Valiant TMS, which normally supplies parts to some of the world’s biggest automakers, including Ford and General Motors, has joined the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and is now supplying the “arsenal of health” with face shields and masks for health-care workers manning the front lines.
“We were just going to do [ventilator] parts for somebody else that had a medical clean room and could assemble them,” Valiant CEO Tony Elias told Automotive News Canada. “But there was a bunch of red tape, so we took the path of least resistance.”
There were too many standards, regulations — and lawyers — to deal with in short order. So that meant the Windsor, Ont.-based had to change gears quickly, and moved to producing 3D-printed face shields and donating N95 face masks for nurses and other first responders.
“We looked at things we could do quickly,” Elias said. “We immediately reached out to our supply base and I was able to acquire 2,000 face masks that will be delivered to Windsor Regional Hospital.”
They’re set to arrive the week of April 13. Previously, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association challenged its members to donate one million masks to the cause.
Valiant then went to work in-house, printing 15 shields for the hospital. The Schulich School of Medicine, which operates out of Western University in London, Ont., and the University of Windsor, then said it needed some for triage workers. So Valiant printed another 15 for the school.
“There are now multiple places we’re delivering,” Elias said.
Midwives, nursing homes and emergency rooms in the Windsor region are all receiving the shields, adding to what auto suppliers and politicians are calling the Canadian-made “arsenal of health.” Valiant is supplying the masks free of charge.