Visteon helps protect front-line medical teams battle against coronavirus
- 50,000 personal protection face shields being created and donated to local hospitals and medical facilities
- Actions help showcase company efforts to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and the communities in which it operates
Visteon is leveraging its global capabilities in engineering, design and manufacturing to produce and donate much-needed medical equipment to front-line nurses and doctors around the world who are battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and providing critical care for COVID-19 patients.
The company is using production lines at its state-of-the-art Palmela manufacturing facility in Portugal – usually dedicated to automotive cockpit electronics – to produce protective face shields that will initially be donated to local medical facilities. The process will be replicated by Visteon facilities in India, Brazil and Mexico. In total, the company hopes to deliver up to 50,000 protective face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) medical staff require to stay healthy while they treat and save people who are sick with COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Stemming from an idea suggested by Visteon’s manufacturing and purchasing divisions and endorsed by President and CEO Sachin Lawande, face shield production began April 1 – with the goal of creating 2,000 units a day to initially supply 12 hospitals and medical centers in Portugal. With high demand across the continent, Visteon aims to support facilities throughout Europe in the coming days and weeks – an endeavor that is already bearing fruit with more than 2,000 masks reaching both local beneficiaries and German contacts already, with further support across the continent and to the U.S. planned.
During the prototype phase, units were created using 3D printing capabilities at the Palmela plant, with a subsequent injection mold solution added to enable the company to manufacture up to 70 face masks every hour. Visteon’s procurement division also responded quickly to find the front shields and elastic bands required for each unit.
“The current unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, including meeting the huge and much-needed demand for PPE within the medical profession. Visteon is working to help hospitals, health departments, doctors and nurses with the equipment they need, so they can continue to safely provide critical medical care and save lives."
Following this first step, Visteon is projecting a larger scale roll-out of face mask production at its plants in Chennai, India, Reynosa, Mexico, and Manaus, Brazil later in April. While the team in Palmela plans to send molds to the Manaus and Reynosa facilities, Chennai is developing their own product with a local supplier – meaning a significantly increased capacity to produce and deliver these essential masks over the coming weeks.
To assist other global regions, Visteon’s manufacturing facilities in China – where the virus is beginning to subside and working life is starting to return slowly to normal – have kindly donated a significant quantity of face masks to the University of Michigan hospital, in their support of colleagues fighting the epidemic around the world.
Visteon continues to implement policies and procedures that ensure the protection of its global employees, while identifying a solid strategy for successful business continuity. As well as the donation from the China team, the company is also exploring additional actions to support the needs of the local communities in regions with a Visteon presence.
“The battle against COVID-19 will be won through innovation and I’m proud our global teams have pulled together to find ways to help protect those in the medical community who tirelessly and selflessly commit themselves to protecting us and our loved ones,” Lawande adds. “The opportunity the company has taken to stand up and assist in this uncertain time should be a source of great pride and motivation for Visteon employees all over the world.”