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24.04.20

UK firm repurposes specialist food packaging tech to produce PPE

Words provided by RAP UK, editorially reviewed by National Health Executive

Rapid Action Packaging (RAP), one of the UK’s leading food-to-go packaging manufacturers, has repurposed its production line during the coronavirus outbreak to manufacture disposable PPE face shield equipment at a mass scale.

With a targeted capacity of up to ten million units a week, RAP have already begun operations producing the first one million RAP Face Shield units, with the first 65,000 having been earmarked for free distribution to care homes across the UK and Ireland.

RAP is able to scale up to its full production capacity of between seven and ten million face shields a week in part thanks to its established supply chain and industry-accredited manufacturing facilities.

In normal circumstances, RAP’s design solutions usually produce high grade protective and hygienic food packaging for sandwiches, hot products, chilled meats and ready meals, with a wealth of high profile customers including coffee shops, independents, convenience stores and major food retailing brands.

The Solution

Mobilising its award-winning design and technical team, the new RAP Face Shield is a lightweight, disposable and unique PPE solution, which confirms with Category 1 PPE EU Regulation 2016:425 – the European technical specifications standard for PPE equipment.

RAP’s solution is intended for use among health support workers, cleaners, teaching staff, retail operatives and other public facing roles where PPE of this type has largely been unavailable during the coronavirus outbreak.

The RAP Face Shield provides a barrier for the user against airborne moisture and spray, which is emitted during coughing and sneezing by people in proximity to the wearer. The material used in the shield’s construction is a high barrier protective film, commonly used in the packaging industry to protect food against bacteria, viruses and other harmful pathogens.

RAP Face Shield Blue BG

RAP have already begun operations producing the first one million RAP Face Shield units, with the first 65,000 having been earmarked for free distribution to care homes across the UK and Ireland.
 

The visor is laminated to a carton board frame to provide a rigid head frame with an adjustable strap. Using effective but easily accessible components to RAP, the face shield solution is also extremely economical, with prices at just 0.12p per unit in bulk orders, making the solution a sustainable and viable option.

CEO of RAP, Graham Williams, said: As award-winning designers and manufacturers we felt, like many others, that it was absolutely critical for us to step up and join the national effort to help deliver the Government’s PPE plan.

“With the difficult challenges being faced by the care sector, we also felt it only fitting that we started our PPE journey with a donation of face shields to the industry.

“We have always been extremely proud of our simple and clever packaging solutions. But we are even prouder of our innovative and intuitive team who have worked so hard over the last couple of weeks to develop this face shield.

“Not only does it conform to the EU Regulation 2016:425 Category 1 technical PPE specifications, but it is also economical to purchase - such is our desire to help fulfil a much-needed solution at this time.”

The face shields are manufactured in the EU at RAP’s state-of-the-art facilities in Ireland, which are BRC AA-accredited to QA standards, governed by ISO 9001:2019 and EN 2023/2006 manufacturing practice. All employees adhere to stringent health and safety guidelines and a strict social distancing policy is in place.

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