Piab responds overnight to support manufacturer of PPE visors

29 May 2020

In a bid to curtail the number of COVID-19 infections, technology companies are in a race to identify new, innovative solutions.

One of those companies, Somtech Technologies in Spain, changed their product focus from automotive, rail and packaging industries to injection moulding to meet the increasing demand of new personal protection equipment (PPE) visors.

However, Somtech needed a range of EOAT components overnight to build the robot hand to automatically unload its machine; and the only company who was able to meet Somtech’s SOS call to immediately produce 56,000 visors a week was PPMA member, Piab.

The visors, which are typically used in motorcycle helmets, are now shielding health care personnel in clinics and other essential professionals from COVID-19. This ensures that their health is not compromised. Additionally, the visors can be used when going to supermarkets and pharmacies and the like to make essential household purchases.

This change to an injection moulding process was made possible by installing an automated removal system with a suitable gripper to be attached to the robot.

Mariano Sebastiá Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer of Somtech Technologies, said: “When we approached all possible manufacturers of gripping components to obtain the component parts, it was Piab’s experts who immediately sprang into action, even on a Sunday night.

“This enabled us to define the necessary parts and have the order ready the following day (Monday). Within 48 hours, the Piab components reached our factory so we could immediately ramp up the process and start high volume production of the visors,” he added.

Having responded to Somtech’s request for urgent assistance, Sergio Luzuriaga, Piab’s Area Sales Manager in Spain, said: “We truly appreciate the trust from Somtech Technologies. We are committed to supporting them in all their requirements to help fight COVID-19.”

The special modular system from Piab enables the simple combination of different parts, ranging from low-maintenance and durable high-end gripper systems for precise transfers and processes, as well as customised robot hands and pneumatic cutting tongs, to complete cutting systems.

In addition, Piab components are equipped with vacuum-based automation solutions for gripping and moving a wide variety of products and serve customers in the automotive, medical technology, food, pharmaceutical and packaging industries, as well as in metalworking and plastic injection moulding.

For more information about Piab, visit: www@piab.com