In response to the corona crisis, the Volkswagen Group has started to produce face shield holders by 3D printing. This is part of a joint transnational initiative with Airbus and the 3D printing network “Mobility goes Additive”, which includes about 250 companies.
The products developed by Airbus will be used in Spain and will be flown from Hamburg to Madrid by Airbus. In addition, there are a number of other initiatives by Volkswagen Group brands to produce medical supplies.
Production is in progress not only at the large 3D printing centers in Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt, but also at other plants of Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, MAN Truck & Bus, Porsche, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Components and Volkswagen Motorsport. The Group currently uses more than 50 3D printers at its plants continuously adding additional printers for this project.
Lamborghini, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Passenger Cars are also working on other medical supplies: Volkswagen Navarra (Spain) has already started last week to produce face shields and has handed about 1,000 units to the Navarra Government.
In collaboration with the Technical University in Prague, ŠKODA has developed a 3D printing process to produce reusable FFP3 respirators. The Czech Ministry of Health is now distributing these to doctors, hospitals and nursing staff.
Lamborghini is converting departments of its super sports car production plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese in order to produce surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields. The masks will be donated to a hospital in Bologna.
SEAT is currently working on several initiatives to collaborate, including the production of a mechanical ventilator that will be assembled in Martorell and various models of face masks which are still pending official approval. See our story elsewhere. Volkswagen South Africa is also printing masks and face shields which are pending official approval.
To date, Volkswagen has already donated several hundred thousand medical face masks for the public health system in Germany. The Volkswagen Group has also decided to donate additional medical supplies such as face masks and protective clothing for medical centers and hospitals with a total value of about €40 million. This is intended as a contribution to maintaining the functioning of the health system in Germany. As a global group, Volkswagen is also using its international supplier and logistics network to provide support for the procurement of medical equipment and supplies.
Hans Knol ten Bensel