per cent of viruses. These masks will also be reusable so will be able to ease the pressure on the supply chain.

“While I’m testing the mask and waiting for NHC validation, I’m also linking up with potential suppliers and working out production costs. I’ve also been talking to Innovate UK about getting their support. I want all the building blocks in place so if we get approval we’re ready to go straight away, no delays.

“I’ve already connected a material supplier from Lancashire and a moulding company in Newcastle. We’re too reliant on foreign countries supplying the PPE and should be doing more to produce our own. We need to get cracking, which is what I’m doing.

“If the design is approved, we could set up manufacturing sites across the UK.

“I’m not getting paid for any of this, but if one of my visors or masks can save one life, that will be my reward.”

Jag Design (4M) Ltd was founded in early 2016 and creates concepts and engineered solutions for a range of sectors. As well as running his own business, Gary is also Project Manager at Teesside University’s Grow Tees Valley, which aims to provide Tees Valley SMEs with help and advice,

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Hoults Yard .

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