A local managed label services company invented and began producing a new, easy-to-assemble, recyclable face shield for health care workers.
Mike Kaman — director of strategies at Wyoming-based METAS Managed Label Services LLC — invented the Simple Shield in collaboration with an employee about two weeks ago.
METAS, which has seven employees, currently has about 53,000 Simple Shield units in process at its facility at 200 32nd St. SE in Wyoming and a partner facility in Rockford.
Kaman said the idea came about after the company had started 3D printing face shields using a CAD drawing they found online but realized the process took too long and was too complicated to be practical.
“I thought, there’s got to be an easier way to make these that’s just ‘print and staple.’ It should be easy,” Kaman said.
After making a prototype, Kaman asked his friend, Dr. Jihad Mustapha, an interventional cardiologist at Advanced Cardiac & Vascular in Grand Rapids, if he thought the idea was viable.
Mustapha said he thought it was “better than the face shields currently in use,” Kaman said, because it is lightweight, provides 360-degree protection, and covers the neck, as well as the face and forehead.
The product has the following other characteristics, as well:
- The Simple Shield is made from BPA-free, 100% recyclable PET plastic, between 7 and 8 mils thick, with the option to go thicker upon request.
- METAS can produce 70 shields per second, compared to traditional shields at 20 per hour, and the company is using its existing high-speed printing equipment for production.
- It is comfortable for long shifts and is doctor-approved.
- The product ships completely flat.
- It can be assembled in 10 seconds with two staples.
“The whole point of this was a simple solution to save lives,” Kaman said. “Our tagline for Simple Shield is ‘Join us to save lives.’”