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Mondelēz uses 3D chocolate-making technology to make medical visors
Mondelēz International, the makers of Cadbury and Oreo, has joined forces with engineering company 3P innovation to help produce thousands of medical visors to protect frontline NHS staff.
The food manufacturer is repurposing its 3D printing technology which is normally used to make chocolate sculptures at Bournville, the home of Cadbury, to help print the medical visors.
This builds on a fascinating history of Cadbury’s Bournville factory, having set up Bournville Utilities in the 1940s to help make gas masks, jerricans, service respirators and aeroplane parts for Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers during WWII.
Mondelēz is helping to produce the hard-plastic bands which connect the top and bottom of the visor. It has also invested money into the project so 3P can buy injection mould technology, which will mean the visors can be mass-produced.
3P has already delivered the first visors to a Warwickshire NHS clinic and will be scaling up its operations, with the aim of making and delivering up to 10,000 units every week.
Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelēz International, said: “The NHS and other frontline services are doing an incredible job and we want to support them wherever we can.
“I’m extremely proud that our research and food engineering teams have come up with a creative way to repurpose our chocolate making skills and technology, so we can make and print parts for the medical visors. By working in partnership with 3P and other businesses, we can scale our operations and help protect those who are working so hard to protect us and beat coronavirus.”
Tom Bailey, managing director at 3P innovation, added: “We have now set up the production line and the finished products are on their way to end users. Thanks to the generous support from Mondelez, we have purchased an injection moulding tool which is set to make a huge difference to the volumes we can produce. We are now looking for ongoing funding, which is essential to make sure we can continue to purchase components and run the production lines.”
3P is appealing for support from other manufacturers and businesses with 3D printing technology and logistics services, so they can continue to make and supply the medical visors to more NHS workers and other frontline services, such as care homes and prison staff. If you can help, please visit: https://bit.ly/NHSvisors3P or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mondelēz is also contributing over £2m in the UK to help local communities, charities, foodbanks and people working in the NHS and other frontline services including donating to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal, working with national and local charities to organise and distribute over two million products to communities across the country and donating funds to the National Emergencies Trust and GroceryAid to support colleagues working in the grocery industry and those across the food and drink supply chain.
Stigant concluded: “We have a rich history of supporting people, communities and businesses through the Cadbury Foundation and our network of national and local charity partners.
“Coronavirus is impacting all our lives and that support is needed now more so than ever and our colleagues are going the extra mile to selflessly help others at what is an incredibly challenging time.”