Company News Manufacturers join forces to produce new ‘reusable’ visors

Editor: Steffen Donath

Protecting frontline workers against the threat of Covid-19 has been the catalyst for nine manufacturers and an engineering design agency to come together to launch a new product.

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(clockwise) Austin Owens (Grove Design), Matt Harwood (Barkley Plastics) and Rowan Crozier (Brandauer)
(clockwise) Austin Owens (Grove Design), Matt Harwood (Barkley Plastics) and Rowan Crozier (Brandauer)
(Source: MAN Group)

The Manufacturing Assembly Network has invested more than 30,000 pound into the design and manufacture of the “Mankind” visor, an easy to assemble and reusable visor that is more comfortable than the current options available.

Backed by expertise from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the collective took just six weeks from initial concept and prototyping to create a bespoke tool at Barkley Plastics able to produce 500,000 units every year. The first 20,000 are being donated to charitable causes, with South Warwickshire NHS Trust, New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, Support Staffordshire and the Pen Museum in Birmingham some of the first recipients to benefit. Once this allocation has been finalised, the visor will then be sold directly to healthcare organisations, schools, retailers and businesses looking to safely return to work.

“We initially started 3D printing and distributing a few visors to help the NHS, but quickly realised we needed a more robust production method to keep up with demand,” explained Austin Owens, Founder of Grove Design and the driving force behind the project. “This is when we approached other members in the MAN Group to look at options and came up with the plan to design and develop our own version, tapping into Barkley Plastics’ toolmaking and moulding expertise and the collective’s supply chain capability for sourcing the right materials and distribution.”

He continued: “There was no point just coming up with a similar product to those already out there. Instead our visor is lightweight, easy to assemble with a push clip feature, suitable for repeated use, can be easily cleaned (the headband can even be put in a dishwasher) and includes a full peak for better protection.

“Comfort was also a priority and this is reflected in the inclusion of a ‘stretch’ headband that removes the need for a foam band and elasticated straps. Importantly, the user also has space to wear a face mask underneath it and the visor fits a variety of head sizes, making it suitable for many children.”

The visor offers a high quality, comfortable and cost-effective option to protect frontline staff and can be purchased via and a number of distributors.