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  • West Midlands manufacturer Tecman develop Optec™ sustainable biomaterial face shield system for the NHS

West Midlands manufacturer Tecman develop Optec™ sustainable biomaterial face shield system for the NHS

11th March 2021

Medilink Midlands member, Tecman Advanced Healthcare Products is leading the field in the development of sustainable high-quality, British-made PPE with Optec™ – a new biomaterial reusable face shield system designed to help the NHS reach it’s carbon emission reduction targets.

At the start of Covid-19, the urgent need for safe and comfortable PPE to protect frontline healthcare workers enabled British manufacturing to demonstrate incredible agility. But it simultaneously raised concerns about the environmental impact of more disposable commodities.

In fact, in a recent survey carried out by Tecman, 90% of the 156 healthcare workers surveyed communicated growing concerns about the environmental impact of PPE.

Tecman’s product lines help address these concerns due to their compact packaging and innovative processes saving tonnes of waste compared to other products on the market. All of their products are underpinned by their 4 Pillars of Comfort, which ensure comfort to the wearer across four key areas – feel, performance, sustainability, and cost.

However, Tecman’s latest development goes one step further and tackles sustainability concerns head on. The Optec™ reusable face shield system from the Leamington-based company uses biomaterials made from sustainably forested trees manufactured with low carbon footprint processes. This biomaterial reusable design with cleanable screens vastly reduces plastic waste.

With this new, more sustainable protective face shield system, Tecman has responded to the government’s recommendations for reusable PPE and has been developing the eco-friendly face shield alongside the NHS.

Benefits of Tecman’s new biomaterial reusable face shields include:

  • Supports NHS targets for carbon reduction
  • Reusable biomaterials reduce plastic use and environmental impact of PPE
  • Sustainably managed solution reduces pressure on waste management
  • Easy to clean whilst minimising bacteria build-up
  • New ergonomic design for improved wearer comfort and protection
  • Cost effective with a low price per wear
  • Cleanable screens for a more sustainable product

Leading the way in British-made PPE

Since spring 2020, the Tecman team have been on a mission to make British-engineered protective visors the number one choice for our NHS workers and has been working closely with the NHS ever since.

As part of this drive, the company invested over £500,000 in state-of-the-art machinery that enabled them to boost production of their protective face shields to over 1 million units per week. Their efforts were rewarded when, in June 2020, their original face shield became one of the first to receive the sought-after category III complex design PPE level.

In recognition of the product’s quality and comfort, the company’s face shield is specified by the NHS in its product framework and catalogue, and has already been used by hundreds of thousands of frontline healthcare workers.

Tecman have been running hospital trials for Optec™ and incorporating wearer feedback on comfort, safety and durability into its final round of improvements, ensuing it is optimised for the best possible wearer experience.

A boost for the UK economy

The West Midlands-based company currently exports its protective face shields throughout Europe, and has been working with global organisations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure production remains at peak levels.

Kevin Porter, Tecman’s Technical Director, said: “We’ve worked hard alongside the NHS to develop a more sustainable reusable faceshield system which is competitive on price and quality whilst providing ecological benefits, and we’re delighted with the results. Optec™ has been well received by the healthcare sector and we’re working closely with the DHSC to ensure it’s fairly considered in their next procurement process. Optec™ addresses rising concerns about the environmental impact of PPE, provides value to the NHS, and prioritises wearer comfort and the safety of our vital healthcare workers.”

For information on product development and manufacturing at Tecman, email jo.talbot@tecmanuk.com, call 01926 353384 or visit tecmanuk.com

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