UofM’s Herff College of Engineering partners with MCR Safety and Precision Plastics to produce free face shields for health care workers

May 4, 2020 - The Metal Additive Manufacturing Lab, located in the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis, has partnered with two local companies, MCR Safety and Precision Plastics, to quickly produce face shields during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The partnership will provide the face shields free of charge to first responders, health care facilities and medical professionals with need.  

“Under the direction of Dr. Ebrahim Asadi, our Metal Additive Manufacturing Lab began in March generating face shield frames to support the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA),” said Dr. Rick Sweigard, dean of the Herff College of Engineering. “When this order was complete, Dr. Asadi remained committed to getting face shields in the hands of those who need them most, frontline health care workers. We are grateful that MCR Safety’s founder, Hilliard Crews, a University of Memphis alumnus and key contributor of the UofM’s Crews Center for Entrepreneurship, connected Dr. Asadi to MCR Safety and Precision Plastics.”

In order to create the complete face shield, Precision Plastics is providing the raw plastic materials, MCR Safety is manufacturing the plastic face shields, and the UofM is manufacturing the headgear bracket frame using five commercial-grade 3D printers. In addition, MCR Safety is distributing the face shield kits that each contain five plastic face shields, one headgear bracket frame, two pieces of Velcro and instructions on assembling the face shield.  

“MCR Safety is honored to join hands with the University of Memphis to offer a local solution to our first responders, emergency personnel and medical professionals who may struggle with finding the appropriate PPE to maintain protection during COVID-19,” said Chris Smith, director of Marketing, MCR Safety. “Each kit will be offered free of charge, which serves as a way of saying thank you to our local heroes. Our motto at MCR Safety is ‘We Protect People,’ and I can’t think of a better way to see this come to light than in our own backyard.” 

“We want to make sure our first responders and medical professionals are equipped with the protection they need while working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Asadi, director of the Metal Additive Manufacturing Lab and assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The goal of our partnership with MCR Safety is to manufacture 600 face shield kits, but we will extend that goal based on community need.” 

If you are a first responder or medical professional and your workplace would like to receive free face shield kits, please contact Chris Smith, director of Marketing, MCR Safety, at 901.409.9020 or csmith@mcrsafety.com.

About MCR Safety

MCR Safety is recognized as a global leader in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE) and employs more than 1,600 internationally, including approximately 300 locally. Their international headquarters and a 500,000-square-foot distribution center are both located in the Memphis area.