• Potomac Photonics
  • December 28, 2020

Potomac Photonics Looks Back On a Year of
Using Advanced Manufacturing to Fight Coronavirus

Potomac Photonics Looks Back On a Year of
Using Advanced Manufacturing to Fight Coronavirus

Frontline workers in New York wearing Potomac PPE.

2020 has been a year when the human spirit rose up in the face of adversity to help save our fellow man during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Frontline nurses and doctors in hospital ER’s and ICU’s worked tirelessly with the sick and dying, long-term healthcare facility workers cared for the elderly and infirmed, food producers and suppliers keep us fed, and teachers continued to work with students both virtually and in person.

Behind the scenes American manufacturers shifted production to make Personal Protective Equipment [PPE’s] that made these frontline jobs safe.  From innovative respirators made out of scuba masks to anti-microbial materials developed to 3D Print face masks, engineering innovation again demonstrated the importance of science and technology in times of urgent need.

Volume Production of PPE’s 

Building medical devices in high volume with fast turnaround is a hallmark of Potomac’s manufacturing expertise. It was natural, then, in light of the overwhelming world supply chain break down, to turn our capabilities to producing large numbers of PPE’s. 

We had numerous urgent requests from hospitals for face shields whose supplies were at a critically low state.  We knew we could help. With a toolkit of diverse advanced manufacturing tools ranging from CNC and laser machining to 3D Printing, Potomac can always choose the right tool for a job.  In this case, laser machining was the fastest and most economical method to fabricate the clear plastic shields.  Teams were re-organized for assembly and we were able to donate thousands of the PPE’s to hospital staff.

Microfluidics

Laser welding clear to clear material

Testing is a critical requirement in the containment of Coronavirus. Consequently, the availability of reliable, quick, affordable Covid-19 tests has been driving new product development for testing protocols based on relatively new microfluidic device technology.

Potomac’s extensive expertise building entire complex microfluidic chips has led us to work with industry leaders to innovate the design and prototyping of urgently needed point-of-care diagnostics in this burgeoning field.  From laser fabrication of tiny channels to laser welding chip layers, Potomac has been able to offer researchers all the elements needed for bringing state of the art technology to market.

Like all worldwide companies, Potomac faced a year of extreme challenges.  But it is gratifying to know that we could contribute in some small part to humanity’s battle with coronavirus.

We hope 2021 is a year when everyone’s efforts defeat Covid-19, again testifying to the power of the human spirit during times of adversity.

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