FAIRFIELD, IA -- Weaton Capital of Fairfield, Iowa, which owns and manages a portfolio of high-tech manufacturing companies including Creative Edge, a pioneer of combining architectural design with waterjet cutting, has been producing face shields, planning to distribute them to health care workers in the fight against COVID-19.
CEO Nate Weaton stated that his organization has already created 2,500 prototypes of plastic face shields, now awaiting approval from the State of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Once approved, Weaton plans to produce 250,000 face shields for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals working the front line in just a few weeks.
The face shield is a 9-inch long piece of transparent plastic that wraps around the wearer’s face, stretching from forehead to chin. It can be an added protective layer worn in conjunction with safety glasses or a mask underneath.
Whereas this product is unlike anything his companies produce, Weaton plans to alter some of his high-technology machines in order to generate these face shields, which are so much in need.
Weaton’s team received engineering specifications for these face shields from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, as well as from Johns Hopkins University. To adapt his company’s machines to make the equipment, Weaton stated it only required moderate modifications. Additionally, Weaton said his company has brought in both workers and volunteers to help assemble the face shields.
“We’re conscious about social distancing,” Weaton said. “We take the safety of our people very seriously. This has been a great project; it feels good to give back. Enthusiasm is high. Our main hurdle is the lack of plastic, which seems to be sold out everywhere.”
Weaton is also making these face shields at his own cost. “We’ve had good conversations with the state and with hospitals,” he said. “If this becomes an ongoing need, we’ll revisit that in the future as a commercial product, but our mission is not to profit off this. We’re just trying to get this equipment into the field.”