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Family-run firm producing 100,000 protective visors for key workers

PUBLISHED: 16:43 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 02 April 2020

Steve Earl wearing the visors being made by Panel graphic. Picture: Panel Graphic

Steve Earl wearing the visors being made by Panel graphic. Picture: Panel Graphic

Panel Graphic

A Norfolk family-run company is producing 100,000 protective visors for key workers amid the coronavirus outbreak - with no profit margin added to the price.

100,000 of the visors will be made - 20,000 have already been sold to Norfolk County Council. Picture: Panel Graphic100,000 of the visors will be made - 20,000 have already been sold to Norfolk County Council. Picture: Panel Graphic

Loddon-based Panel Graphic has entirely pivoted its output, which is usually plastic fabrication specialising in display enhancement windows, to begin solely working on the visors.

The see-through visors cover the wearers entire face, and can be cleaned with surgical-strength materials and worn again.

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Norfolk County Council has already purchased 20,000 of the visors from the team.

Each visor is being sold for its minimum viable cost, at £1.95.

Director Steve Earl said: “This is going to be a potential loss to my business, but having seen how the emergency and key services are struggling to get PPE, what other choice did I have but to help.

“I’ve furloughed a lot of my staff and I just took the plunge and bought enough material from our suppliers to produce 100,000 of these visors. We just want to do whatever we can to help.”

Mr Earl and his team can currently produce around 4,000 masks a day – while observing social distancing between stations.

“We’re selling them in packs of 100,” said Mr Earl. “If it’s a local purchase we’re also going out and dropping them off outside to as many people as we can.

“What’s really nice is that we’ve had a lot of enquiries for people wanting to buy them for their local GP surgeries or care homes, instead of for themselves. For £200 that’s 100 people they could help protecting.”

Although the current materials Mr Earl has can stretch to 100,000 masks, he has appealed to any companies which may have further materials to get in touch.

“We can share the design we’ve come up with if they’d like to do it, or help redirect the material to us. What we need is transparent plastic, which can be cleaned with surgical-strength fluid, and is between 0.35mm and 0.5mm thick,” he said.

Mr Earl directed all sales and material enquiries through his central office number, on 01508 528028.


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