Photo: OPT face shields

OPT creating face shields for the front line

Wave energy tech pioneer OPT is manufacturing face shields for those on the front lines of the COVID19 outbreak.

OPT reached out to contacts in their local communities to see what the need was for donations of face shields.

The company connected with organizations and individuals to lend 3D printers and donate the materials needed to begin production.

“The idea to produce face shields to donate to first responders and others who need them came up during one of our staff meetings,” said George Kirby, OPT president and CEO.

“Chris Bukosky, our senior director of Operations, quickly determined that if we were able to get our hands on the right equipment and materials, we’d be able to produce a significant quantity of face shields in a relatively short time period, while still keeping the production team focused on our ongoing projects.”

Not long after, Bukosky and his team printed and assembled the first shields and also set up a production line in an area of the OPT production facility.

Feedback from some of the organizations receiving the shields uncovered a need for a different kind of shield.

So, OPT began producing a shield that clips on the bill of a baseball cap.

Following the production of various pieces, OPT employees are picking up kits to assemble at home and prep for distribution.

Made possible by donations

“We’ve set a goal of producing 20,000 units for distribution and it’s a real team effort,” says Kirby.

“We can’t stress enough how we’re not able to do this on our own. We’re a very small company with limited resources.

Donations of equipment and materials have come from Hamburg School and Hamburg Education Association (Sussex County NJ), Doane Academy (Burlington NJ), Alpha Public Schools (Warren County NJ), and the Somerset Hills School District (Somerset County NJ), as well as Maribeth Regan and Andy Wander.

“We’re lucky enough to be able to remain fully staffed and hard at work during this crisis.

However, without the generous equipment and materials donations, we’d be unable to make these donations,” added Kirby.