by TMR/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
CARMAKER Proton Holdings Bhd has started producing face shields for medical frontliners as the company reinforces its commitment to help fight the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Malaysia.
The first batch of 8,000 units was shipped out yesterday to hospitals in Kelantan, followed by other East coast states.
This is part of Proton’s staff joint effort to contribute in the fight against the pandemic.
The carmaker’s Shah Alam plant, which was quiet since March 18 in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO), has come to life as employees return to produce the face shields.
The process began with designing and testing prototypes and getting feedback from end users to ensure the final product will meet their needs.
At the same time, the project team had to plan for a production line that was both safe and efficient to meet with Covid-19 health protocols.
The company said 50 people, picked from a pool of volunteers, work in an assembly line to measure and cut the various components required before assembling the final product.
“Up to 3,000 units can be produced in a single day, and the company is expected to take approximately 20 days to produce 60,000 units, which it has committed to deliver,” Proton said in a statement.
While Proton is responsible for the assembly and distribution of the face shields, the company has received contributions from its vendor community that is eager to get involved.
Pos Logistics Sdn Bhd, one of the biggest logistics service providers in Malaysia, contributed over 2,000 large carton boxes which will be used to pack the face shields for easy transportation.
Automotive component supplier, Hicom-Teck See Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd, has contributed 1,500kg of polypropylene, one of the main components in car bumper, which will be used to produce the frame of the face shields.
The original design for the face shield was contributed by Universiti Teknologi MARA, while the designers at Proton Design developed the frame based on feedback from end users. A slogan “STAY STRONG! We will get through this!” is also added to the design.
“Proton is humbled by the response received both internal and external for 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 personal protective equipment and maintaining a minimum distance between each work station to maintain social distancing.
“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,” said Proton deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed.