April 21, 2020

Caring for Communities: Liniar Business Moves Swiftly to Help Frontline Workers

by Guest Blogger

Quanex Building Products and its associates take pride in their communities all around the globe. It’s in the company’s DNA and core values to “do the right thing,” innovate and help out whenever possible. As part of a Caring for Communities series on In Focus, we’re going to highlight some of the extraordinary work our colleagues are doing during the global pandemic.

A great example comes from Liniar, Quanex’s U.K.-based vinyl extrusion business. While most of the country is under mandatory furlough and the extrusion business is temporarily closed, a small crew has stayed on to produce protective face visors for frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis using its 3D printing equipment.

“Once we saw the need out there, we immediately started looking for ways we could help our key workers,” said design & development director Chris Armes, who is leading the operations for Liniar. “With a workforce of more than 500, many of our employees have relatives working in care homes and on the frontline, and we wanted to support them.”

Liniar’s design team led by Armes began to trial designs for a 3D printed visor made of a medical-grade headband and a simple A4 acetate sheet. The final design chosen was ergonomic, comfortable for the user to wear, and would allow a full range of movement while fitting over the top of masks and glasses.
The design team volunteered to take turns working in four-hour shifts, day and night, to man the printer. In the meantime, discussions were taking place about procuring an injection-molding tool, which would enable the team to mass-produce the visors for as long as they were needed.

Once costed, Liniar immediately authorized the nearly $25,000 investment. The tool was ordered, and a production, packing and logistics process was put into place to distribute the visors to those contacting Liniar. Furloughed employees volunteered to come in to a carefully planned, socially distanced environment at Liniar House in order to make this happen.

Liniar’s protective visors are being provided free of charge to frontline workers. Customers or others wishing to purchase visors for their own operations will be charged cost price, plus a small donation equivalent to Liniar’s donation to enable the company to continue to supply to the frontline.

“It feels great to be part of such a proactive company – as soon as I highlighted the fact we could massively increase production by ordering a new tool, the expenditure was authorized. Our flat structure and constant communication meant we could put everything in place as swiftly as possible in order to be up and running with minimal delays.”

Armes added, “I’d also like to thank everyone who’s giving up their time to make such a positive difference to those who need it most at this critical time – we’re all proud of you!”

Full production of up to 3,000 visors per day should commence on April 27. Liniar is also helping the NHS through a JustGiving page. Read more at www.liniar.co.uk/raffle-to-support-nhs.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: April 21, 2020 by Guest Blogger Filed under: industry, inspire, Quanex