In March, we were informed by a KRUVE family member who works at a pharmacy about a need for a product that can be quickly deployed to protect frontline workers. This included - not just pharmacies - but, also hospitals, banks, gas stations, dry cleaners, and anyone who stands behind a counter and interacts with people on a daily basis.
We quickly added a new are to our business that would be focused on developing a low cost and mass-scalable solution for frontline workers. We had set out a number of criteria for this product to make it a viable solution for as many applications as possible.
The kits needed to be:
- Quick-and-easy to deploy
- Easy to clean
- Made locally
Based on these criteria, we had to rule out the use of acrylic as it is expensive, not mass manufacturable locally, and expensive to ship. As acrylic was the first logical choice for many people, we knew this could turn into another Toilet Paper debacle with organizations and individuals scrambling to get plexiglass shields. While we aren't ruling out that material indefinitely, our theory proved correct and within 2 weeks there was a shortage of acrylic across Canada.
The final design we settled on and created met all of our criteria. The KRUVE Frontline Defence Shield (FDS) is made from a durable 44C corrugated cardboard stand that has a 5 mil PET plastic film on the front. The PET film is the same material soda bottles are made from which makes it very durable and easy to clean. Cardboard is a great choice because it can be mass-produced locally, it's inexpensive, and the COVID-19 virus cannot survive long on its surface. Also, the current design can be manufactured on automated machines in the hundreds of thousands of units per month, making it very affordable and highly scalable.
The FDS is flat packed in packages of 4 which makes it light weight, as well as easy and inexpensive to ship. There are no tools required to assemble the shield as it quickly pops into place using built in tabs; this means there is no need for maintenance crews to install the shields on counters.
We’ve partnered with some of the best and largest manufactures in Ontario, Canada to bring this project from idea to prototype in a matter of days and into mass production in less than two weeks.
We've been so fortunate to see it helping workers in a variety of industries, including restaurants, mechanics, veterinary clinics, and more...
We’re very proud of the entire team behind this project. We know we can’t make these for everyone, so we have made the plans Open Source under a Creative Commons licence, so manufacturers around the world can make these shields for their local markets. On top of all this, we’ve designed some helpful posters and floor decals to help inform customers and promote social distancing. These too will be available for download.