Hardwire LLC—a leading manufacturer of protective armor used by the military, law enforcement and school systems—has announced that the company will immediately begin manufacturing protective face shields for medical personnel and first responders combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company says the addition of a separate Hardwire production line, accomplished in less than a week, answers the call from hospitals across the country, which face dwindling supplies of this vital piece of equipment.
"'Enhancing the survivability of humans' has not only been Hardwire's mission statement since September 11, 2001, but is part of our DNA," said George Tunis, Hardwire's chief executive officer. "We couldn't sit idly by while heroic doctors, nurses, and other emergency personnel battling this deadly virus don't have all the equipment they need."
The decision for Hardwire to join the COVID-19 fight was obvious. In the past few days and working with the infection control department and front line doctors and nurses at Atlantic General Hospital, Hardwire designed, field-tested, optimized, and productionized a Face Shield for our nation's healthcare professionals. The company says the Hardwire Face Shields are lightweight (weighing only two ounces), comfortable, anti-fog, and most importantly, available in large quantities.
"When George reached out to us, he presented the perfect opportunity to allow our front line providers to collaborate on a product to fill the void for critically needed protective equipment for our industry," said Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. "Hardwire has allowed our caregivers to provide input to the development of a product that will allow caregivers everywhere to feel valued, safe and reassured that they have the necessary protection to provide care to their patients and community."
Hardwire has fielded over a hundred initial prototypes within the week, 50 of which went to Atlantic General Hospital. The company is scaling to a production capacity of approximately 6,000 units per day as quickly as next week, according to Tunis. Viable production goals are set at closer to 60,000 units per day as national demand may dictate that need.
"This virus is simple and clever," said Tunis. "We must also be the same, but much faster. The speed in Hardwire's case comes from the efficient design and carefully selected supply chain partners. Our defense work has taught us that speed matters and you should listen to your troops, or in this case, our nurses and doctors. We will do everything we can to supply what they need."