DOST-MIRDC Produces 200k Face Shields to be Donated to the Regions
By: Vilma A. Sia
The DOST-MIRDC, led by its Executive Director, Engr. Robert O. Dizon, supports the needs of medical frontliners amid this COVID 19 pandemic. Answering the country’s need for supplies of protective personal equipment (PPEs), particularly face shields, the Center started the mass production of these medical face shields on May 15, 2020. The project was funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).
Before deciding to mass-produce the face shields, the DOST-MIRDC was using 3D printing to make 50 pieces a day through the 3D printing technologies housed in the Additive Manufacturing Center (AMCen). From this, the Center transitioned to plastic injection technology. This initiative was carried out in cooperation with technology partners: the Omnifab, Inc., a 3D printing company who fabricated the first mold; and the Megasamsotite in San Pedro, Laguna, which offered its facilities for mass production. The other mold for the face shield frames was fabricated at the Die and Mold Solution Center (DMSC), a facility of the DOST-MIRDC. The shift from 3D printing to plastic injection technology ramped up production by up to 5,000 pieces of face shield frames per day. These are distributed to hospitals and other frontliners in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby regions.
Realizing the lack of supplies and the need for more PPEs especially for those located outside of the NCR, the MIRDC embarked on a project which aim is to produce 200,000 pieces of face shields to be distributed nationwide. The distribution of face shields in these regions will be coursed through the DOST Regional Office or directly to DOST Provincial Offices who will coordinate with the local offices of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other medical and non-medical frontliners.
‘We sent a letter to Usec. Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, to inform all DOST regional and provincial offices about our project. All of them quickly responded and sent us their list of possible recipients. We fabricated additional molds to meet the required volume,’ says Ms. Lina B. Afable, project leader and Chief of the Technology Diffusion Division of the DOST-MIRDC.
Sample of Face Shields for Distribution to Regions
‘Since we began the project on May 15, 2020, we have already donated a total of 105,000 pieces of face shields; 10,000 each to the CAR, Region I, II, III, IVB, V, VI, VIII, and XII; and 15,000 pieces of face shields to Region IVA,’ shares Ms. Afable.
10,000 face shields for DOST V (Bicol)
At the moment, the Center is accommodating additional inquires for face shields on top of the scheduled donations to the regions. The project team sees to it that it stays on top of its production and delivery schedules in time for the target project completion date which is on August 14, 2020.
The DOST-MIRDC is pooling its resources, technology, and ingenuity to continue to support our healthcare workers and frontliners in various sectors in battling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country with the mass production and distribution of face shields.