Coronavirus: Nissan's Sunderland factory to deliver 100,000 face visors a week to NHS staff

Published 17 April 2020

Nissan's Sunderland factory is aiming to deliver up to 100,000 face visors a week to NHS staff to help the UK in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The car maker has set up a new line at its Tyne and Wear factory to supply doctors and nurses with the critical personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak. Teams of volunteers will pack the PPE at the factory, which is next door to the new Nightingale Hospital. 

It’s a project that was inspired by four brothers. Two of the brothers - Anthony and Chris Grilli - are engineers based at Nissan UK’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

Production was initially kicked off with the support of crowd funding and used banks of 3D printers at the Grilli's homes.

Nissan Sunderland To Produce PPE (2)

Anthony Grilli said: "We had the ability to support the national effort to produce more PPE for frontline health workers and we just had to help."

"We quickly mobilised to produce parts using our 3D printing capability at home and we’re grateful to everyone that donated through our crowd funding site to help us get this going."

Now Nissan has provided funds for an injection moulding tool that increases the number of parts produced, which are now being sourced from companies in Lancashire, Coventry and Gateshead. 

Injection moulding is a much faster way to produce the plastic parts needed and has helped to ramp up the volume.

The visors are made up of three individual parts: an elastic headband, frame, and see-through visor. These parts are sent to Nissan for packing and distribution to an NHS procurement centre. 

The NHS has asked for the visors are shipped in a ready-to-assemble format to minimise damage risk during transit, and to ensure the maximum volume can be dispatched at once.

All four of the Grilli brothers are continuing to 3D print face visors at home and are supplying to local care facilities and hospices.


Petegeoff    on 21 April 2020

We need to produce more products in this country. Far too much reliance on importing everything.

Edited by Petegeoff on 21/04/2020 at 12:58

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