In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Protolabs—a digital manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts headquartered in Maple Plain, Minnesota—has prioritized the production of medical supplies and is already providing essential products to labs, hospitals and companies across the United States.
The company has seen an influx of COVID-19 related medical components needing urgent production, including test kits, ventilators, shields, masks and respirators. Across the company’s service lines—injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing, and sheet metal fabrication—over 4 million COVID-19 related parts have been expedited at no charge.
Combating the virus has become the company’s highest priority. “We’re honored to do our part to help fight this virus,” said Protolabs President and CEO Vicki Holt. “We’ve been working nonstop to develop components needed for critical medical supplies, such as ventilators, respirators, test kits and shields, and we put internal protocols in place to prioritize these orders ahead of all others to get critical medical supplies into the market.”
With so many manufacturers working to support the pandemic response, each is attempting to find the best way to contribute effectively. On Protolabs’ end, its proprietary software converges software and hardware platforms, automating the front-end of the manufacturing process and moving parts across a multitude of processes out the door in as little as a day.
“The manufacturing industry has really rallied to produce critical supplies, with companies quickly shifting resources to answer the call,” said Holt. “Due to the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases, the speed of response is critical for our customers and our nation. At Protolabs, we have always prided ourselves on our speed—which enables us to cut new tools and ship parts in a matter of days in order to get them to the people who need them.”
“Manufacturing heroes have been a part of our country’s history since its inception, and that tradition continues today,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “During this crisis and in the future, you can count on manufacturers to lead the way forward.”