From furniture to face shields

From furniture to face shields

Roger Lewis supports initiative to produce PPE for the NHS

Roger Lewis is proud to be supporting Foldall – a not-for-profit initiative producing much-needed face shields to protect frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Foldall was set up by a small team of Bath-based residents. The initiative was created in response to the nation-wide shortage of PPE required to protect NHS staff and other key workers against infection during the pandemic.

Here at Roger Lewis we deployed our speciality machinery to help contribute to the production of visors and head straps for the face shields. Since the end of March when the initiative was first launched, we have been assisting the Foldall team in improving and streamlining their manufacturing processes.

You can support Foldall so that it can produce even more face shields via this donation page: https://www.foldall.co.uk/donations

How did Foldall come about?

Former-Dyson design engineer, Edward Chudleigh, was the mastermind behind Foldall’s face shield production. Edward harnessed his expertise in robotics to design the first prototype, FS Mk 1, in his lab with 3D printed components.

To help with the delivery of the first models, Ed called in support from his fellow ex-Dyson colleagues who created 3D printed components at home. Through the support of donations, production is now so streamlined that the team is getting thousands of shields a day out to front line medical staff.

To help speed things up further, Foldall turned to local manufacturers to support with the production of the components required for the face shields.

How is Roger Lewis supporting Foldall?

Here at Roger Lewis, we first heard about the Foldall initiative from our friend and web designer Steve James – one of the four founding members of Foldall. As soon as he told us about the fantastic work the team and community were doing to support the PPE shortage, we wanted to do our bit to help.

In our factory we have a flatbed cutting machine, which we offered up to the Foldall team to be used to produce cut-outs of the polypropylene visors used for the face shields. Foldall’s Managing Director, Ed, came to our factory to take a look at the machine. He brought along some prototypes of the visor screens and polypropylene sheets and we used these to carry out some trial print runs. Our team then helped to digitise the design and fine-tuned the specifications. We went through a number of iterations to refine the process and minimise waste.

Streamlining the process

As Foldall continues to develop its production processes, we are on hand to share our manufacturing expertise and hope to help the team find more ways to streamline their production process.To speed up the assembly process, which is carried out by volunteers, we created a new jig model to reduce time of assembly and minimise the chance of human error. We sent this over to the Foldall team and they are currently testing it.

 

Results so far

Since going live at the end of March, Foldall has been constantly ramping up production and is now producing over 5,000 face shields a day. The face shields they are producing are designed in accordance with guidelines from front-line NHS staff. Foldall has so far received over 56,000 orders from NHS sites across the country – including hospitals and medical practices in Gloucester, Bristol, Epsom, Swindon, Salford and Manchester – to name but a few.

Key milestones

Since Foldall went live:

  • – Over 56,000 shields have been ordered
  • – Over 44,000 have been shipped nationally
  • – Production is growing beyond 5,000 a day
  • – Foldall’s suppliers have been able to take 10 people out of furlough
  • – Over 360 volunteers have joined the digital rota

Show your support

Foldall relies on donations to keep production going and enable them to buy the raw materials required to create the face shields. Instead of buying an NHS worker a drink at the pub to thank them for their work, why not donate the drinks money to Foldall to give them a face shield instead?

For more information or to make a donation, visit: https://www.foldall.co.uk/

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