Familia Torres, the Spanish wine company noted for its commitment to combating climate change, is now using its 3D printers in the battle against coronavirus. The family-owned company has joined a local initiative that's making protective equipment for healthcare workers.
“We wanted to join in this initiative of manufacturing healthcare equipment - since we have two 3D printers - and make our small contribution in the fight against Covid-19,” said general manager Miguel Torres Maczassek. “ It's also a way of saying thank you to all the professionals for doing all their impressive work, and therefore we are looking into which other ways we have, to continue helping them".
The local group, CV19_FAB_Vilafranca, is made up of businesses and institutions with access to 3D technology. Familia Torres have printers that are normally used for printing spare parts for machines around the estate – now, they are working to produce part of the face shields used by health workers. Specifically, they are printing the headband that holds the shield in place.
The equipment will be delivered to the Hospital Comarcal de l’Alt Penedes (the county hospital) and other local facilities as necessary. Although the winery will be closed for Easter, some members of the Torres family will continue printing headbands at home.
Spain has been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus, with nearly 150,000 confirmed cases and more than 14,500 deaths at the time of writing. So dire is the shortage of personal protective gear, that the New York Times recently reported on the efforts of Spanish medical staff to make their own from whatever materials they have to hand, including garbage bags. Perhaps as a consequence, Spanish medical staff have been falling ill at higher rates than anywhere else in Europe.
The Vilafranca initiative is supported by the Vilafranca City Council and local police, who will help distribute the equipment.