Leicester-based British manufacturing company Mowbray Leather Goods Limited usually manufacture products such as bags and belts, but they have transformed part of their factory into a face visor-making production line, to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Following the prime minister’s lockdown announcement, the CEO of the company Minh Phan revealed that it had started to make visors to aid frontline NHS staff and combat the shortage of PPE. Mr Phan said that he and his colleagues converted the factory into a production line in just one day.
"As a leather goods manufacturer we have many machines and tools that can also be used on thin clear sheets of plastic. I saw a news report the previous weekend about a design company in New York making face shields for healthcare professionals and thought we could do that with our equipment.”
The company sourced materials from other Leicestershire businesses. The plastic is sourced from PSR Plastics which is also based in Melton. It is also using elastic from H Seal & Co in Coalville to make the head loop. The visor has been designed so that it can be moved upwards allowing its user to eat and drink without removing the visor entirely.
According to Mr Pahn, in their first day of production they made around 100 face shields, but just a week later they were managing 400 in a day. He also said that there is the capacity to bring back the staff who have been furloughed to double their production figure if the demand becomes great enough.
The company has pledged to keep producing the PPE for as long as is necessary and has reached out to the NHS to offer its services.