Case study

PPE respirator hood system

  • PPE respirator hood designed for industrial environments but re-purposed for medical / pharmaceutical industries.
  • A bespoke shrink wrapped vibration motor and mounting solution used in the notification system.
  • 8mm ERM vibration motor
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Challenge

  1. Our customer designed a respirator hood for the industrial sector and were looking to pivot to supply protection to frontline medical workers during the pandemic.
  2. The hood is battery operated so the motor needed to have a low energy drain.
  3. A control unit was designed in to generate three types of alert alarms: electronic audible, visual and vibration.
  4. They wanted to investigate the idea of including a vibration alerting/haptic feedback system into the medical hood.

Solution

  • Our team of application engineers worked with our customer’s in-house team to design a bespoke shrink wrapped motor and mounting system.
  • We reviewed the haptic feedback hood design and made some recommendations on how to improve the integration.
  • Through sourcing an almost identical 2nd source motor we were able to ensure the customer was not impacted by the sudden international increase in demand for vibration motors.
  • We set up a new manufacturing line specifically for this device so we could ensure we maintained the supply level they needed and could meet their delivery schedule.

Results

  • We have been successfully manufacturing and supplying the bespoke solution for this customer for almost a decade.
  • They had a consistent yearly order for the industrial hood motors but saw a huge increase in demand once it became available to frontline medical workers during the pandemic.
  • Close cooperation between both parties led to a us being able to protect them from the risk of supply chain issues due to the huge demand in motors.
  • We are the only supplier they are using to source and manufacture the solution for this device.

Project scope

PPE respiratory hood designed for industrial environments but re-purposed for medical and pharmaceutical workers.

Our multi-national bluechip customer designed a PPE respiratory hood to be used in industrial settings and tough environments, such as machine workshops, to protect the users from inhaling toxic gases, vapours and particles. Reducing the workers’ risk of developing life-changing illnesses.

The industrial hood was designed to cover the face and have a waist-mounted notification system. The notification system alerts the user to key pieces of information like the battery charge or airflow status.

When the pandemic started they contacted us as planned to re-design the industrial hood so it would be more comfortable for medical frontline and pharmaceutical workers. The medical hood was designed to cover the whole head and neck and would use the same waist-mounted notification system. They were also looking into adding some form of vibration / haptic feedback alerting system into the hood so the user would have more ways of being alerted to key information.

They knew the medical version of the hood was going to be a critical product so to ensure they could meet the demand, their monthly motor order increased overnight by 400%.

STAGE 1

Designing for application

  • One of their key concerns was the importance of reducing the risk of the motor coming into contact with any dust or toxic particles, but having the power to issue a strong tactile alert.
  • Following discussions with the customer we made changes to the motor mounting bracket to increase the strain relief of the motor.
  • We worked with the customer to come up with an alert system that could be added into the hood.

STAGE 2

Testing and finalising

  • The vibration motor was tested to ensure would be robust enough to survive being used in an industrial environment.
  • The hood was tested by health and safety and achieve the EN 12941 Class TH2 and TH3 certification.
  • We worked with them to fast-track an almost identical motor so they would have two sources for their motor needs.
  • This reduced their risk of supply chain issues as the suppliers were in two different geographic locations.

STAGE 3

Results and relationship

  • Due to our quick support during the pandemic we were fast-tracked as their preferred supplier for the new factory they have recently opened in Poland. This factory will service Europe and the Middle East markets.
  • We have been recommended internally for several new projects across the business.
  • By agreeing a long term order commitment we have proactively managed their supply chain risks including protecting them from the increase in raw material prices.

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