In recent months, lives in our community and around the globe have been affected by COVID-19. As a contract medical device manufacturer, we’ve been looking for ways to help. In early March a coalition of midwest engineers assembled a team with individuals from UW Hospital, UW Makerspace, Delve, and Midwest Prototyping to design an open-source medical face shield design. The design is based on shields currently used in hospitals in the Madison, WI area. Once finalized, the design was released online in an effort to get as many manufacturers involved as possible. 

Shortly after the release of the design Summit Medical determined they could join the scores of manufacturers coming together to create the protective equipment desperately needed by the health care community.

On March 19, our President Kevin McIntosh and a team of engineers, created a manufacturing plan and timelines for face shield production at both Minnesota manufacturing sites. Later that same day, our engineering team developed a prototype. By March 23, our team had made final adjustments to a second prototype and placed an order for the production materials. After just one week of collaboration with our existing suppliers, Kevin was able to pick up some tooling at a local supplier’s loading dock speeding the production implementation exponentially.

On March 27, we began manufacturing our face shields in volume. Many of our employees took a departure from their normal job requirements to support our face shield assembly efforts. Though the transition was hard with employees working longer hours than usual, the production support was needed to meet the demand. The knowledge that they are saving lives of health care workers across the country kept spirits high and resulted in strengthened morale throughout the company.

Our managers and executive management have been sending out personal thank you notes, buying lunches with their own money, and working extra hours to make sure no employees are lost during this crisis. In return, our employees are giving their all day in and day out to make sure our customers have what they need to provide proper health care.

Our teamwork and innovation have inspired our sister companies to implement their own face shield production. Innovia Medical companies Network Medical and DTR Medical, located in the UK, will have the materials needed to start production later this week. We plan to continue making face shields and stocking the world with protective equipment for years to come.

For more information contact or call 651-789-3949.