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“How can we help?”
This was the immediate thought Chet Barber had as he learned some of the ways people in his community were stepping up to help combat COVID-19. And then he realized that his workspace and colleagues were full of potential answers to that question.
Chet’s office isn’t like most. He leads a team at Bayer’s Technical Discovery Center (or TDC for short). Typically, they’d be building new devices and machines designed to help scientists research new, more sustainable solutions for agriculture. However, these are anything but typical times. So Chet and his team have put the tools and technologies available at the TDC to a new purpose.
The team at the TDC realized they are uniquely able to help protect healthcare workers. By reconfiguring 3D printers they use in agricultural research, the small team of designers, fabricators, and engineers shifted to begin producing much-needed face shields for medical professionals.
With the resources available at the TDC, the team is able to produce every component of the shields: visors, frames, and rubber bands. This means they can help assemble and get them in the hands of those who need them, fast. To ensure that more medical shields are produced as they’re needed, Chet’s team is also working directly with other companies in the community to help them produce medical shields in similar ways to support health care facilities in need.
What Chet and his team at the TDC are doing to help protect healthcare professionals mirrors similar efforts in Bayer research centers around the world. In Brazil, Automation Engineer, Yago Tuneli, facilitated a partnership with the Juntos por Uberlândia community initiative to manufacture components of protective medical face shields using the team’s two 3D printers.
In Iowa, Derek Roberg, Jim Schmidt, and Ben Gibson (Bayer’s Automation and Pipeline Connection APC Team at Bayer) have been printing PPE parts in partnership with Iowa State through the use of their 3D printers and supplying parts for a number of different initiatives, including one from MatterHackers, Landmark, Area 515, VA Hospital, and Mary Greely Medical Center.
In Leverkusen, Germany, our engineering teams are working with Covestro to produce around 100 face shield holders a day. These challenging times call on all of us to stay strong in our commitments to helping one another. This group effort expresses our unwavering dedication to pursuing “Science for a Better Life” to support human health. As Barber elaborates, “If you can help someone, you should. We can do our part and we are absolutely going to.”