How & Why Mueller is Creating Face Shields
People are in need of face shields more than ever. That’s why we’re ramping up our production of PRO-SHIELD 1 here at Mueller.
We’ll explain what a face shield is (they are not the same as surgical face masks and respirators), Mueller’s experience creating them, and an introduction to the face shield we’re creating to help those in need.
We want to use as many outlets as possible to get these shields into the field, and we’re excited to share how we plan to do it.
What Are Face Shields?
Face shields will be familiar to anyone who has been to a grocery store recently and saw the plastic sheets placed between customers and cashiers at checkout. A face shield is one of those plastic sheets fashioned into a mask that covers the user’s entire face. This includes key areas, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Face shields are primarily used in doctor’s offices, testing clinics, and hospitals, but are useful in any environment where a user could come into contact with contagious elements. This means that these shields are also well-suited for first responders and police departments.
How Has Mueller Worked With Face Shields?
Mueller has been supplying face shields to various customers for years. However, we have been getting calls from three different groups:
- Raw material manufacturers
- Existing medical customers
- Other businesses looking to distribute shields
Plastic raw material manufacturers have the film used to create the face shields, but they don’t have the capabilities to die-cut it. These businesses are in need of shields, so we’re partnering up to make them.
Existing customers need more of what we’ve been selling them, but now they need it fast. The situation in this country has changed so drastically that they can’t get their hands on these face shields fast enough.
We have medical customers who sell to hospitals, meaning they have an established supply chain that we can utilize. We are working to create shields for these clients so they can sell directly to the people who need them most.
New customers heard that Mueller has the capabilities to make face shields for them and have reached out to place orders with us. Some businesses just want components for the face masks (the foam headband that goes against the user’s forehead, for example), while others want us to produce the entire shield.
What Makes Mueller’s Face Shields Different?
A Simple, Easy-to-Use Design
On March 30, 2020, one of our experts created an original face shield that is designed simply. While many shields have 3-4 components (an injection-molded plastic frame, elastic strap, and the shield itself), Mueller’s design is just two pieces (foam and shield).
It features the die-cut shield with a built-in strap that attaches and bends the shield to conform around the user’s face. This design will allow up to produce the shield quickly without sacrificing the basic function of a face shield. These shields have not been reviewed or endorsed by the CDC, FDA, or any other authority.
Our Design Protects Existing Customers’ Intellectual Property
At Mueller, we understand the severity of this situation and that people need face shields quickly. However, we also know the importance of not infringing on the intellectual property (IP) of our existing customers. That’s why these masks have an original design, which means that we control all components and provide masks to any customers who place an order.
Shields Can Be Made of Different Materials
Mueller’s face shield is also designed so that it can be produced using multiple types of plastic.
Due to health risks, businesses have had to temporarily shut down, resulting in a slimmed-down supply chain. As a result, we had to create a product that can be made of any clear plastic we can get our hands on, including plastics that are made of different materials and have different thicknesses.
We have the capabilities to utilize these materials without changing tooling, allowing us to create shields quickly and put them in the hands of those who need them.
How is Mueller Supplying Face Shields to Those Who Need Them?
We want to use as many outlets as possible, so we can get as many shields as possible into the field. We are striving to offer a product that is universal and fits everyone.
Mueller understands that the market has more demand than supply right now, so we came up with a design that utilizes multiple materials to keep production up and running. Since we provide custom solutions, we can produce shields to meet your specifications if needed, with concept to production in as little as a week.
Are You in Need of Face Shields?
If you are a supplier in need of face shields to send to hospitals, doctors, or first responders, get in touch with us.
Please note that the intended use of PRO-SHIELD 1 is to serve as a barrier to help prevent direct external facial contact with aerosols, droplets, and foreign splatters. Pro-shield 1 is not a particulate respirator or breathing filter and should never be used to provide respiratory protection of any kind. The Pro-shield 1 face shield has not been reviewed or endorsed by the CDC, FDA, or any other authority.
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