As the global COVID-19 pandemic disrupts our communities and lives, Kohler associates in Asia, Europe and the United States are discovering new ways to help keep our frontline healthcare workers safe.
Healthcare facilities around the world are facing a shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE). Desperate to find solutions, some healthcare workers have resorted to reaching out on social media to raise awareness and request help.
Answering the call, Kohler’s Innovation for Good® team collaborated with Badger Shield, a University of Wisconsin-Madison partnership that connects organizations in need of shields with manufacturers capable of producing them. Utilizing our supply chain expertise and manufacturing capabilities the team was able to take the open source design from a concept to scalable prototype in just a matter of days. Today, face shields are being produced and shipped from our facilities in Kohler, Wisconsin, and Changzhou, China, to hospitals and clinics in need. Healthcare facilities in communities where Kohler operates can request the face shields by completing this donation request form.
“Seeing how quickly our associates from teams around the world have pitched in to make this idea come to life is really impressive,” said Mike Radloff, Senior New Product Development Leader – Innovation for Good.
We are estimating production of approximately 1,000 face shields per day in Wisconsin and 8,000 per day in China with plans to increase production in the coming weeks.
In an independent effort, our Kohler Mira colleagues were asked to lend their expertise to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by England’s National Health Services (NHS). Diving in, they were able to design a new shield to help meet the needs of their community healthcare facilities. They are now busy assembling 10,000 face shields to protect healthcare professionals on the front lines of the pandemic.
“While this is a challenging time for our business and our associates, it is inspiring to work with colleagues who go above and beyond to make projects like this happen. The lengths people have gone to create this much needed product is truly inspiring” said Radloff. We couldn’t agree more.