Canadian made reusable face shield enters production phase
By Dave Dale, BAYTODAY.CAAdditive Manufacturing Medical
Javelin Technologies partners with North Bay Plastic Molders’ to mass produce 3D-print prototyped ProtectON shields.
Ontario-based North Bay Plastic Molders announced that its locally-designed reusable face shields, developed in conjunction with Toronto-based engineering design solutions provider, Javelin Technologies Inc., are going into mass production at next week. According to the company, as many as 20 new jobs will be created just to package the potential one million units a month that could be produced if world-wide marketing is successful.
“The ProtectON face shield can be sterilized and reused, which is a big improvement over other designs, reduces personal protective equipment costs and ensures we are doing our part to protect the environment,” said Donald Champagne, president of North Bay Plastic Molders. “Together we have designed a product that is superior to anything on the market and it’s not made in China,” Champagne said.
The partnership that made it possible was celebrated Friday at North Bay Plastic Molders’ facility off Highway 94 in East Ferris, which will begin making 150,000 units a month beginning Monday. Already an international supplier of engineered molding products, the company has the capacity of making one million shields a month, Champagne said.
Connor Janeteas of Javelin Technologies Inc. described how the product was born at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our team started creating 3D-printed prototypes early on in the pandemic to address the urgent need for locally produced PPE,” Janeteas said. “Though additive manufacturing was fantastic for development and initial production, we knew that moving to traditional manufacturing technology would improve production economics and ultimately, keep more Canadians protected.
“Fortunately, Javelin has a 10-year relationship with Canadore College and ICAMP, which has become a force for bringing ideas to market, and they coordinated bringing a team together.”
He said ProtectON was developed with feedback from clinicians and frontline workers and manufactured to meet or exceed CSA and ANSI standards. For example, the face shield’s four components will be packaged for shipping and assembled by the end user, which cuts down on the number of hands on the product and ensures all materials are clean and safe to use out of the box.
George Burton, Canadore president, said iCAMP’s purpose is to help businesses meet the needs of the marketplace and they helped bring the ProtectON partners together while supporting them in design, development and testing. Funding support came from the province and federal government, he said, citing FedNor and Ontario’s Response to Innovation Fund as well as contributing clients.