“We realized that there was going to be an ongoing need for at least the next several months to produce PPE for our community,” said President and Co-Founder Austin Schmidt.
Normally a company that makes products for industries like commercial aerospace with machining and large scale 3D printers, Schmidt and Co-Founder Andrew Bader went with injection molding for mass production.
“You actually use a metal mold, a metal cavity mold and you melt plastic and inject the plastic into the mold,” explained Schmidt.
Every part is reusable with a focus on comfort and sanitization. “You can use all of the standard disinfectants you would find at a hospital, like alcohol wipes or hydrogen peroxide wipes and you can also sanitize the majority of the components in an autoclave.”
AES says multiple local companies are helping them produce this face shield. The clear plastic is coming from Twinsburg and the headgear all from Akron.
“We feel that there’s a person down the street for everything when it comes to manufacturing,” said Bader.
That community effort is speeding things up considerably. “So instead of a couple hundred a day, we can now do thousands a day.”
Bader says all of the manufacturers they’ve partnered with understand the importance of getting this equipment out and are working quickly.
He also says the majority of orders aren’t coming from hospitals. “It’s the smaller organizations, the assisted living homes, nursing homes, dentists, oral surgeons.”
Bader says some of the orders have been from businesses in anticipation of the state’s gradual reopening on May 1.
AES is also now making intubation boxes that add an extra layer of protection for healthcare workers. “This came from a hospital that we were talking with about face shields and they said hey can you also make this for us.”
For Bader and Schmidt, this work is personal. “This is very near to me as my wife is also a physician and wanted to make sure that she could treat patients safely,” said Schmidt.
And Bader says, rewarding. “This has allowed us to keep people employed here while we’re producing a product that helps serve a lot of the medical professionals out there.”
If you would like to order the face shields you can visit their website or call the company at 800-210-9801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.