Electroimpact builds face shields for local medical centers
By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Amid the COVID-19, pandemic, some companies have changed their regular business operations to meet the needs of healthcare workers. Electroimpact, a Mukilteo-based aerospace automation company, is working to repurpose its manufacturing capabilities to support healthcare workers and personal protection equipment (PPE) production.
Chief of Staff Ben Hempstead says that after Electroimpact donated the majority of their N95 masks to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, the company began searching for other ways to provide support and resources to the community.
“So far, we’ve been able to donate the majority of our N95 masks to Providence in Everett [and] started printing face shield parts on our 3D printers,” explained Hempstead.
A face shield is a clear plastic guard used to protect healthcare workers from coming into direct contact with fluid droplets that may contain the virus. They are usually worn over masks allowing the PPE to last longer.
The donation of 100 of Electroimpact’s N95 masks was an effortless process, but Hempstead says the company has faced barriers connecting with organizations to service their ability to build face shield frames.
“Donating masks was easy. Becoming part of the supply chain proved difficult,” said Hempstead.
According to Washington’s coronavirus response page, the state has received a high volume of offers to build and supply PPE. Hempstead says that after they signed up as a resource, the state reached out to inquire about their supply capacity but has yet to match them with a local need.
Knowing that they have the technology make face shield frames, Electroimpact took matters into their own hands, directly contacting Kaiser Permanente Everett Medical Center and Bellevue’s Overlake Medical Center, both of whom responded immediately.
Using their selective laser centering printer, Electroimpact is producing 180 reusable face shield frames every 36 hours and has a goal to ship three boxes of 50 shields this week to the medical centers.
Through an Electroimpact employee’s connections, Hempstead says they have received requests from a New Jersey organization to 3D print ear savers.
“A plastic band of sorts that keeps the surgical mask off the back of your ears,” explained Hempstead. “These nest in with the face shield parts on the 3D printer so we’re cranking out the first batch of them as well.”
For more information on how to provide the state with PPE, or other ways you can help, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/how-you-can-help.