Gaeltacht company R.A. Pacáistí Teo. (Rapid Action Packaging – RAP), an Údarás na Gaeltachta client company, have the capacity to have a significant bearing on the supply of disposable PPE face shield equipment worldwide from their production and distribution centre in Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal.
As experts and market leaders in the food-to-go packaging sector, RAP have repurposed their specialist food packaging designs and technology to make the new RAP Face Shield, a lightweight, disposable and unique PPE solution, which conforms with Cat 1 European Union PPE Regulations.
With an established supply chain and industry accredited manufacturing facilities, RAP is able to reach full-scale production immediately with the capacity to produce 10 million face shields a week and have current stock and capabilities to produce 5 million face shields in the immediate future if required.
The company has already begun operations by producing one million face shields, of which the first 65,000 have been earmarked for free distribution to care homes across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. Initial feedback from distributed samples to health authorities has been positive and the product is in use in medical and other settings in Ireland and in the United Kingdom already.
The company hopes not only to meet market demand in Ireland, the United Kingdom and in Europe, but it has created links with distributors in the United States also and therefore has deliberately tried to keep the cost of the equipment as low as is possible with prices starting at 14 cents per unit for bulk orders.
RAP’s ground-breaking design solutions are normally used to produce high grade protective and hygiene food packaging for sandwiches, hot products, chilled meats and ready meals. The company’s customers include coffee shops, convenience stores and the retailer multiples – including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, ASDA, M&S, Pret a Manger and LEON.
The new RAP Face Shield
The new RAP Face Shield is a lightweight, disposable and unique PPE solution, which conforms with Category 1 PPE EU Regulation 2016:425.
The solution is intended for use among health workers, cleaners, retail operatives and any other public-facing role where PPE of this type is typically unavailable.
The RAP Face Shield provides a barrier for the user against airborne moisture and spray, which is emitted during coughing and sneezing by people in proximity to the wearer. The material used in the shield’s construction is a high barrier protective film, commonly used in the packaging industry to protect food against bacteria, virus and other harmful pathogens.
The visor is laminated to a carton board frame to provide a rigid head frame with adjustable strap. The robust RAP Face Shield is also extremely economical making the solution a sustainable and viable option.
Údarás na Gaeltachta’s CEO Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh stated “R.A. Pacáistí Teo. deserves huge praise for its efforts with the supply of PPE in the global campaign against COVID-19. It comes as no surprise to Údarás na Gaeltachta how innovative this company has been and how its design, processes and products have been repurposed in such a short period of time. This product, the single-use face shield, will certainly be a very important piece of equipment for healthcare in Ireland and further afield.
It adds to a number of our Gaeltacht client companies who are making a significant contribution to the national and international efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.”
John McDermott Operations Director at R.A. Pacáistí Teo. in Gaoth Dobhair said. “At a particularly difficult time globally we are extremely proud of what RAP has been able to achieve here in Gaoth Dobhair with the support of our colleagues in our parent company in London.
As award-winning designers and manufacturers, we felt, like many others, that it was absolutely critical for us to step up and join the national effort to assist with the supply of PPE both nationally and internationally. With the difficult challenges being faced by the care sector, we also felt it only fitting that we started our PPE journey with a donation of face shields to the sector.”
“We have always been extremely proud of our simple and clever packaging solutions. But we are even more proud of our innovative and intuitive team who have worked so hard over the last couple of weeks to develop this face shield. Not only does it conform to the EU Regulation 2016:425 Category 1 technical PPE specifications, but it is also economical to purchase – such is our desire to help fulfil a much-needed solution at this time.
We are also very thankful for Údarás na Gaeltachta’s support over the years and in these challenging times also to allow us to grow and prosper here in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht.”
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