Cirrus Aircraft has launched a series of initiatives in support of healthcare workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic including designing respirators and blower units. According to the company, it has prototyped much-needed powered air purifying respirators (PAPR), which “provide positive airflow through a filter to a hood that protects healthcare workers from contaminated air.” In partnership with Duluth, Minnesota-based manufacturer Frost River Trading, Cirrus expects to create 850 hood and coupler assemblies in the next week.
“At the heart of creating full PAPR units, is a project to recreate the blower units available at area hospitals, which are in short supply,” Cirrus said. “Our engineers have designed, prototyped and tested a replacement assembly using computer aided design (CAD) software as well as 3D printing. The design our team came up with costs a fraction of the typical 3M unit supplied to hospitals.” Cirrus says it will be capable of providing nearly 200 blower assemblies once the design is approved.
In addition, the company has assembled 31,500 disposable face shields with materials provided by Frost River Trading. Cirrus has also donated gloves, hand sanitizer and lab gear to local hospitals in Duluth.