Janine Downs from the 3M BIC technology team, has been looking at how businesses across the globe have been innovating to create products that are supporting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses across the globe are innovating to find a solution or support the global COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is having to adapt in order to survive and communicate.
In this digital age of Skype, Zoom and 3D printing we are all trying to find a solution to something that threatens the globe – not for monetary gain, but for survival and the safety of our loved ones.
Industries all around the world are re-evaluating what they manufacture and changing their normal production to suit the needs of today. Organisations that would normally fabricate aircraft components, for example, are turning their factory floors (with the 2m obligatory spacing) into making essential equipment to help the NHS. Breweries and independent gin distilleries are developing hand sanitisers to accommodate the increase in demand.
Businesses are taking the issues we are facing during the pandemic and thinking outside the box to try and solve the problems and keep the frontline staff and key workers safe, effectively and as cheaply as possible.
Others are thinking innovatively about how people can make their own face protection, as NHS staff use clear face shields to protect their eyes, nose and mouth over their breathing masks:
Here are a few examples of face mask innovations:
- Some households are looking at using the large throwaway disposable plastic pop bottles – cut up and shaped with foam inserted at the forehead and elastic to go over the ears to hold in place – simple and effective if there is nothing else you can get your hands on.
- Others are shaping a simple T shape out of a clear flexible material such as polycarbonate or similar.
Take the fashion industry’s throwaway items which hold a shirt collar in place, they could reprocess the packaging they use to stiffen shirt collars to remake a shape that will cover the face but still be adaptable to all sizes of head – i.e. a T shape with adjustable ‘wings’ to wrap around and hold in place with slot adjusters.
- The fashion industry has also found ways to help with the cloth face masks. One designer in South Korea whose shop has closed due to COVID-19 has turned to making colourful face masks for wearing out in the street, and one lady in Hungary has been demonstrating how to fold an A4 size piece of cloth in such a way that only uses two elastic bands to fix over ears – no sewing involved at all!
Often people who are under pressure find innovative things to make the situation better. This global pandemic is putting pressure on everyone, but lots of positives are coming out of it, changing how we work, play (limited) and interact (very limited). It has meant that countless innovative ideas are being created, disrupting lots of markets, which may even stick around in the long-term.
If you have an innovation but unsure where to start, our team of product designers can help right from concept to production. For more information, drop the team a line on email@example.com.