VERO BEACH, Florida — Piper Aircraft has begun making protective gear, with plans to donate more than 1,300 3M, N95 approved masks to the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital.
According to company officials, Piper’s Manufacturing Engineering team has been following the growing demand and resulting shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and has been looking for ways to support the need.
In late March, the team designed a prototype face shield with off-the shelf materials, such as plastic, industrial tape, foam, and elastic. With approval of the prototype, the team set out to source the necessary materials from wholesale suppliers and create a manufacturing line within the Piper factory.
With a designated production area in place, the team began making face shields for use by medical personnel the last week in March. Given the current supply of materials and labor, Piper has the ability to produce thousands of face shields daily to help support the current demand, company officials said.
“This is a critical time for our community, our country and the world. It is a time for action, cooperation and collaboration. As a team, we can make a difference for people in need and directly support those fighting the battle on the front lines of this unprecedented crisis. This is just one small way that we are trying to help,” said James Funk, Piper’s Chief Operations Officer. “We want healthcare providers, especially, and patients to be safe, therefore it’s vital that we all pull together to help our community, weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.”