COVID-19 – Development of resilient design and manufacturing strategy for reusable personal protective equipment
As the COVID‑19 pandemic continues to escalate, the global shortage of crucial PPE such as FFRs has been detrimental to frontline healthcare professionals that work directly with sickened individuals, resulting in an increased risk of viral transmission between care providers and their patients. This inability to source crucial PPE highlights the need for Canada to establish its own independent supply chains to circumvent global limitations of PPE in severe times of need. Risks to the supply of PPE include the procurement of raw material, manufacturing capacity, and distribution to health care providers and emergency personnel. By creating its own reliable and secure supply platforms, Canada will be able to provide its frontline workers with a constant source of the proper PPE needed to perform vital health- and care-giving tasks during a pandemic.
With the support of Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) in the province of Prince Edward Island (PEI), the goals of this partnership are to work with Topdog Manufacturing (TDM), a company based in PEI, to develop a resilient design and manufacturing strategy for reusable PPE. This strategy will recognize the need for flexible manufacturing, allowing for the rapid production of tooling as well as customization for locally available manufacturing processes and materials.
The potential outcomes and impacts of this partnership include:
– Increasing the manufacturing capacity in PEI and Canada for rapid and urgent development of PPE;
– Addressing the need for protective masks in an extreme shortage in PEI and Canada, and therefore protecting the frontline health and essential workers.