John Deere has begun the production of protective face shields for health workers in their American manufacturing plants, in order to help with the control of the coronavirus.
The agricultural machinery manufacturer expects to produce 25,000 face shields in the initial phase and have ordered enough material to produce an additional 200,000.
The idea was created in collaboration with the United Auto Workers, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.
The company plans to use an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project and the expertise, skills, and innovation of their own employee base.
John May, CEO of Deere & Company, said: “Our manufacturing and supply management teams, along with our production and maintenance employees, the UAW, and our partners have worked tirelessly to ensure we could lend our support and protect our health-care workers during this crisis.”
“By working closely with the communities where our employees live and work, we can help support the needs we’ve identified close to home and, as the project expands, address additional, urgent needs across the country.”
This is only one of many initiatives that the agricultural machinery manufacturer has executed in the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, the company have already achieved the following:
- PPE donations to health care facilities;
- 2:1 employee match program, encouraging donations to local food banks and the American Red Cross;
- Production of approximately 18,000 protective face shields for use by factory employees;
- Employee volunteerism efforts to sew cloth masks for community members along with a match from the John Deere Foundation for the time invested in this volunteer activity;
- Launch of a COVID-19 innovations site to share open-source specifications for related projects, including 3D-printed clips to affix face shields to protective bump caps.
Image source: Deere.com