John Deere last week announced plans to make 225,000 protective face shields to be distributed to healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Company officials announced Thursday that production of 25,000 face shields began Wednesday at the John Deere Seeding Group in Moline, while materials and supplies have been ordered to make 200,000 more.
The first batch of personal protective equipment will be delivered to 16 U.S. Deere factories in eight states, including those in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, as well as the company’s U.S. Deere-Hitachi factory for local distribution.
The company’s announcement comes as a response to nationwide calls for more personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” said John May, CEO of Deere & Company in a press release. “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.”
John Deere is also working on other projects to help combat COVID-19. The company has developed 3D-printed clips can be affixed to a standard baseball cap and used to hold a protective face shield in place. The company is now sharing the 3D printing specs for the clips.
Other projects include clear plastic screens to separate production employees at their work stations a hand-held device small enough to fit in a pocket and that can be used to open doors and push buttons without bringing the user’s hand in direct contact with either.
Employees in Waterloo are working on a simple system of adhesive dots that can be placed on the floor to show employees how far apart they should be standing for safe social distancing.
Entrepreneurs around the state step up to fill need for medical equipment -March 25, 2020
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