Andreas Alvehav is a Global Cab Quality Manager at Volvo Group. When he, together with most of his colleagues, was temporarily laid-off, he wanted to spend his time to do something useful for the community. He made some calls and found out that there is a high demand for long-armed plastic aprons.
“There are many of us who want to help out given the current situation, but it’s not so easy to know how to help,” says Karin Strömberg, one of the colleagues who Andreas got in touch with. “I really wanted to help somehow, so for me it was natural to offer my services.”
Planning took place during the course of a weekend. On the Monday thereafter, the necessary equipment was acquired, and a product line was set up in the workshop where the first prototype trucks are usually built. By Tuesday, production of the aprons was under way.
“The solution is simple. We have used an open-source blueprint of an apron” explains Karin Strömberg. “What is needed is a large table, knives to cut the plastic with, and an iron to join the seams. The sheeting came in rolls from the builders' merchant XL-BYGG, who covered the costs of the material.
It feels good to know that there are many companies who are together contributing to the community by providing the necessary personal protective equipment. They cover the costs of the plastic and we at the Volvo Group provide the facilities, equipment and the employees who want to help.
So far, there are ten engineers who are manufacturing the plastic aprons, and they expect to make 500 aprons per day. With more volunteers, the goal is to reach 1,000 per day.
One of the ten engineers is Helena Wiberg.
“The government is acting to support the Volvo Group in this difficult time. For me, it feels natural to then give something back to the community, particularly now that there is high demand for personal protective equipment among healthcare workers.”
The Volvo engineers have also received a great number of requests from various companies and organizations who want to start similar lines of production for protective aprons. The team is documenting how they are working so that the method can be shared with others in Sweden to further increase the production of long-armed protective aprons.