The food manufacturer said it is repurposing its 3D printing technology which is normally used to make chocolate sculptures at Bournville, the home of Cadbury, to help print the medical visors.
3P launched an industry wide initiative last week to bring together businesses and individuals who can help produce, assemble and distribute the visors to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and clinics across the UK.
Mondelēz said it is helping to produce the hard-plastic bands which connect the top and bottom of the visor. It has also invested money into the project so 3P can buy injection mould technology, which will mean the visors can be mass produced.
Second world war
During the second world war, Cadbury’s Bournville factory stepped in to help the nation by setting up Bournville Utilities Ltd to help make gas masks, jerricans, service respirators and aeroplane parts for Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers.
Louise Stigant, UK MD at Mondelēz International, said: “The NHS and other frontline services are doing an incredible job and we want to support them wherever we can.
“I’m extremely proud that our research and food engineering teams have come up with a creative way to repurpose our chocolate making skills and technology, so we can make and print parts for the medical visors. By working in partnership with 3P and other businesses we can scale our operations and help protect those who are working so hard to protect us and beat coronavirus.”
Scaling up operations
3P have already delivered the first visors, to a Warwickshire NHS clinic and will be scaling up their operations, with the aim of making and delivering up to 10,000 units every week.
Tom Bailey, managing director at 3P innovation said: “We have now set up the production line and the finished products are on their way to end users. Thanks to the generous support from Mondelēz, we have purchased an injection moulding tool which is set to make a huge difference to the volumes we can produce. We are now looking for ongoing funding, which is essential to make sure we can continue to purchase components and run the production lines.”
3P is appealing for other manufacturers and businesses with 3D printing technology and logistics services to support, so they can continue to make and supply the medical visors to more NHS workers and other frontline services such as care homes and prison staff. visit https://bit.ly/NHSvisors3P for more information.