Polish engineers answered a call to action to help our medical staff withstand the COVID-19 outbreak. In just a few hours more than 100 employees from GE Aviation and GE Gas Power working in Engineering Design Center in Warsaw volunteered to join Engineers in Arms.
General Electric Company Polska together with our strategic partner on Warsaw campus, Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, joined forces to utilize our unique skills in the best way possible.
It all started at the end of March when the number of positive tests for coronavirus in Poland were growing by the day. We couldn’t wait much longer, especially with our region being the most affected by the outbreak. We all felt the urge to do something and support the community. After a thorough research we have come across few designs best to use to support Polish medical staff. We kicked off production as Engineers in Arms and soon realized that our neighbors on the campus… were doing exactly the same! The decision was simple. We joined forces to combat the SARS-Cov-2. In only a few hours one of our additive engineers together with his brother working at the Polish Institute of Polymer Materials Engineering helped to provide free of charge foil material to be cut on our laser plotter. This was a milestone that let us start mass production of ~1500 items per day. GE Volunteers assemble and pack the boxes for the hospitals in shifts to keep up with supply and demand.
Last week we have experienced the power of positive messages being published via social media. “We have been contacted by private companies’ owners as well as other Polish GE sites wanting to dedicate their machines to support us. This would not have happened without Tweets like the one sent by US Ambassador in Poland. It is a pure honor to have Ms Georgette Mosbacher supporting our initiative” – said Tomasz Żochowski, initiator and main coordinator of Engineers in Arms.
On top of the laser-cut visors our engineers are also producing personal protection based on a free, non-commercial version of the PRUSA research project used around the world. EDC staff operates twenty-five 3D printers to create parts for the visors. Except of our top of the line lab equipment our employees wanted to help out and put their own printers at homes to good use.
In just one week Engineers in Arms delivered in total 6000 visors to the hospitals. Our capacity is growing by the day – GE Volunteers took up the challenge to coordinate another production line in a different region of Poland (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship). This all means that starting tomorrow we will be able to produce and deliver twice as much visors as we did so far.
In just two weeks our action snowballed. Today we are doing do much more than just visors. Our employees are printing special handles that allows opening of the doors without touching them with your hands, creating hand-made personal safety masks for seniors, producing spare critical parts for respirators used in Polish hospitals and collecting all necessary non-medical items so badly needed by the hospitals. On top of that we are working on the last chance respirator project and its rapid production together with Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation. Poland is best known from our solidarity especially during hardships. Now it is no different. Solidarity is embedded in our DNA. Once again, we have risen to the challenge and we are determined to stand arm by arm together against COVID-19 outbreak.
Watch Engineers in Arms in action during the assembly of one of our visors. Special thanks go to Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation for financing all required materials! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmi_Aof4cLs&fbclid=IwAR12ebAnkZiu-erahdCn5_ndM4dRCwajizCTPkXLQuySE5CZUEQDYUyQRIE