JCB volunteers go the extra mile to produce vital PPE kit

James Morley

JCB and a team of volunteer employees have set up mini production lines to support production of PPE for the NHS.

Principal electronics engineer James Morley has converted the garage at his Derbyshire home to produce vital supplies. Inspired by his efforts, JCB has re-opened its Innovation Centre so tooling and moulding engineers Joe Mumby and Joe Bagley can have free use of the company’s 3D rapid prototype machines to help produce medical grade visors.

For Joe Mumby, volunteering to produce NHS kit has taken on a poignant significance as he and his family come to terms with the death of his father’s cousin from coronavirus. He said, “Helping with the production of visors is the least I could do as this is a very testing time for everyone, including my own family. It’s fantastic that JCB has given us the opportunity to give something back to those who are the front line of the virus in what must be a very scary time for them.”

So far, the volunteer production line set up at JCB has produced 50 visors for distribution to local surgeries with the help of material donated by the JCB Academy.

With the visor material now exhausted, the two Joes are focused on producing hundreds of head bands required for the visors before despatching them to a Warwickshire company for final assembly.

Meanwhile James Morley has transformed his rapid prototyping machine in the garage of his home to produce NHS kit. Having made 20 visors, he is now making components, which convert snorkelling masks for use with hospital ventilators. He is also rapid prototyping so-called ‘superhero nurse’ headbands which make face masks more comfortable as they fit on the back of the head rather than the back of ears.

James said, “While browsing social media on the state of the Covid-19 situation, I was aware that there was a huge shortage of medical grade personal protective equipment for our NHS and other healthcare communities around the UK. It made me dust off my 3D printer and help contribute to the fight against Covid-19 and support our heroic NHS.

“I am glad I can help out and make use of my printer during this national crisis and keep myself active with volunteers during the furlough period. It is amazing what support there is out there and how much people would like to help.”

JCB chief innovation officer Tim Burnhope added, “JCB is delighted to be able to play a role in helping provide the fantastic NHS with protective equipment. The volunteer employees who are part of this amazing effort are also to be commended for stepping up at this time of national crisis.”