Social, Sustainability News – April 14, 2020 – Katie Johnson

O-I Works with Robex to Produce Reusable PPE During COVID-19

O-I Glass, Inc. is collaborating with another Northwest Ohio company, Robex, to make reusable face shields, a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), for members of the Northwest Ohio medical community during the COVID-19 health crisis. 

Robex, an industrial automation company located next to O-I’s headquarters, reached out to O-I to coordinate a plan to produce face shields for area medical workers. O-I is using its 3D printing capabilities to make the frames for the shields. 

While the company’s global campus is closed to office workers because of COVID-19, O-I is making these reusable face shield frames around the clock by using its existing pool of essential employees—the security and maintenance crew. 

“We produced a short training video to show them how,” says Senior Program Manager Brian Chisholm. 

Security staff is timing their rounds so they can be in O-I’s Glass and Science Materials Lab to remove completed print jobs and start new ones; the new frames will be ready by the next time they conduct their rounds in the lab. 

David Hoadley, O-I’s director of Innovative Package Solutions, says the security and maintenance employees were eager to help: “Everybody wants to feel like they are contributing.” 

Craig Francisco, vice president of strategy at Robex, says, “O-I has committed resources and technology to help us keep up with demand.” He says the project has “been emotionally fueled with sincere gratitude” as medical workers receive the PPE. 

As the leader in manufacturing sustainable glass packaging, this project continues that tradition. The face shield frames are reusable, while 3D printing is “as close to zero waste manufacturing as you can get,” Hoadley says.