Experience dictates, only at the end of the storm will we clearly know what the new ‘normal’ will be. What we do know now, without uncertainty, is the path we have already walked during this sanitary crisis; it has stalled our world in terms of social, economic and industrial activity. We know that step by step, we all are doing our best to overcome this situation. We can feel that, little by little, we are all doing our best to get by it; to overcome it.
As we all know, every little thing counts, and that each one of those things can really add up. Social contributions by professionals, families, institutions and companies are a clear example. Because, in fact, reality has not completely stopped. It continues in a different way, both at home, and in some companies, which do their best to persevere and to move forward.
The industrial sector, and more specifically the automotive one, is a clear example, of the proven ability to react in such situations, with small initiatives that have made a difference to others.
It is in this context of a health and social emergency, that Gestamp, in an open innovation campaign, invited its employees to think of initiatives which would lead to acts of solidarity to contribute to overcoming this situation. Let think of it as an example of a big bunch of ideas adding up, a summary of actions to get us through this challenge that is disrupting our economic and business activity.
Local acts of solidarity that add up to a global reality
Among those acts of solidarity that the multinational automotive supplier is carrying out, the use of 3D printers that the company has in different parts of Spain, such as in Edscha Santander, Loire Gestamp, in Hernani (Gipuzkoa), or Gestamp Navarra stands out. At these locations, printers have been used to 3D print some parts for sanitary facial protection screens.
3D printing for sanitary aid has also been carried out in other parts of the world, such as the United States, Argentina and France.
On the other hand, and traveling around Gestamp’s global presence, other places have also joined to help stop the virus. For example, in the UK, the Gestamp team collaborated in the manufacture and distribution of 800 door openers in hospitals and health centers near the West Midlands, Newton Aycliffe and Lanelli plants. The project has progressed thanks to collaboration with the University of Sunderland (AMAP, Automotive & Manufacturing Advanced Practice) and Trotec company, to combine technical design and laser cutting technology.
On the American continent, at Gestamp West Virginia (United States) and Gestamp Puebla (Mexico) plants, specialists from the company are contributing to the fight with the design and manufacture of floor-standing door openers.
And, back again in Spain, a team from Gestamp Navarra, with professionals from welding and hydroforming maintenance and electrical engineers, has been working on a project for the design of an emergency respirator. Moreover, not far from there, in Zaragoza, another Gestamp technical team is collaborating on a voluntary action to contribute with their knowledge in the design and development of a grade 3 invasive respirator prototype.
Donations to help those who fight for life
Gestamp bought medical equipment in China to donate to the Government of Spain and thus help protect sanitary professionals. 100,000 surgical masks, 100,000 FPP2 masks and 50,000 nitrile gloves arrived on April 19 at the tenth charge of the Health Corridor, managed by Grupo Oesía, the Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies (Fenin), and Iberia. This initiative aims to add capacity to transport the material, by air, to Spain; and capacity to carry out import and logistics procedures and to accordingly meet demand.
However, it is not only sanitary material that is needed during a sanitary crisis of this nature. For this reason, Gestamp made available a wide range of tools and accessories that would be of good use at the IFEMA field hospital in Madrid, which was built to care for more than 3,000 mild cases of COVID-19. The company donated multiple types of tools, such as portable batteries, pens and notebooks, with the aim of helping medical professionals who are on the front line in the fight for life.
It is precisely in this first line, alongside with the patients, where Gestamp collaborated with the cardiology service of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital for the “Unidos por el Corazón” program, donating mobile phones to patients allowing them to be in contact with their loved ones.