In just a couple of days since production of face shields began at Proton’s headquarters in Shah Alam, the national carmaker has already started delivering the vital personal protection equipment (PPE) to the medical front line workers.
The first batch of 8,000 face shields were shipped out on 16 February to hospitals in Kelantan. Proton says that the delivery will be followed by other East coast states due to the logistics involved.
While Proton is responsible for the assembly and distribution of the face shields, the company says that it has also received contribution from its vendors in support of the effort. One of such vendor is Pos Logistics, who contributed 2,000 large carton boxes to be used for packing and transportation.
Automotive component supplier, HICOM-Teck See Manufacturing Malaysia has also joined in the cause by contributing 1,500 kg of polypropylene, used to produce the frame of the face shields. Polypropylene is one of the main components used in the manufacturing of car bumpers.
Meanwhile, the original design of the face shield was provided by Universiti Teknologi MARA. Designers at Proton Design took the design and modified based on feedback from end users.
Proton deputy CEO, Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed said, “Proton is humbled by the response received both internally and outside of the company to our face shield project. The number of staff volunteering their services was overwhelming, despite inherent risks involved in leaving home and coming to work.
Therefore, we have taken steps to ensure everybody is kept safe by providing PPEs and maintaining a minimum distance between each work station to maintain social distancing.”
Since obtaining approval to manufacture face shields during the Movement Control Order, a small team at the Shah Alam plant began designing and testing prototypes with end users, while at the same time planning a production line that is both efficient and safe, in line with the COVID-19 health protocols.
Manning the production line are 50 Proton personnel, picked from a pool of volunteers, to measure and cut the various components required before assembling the final product. Proton says that 3,000 units of face shields can be produced in a day. The company expects to take approximately 20 days to manufacture the 60,000 units it has committed to deliver.
“At the same time, Proton also reached out to our vendor community to get them involved and the response has been heart-warming. Malaysia’s automotive sector has the capability and desire to contribute to the nation’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully we can do more in the coming weeks and months to help break the chain of infection,” added Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed.