Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, Ziehl-Abegg has been busy creating face masks on 3D printers for health care workers, local residents, employees and their families.
A Ziehl-Abegg employee had by chance been sent a set of build instructions via WhatsApp on the Wednesday evening – and on the Thursday morning Ziehl-Abegg sent a photo of the first face masks to the Crisis Team in the Local Administration Office.
Ziehl-Abegg CEO, Peter Fenkl, said as soon as they got the go-ahead both 3D printers went to work at the Künzelsau InVent Development Centre in Germany.
The company’s laboratory director, Achim Kärcher, said Ziehl-Abegg has been using 3D printing technology since 2010.
“The Development Centre already had its second 3D printer by the following year,” he said.
“The layers are printed at a thickness of 0.16 millimetres. We normally use this to create prototypes for implementing new ideas from our engineers so we need to be able to trial new shapes quickly and easily.”
The process of creating the protective masks was also quick and easy: the frame is printed, the lens is a foil for an overhead projector, a standard perforator punches the openings, with rubber bands used for fastening.
District Administrator Dr. Matthias Neth said it is a simple but effective design.
“The District Authority is working in close cooperation with the local companies in the Hohenlohe district,” he said.
Fenkl said the medical sector has been part of the company’s normal area of business: for years now with Ziehl-Abegg producing large fans for both operating theatres and quarantine stations.
The company also supplied special fans for Chinese hospitals that were built in the cities of Wuhan, Shandong and Shenzhen within days of their construction.
The German company also manufactured the core equipment for negative or positive pressure in clinics in Italy and other countries. It is also currently still working at full speed manufacturing these fans in Hohenlohe and worldwide.