According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Viking Yachts of New Gretna has recently launched a project for face shield manufacturing, in which more than 1,000 shields will be provided to medical facilities to aid in the fight against the pandemic.

As noted in the May edition of The Fisherman, Viking donated nearly 3,000 N95 respirator masks and 100 Tyvek suits, boots, and hoods to local medical facilities during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis.  Now according to NMMA, as the number of cases across the country and in New Jersey continued to climb, Viking Yachts’ executive leadership saw an opportunity to make a larger impact, and they jumped into action to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for regional medical and municipal facilities.

“Wanting to make the most of their design capabilities, Viking began experimenting with their 3D printing technology to fabricate protective face shields. Viking’s Design & Engineering Department created numerous prototypes in the span of only two weeks,” NMMA said, reporting that the company has been able to cut down the time to create a halo from 90 minutes to 20.  Viking also developed a method to fabricate the halos in stacks with air gaps to easily separate the halos.  With the 3D printing machines and their newly developed system, Viking anticipates that they will be able to fabricate more than 1,000 face shield kits for distribution to local healthcare professionals in New Jersey.

“Viking Yachts has a long history of assisting the surrounding community and partnering with local organizations, and we here at Viking saw this as a critical opportunity to step up and further these efforts during this time of need,” said Viking Groups Executive Co-Chairman Bob Healey Jr. “We have incredible design, engineering, and manufacturing expertise here at Viking, and we want to share this knowledge and these resources with our community.”

In protecting the surrounding community, Viking is also taking precautions to protect its employees. Along with following state health guidelines, mandatory hand washing, distancing of 6 feet or more, and wearing face masks, safety glasses, and other PPE, Viking has implemented a number of their own procedures, which includes daily employee temperature checks, staggered work start and stop times, and restrictions in common areas.

“Our goal is to serve as a model for safe operations for a manufacturing company in the state of New Jersey in these unprecedented times and do our part to flatten the curve,” said Healey.