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South Eastern Regional College’s Industrial Engineers – Working from Home to Keep People Safe

SERC Industrial Engineer, Christopher Bell, from Newtownards, who has been working away to support the health service by manufacturing face shields using one of SERCS’s 3D printers at home.

Makeshift home offices come in many guises these days but two staff from @S_ERC have engineered a whole new look for their home office in order to continue making specialist face masks for those working on the front line.  

Industrial Engineers, Christopher Bell, from Newtownards, and James Robinson from Ballygowan, from  the College’s Business Services have been working away to support the health service by manufacturing face shields using 3D printers at the College’s Bangor Campus but when the two ran into some problems the solution was to set up the equipment at home.

Christopher said, “ We had initially set up a 3D printing farm in the Bangor Campus as we had access for 2 days a week for a couple of hours, so the plan was to use the time to start all the printers to make the face shields.  It takes a few hours to make each mask from start to finish.  We would then check the prints and restart the printers on the next day we had access to the College.  Unfortunately, we ran into a few problems, which meant we were using precious time fixing them when we really wanted to be turning out as many shields as possible.“

James added, “We got agreement to set up the 3D printers at home so we could continuously print parts and Christopher and myself could monitor and repair the printers as and when necessary. This method has proved to be much more effective and we are able to run the printers to their full capacity.”

Aurla McLoughlin, Deputy Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship said, “This is another example of College staff and students have answered the call to help in the fight against  Coronavirus from gathering and distributing PPE, to stitching face masks,  to preparing meals and baked goods for foodbanks and vulnerable people in the community and making these specialist shields at home.   We are immensely proud of James and Christopher and everyone involved in helping people on the frontline whist we continue teaching and training online at SERC.”

SERC is hosting a series of Online Open Days from 10am – 4pm, on Wednesday 27 May until Thursday 4 June, with dedicated teams online ready to meet those progressing to Higher Education, Further Education, Apprenticeships and Training programmes.

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