MME department produces face shields amid COVID-19 pandemic

Since early April, members of the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department (MME) have been working to design and quickly produce face shields because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Originally, the manufacturing process took over two hours. The team knew there had to be a more productive way to produce the shields.

Karl Reiff, lab coordinator and technician, made changes to the injection process, helping the entire production process run more efficiently. Karl Reiff looks at face shield production

“[The best part was] when I got the first good part out of the injection machine,” Reiff said. “It was good to get back in the lab and get to make a difference.”

The frames are made on a plastic injection molding machine. A mold is cut from metal, and molten plastic is then injected into the mold and cooled until solid.

Now, the shield headbands take only 20 seconds to construct.

Reiff has been working with a team: MME lab technician Brad Martin, MME professor and department chair Dr. Amit Shukla, and the VP Research and Innovation, Dr. James Oris, who has been working on distribution.

Right now, the team is distributing the shields to Miami departments, including dining, academic programs, the Rinella Learning Center and more, according to Dr. Shukla.

Outside of Miami, the shields will be supplied to health care employees and other essential workers. The goal is to produce at least 500.

For more information on the Miami community’s equipment contributions, see the University News and Communications webpage.

By Jenna Calderón, CEC Reporter