In light of the current COVID-19 situation, the COEDC is thankful to all the local businesses that are going above and beyond in supporting the community. Thank you Percept Systems for your leadership.

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A former UBC Okanagan student is doing his part to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ephraim Nowak, a 2018 grad of UBCO’s School of Engineering, has mobilized his Kelowna company, Percept Systems, to produce more than 1,000 faceshields per day.

“This was the right thing to do,” says Nowak. “We were aware of the shortage of these critical medical supplies and wanted to pivot and help out where we could. That’s what we do.”

Percept Systems produces specialized computer vision systems for the aviation industry, but it’s also one of the few Western Canadian companies to obtain a federal government contract to supply this equipment to medical facilities.

Nowak says when they changed their priority to respond to the government’s plea for assistance in medical supply manufacturing, it took their research and development team 48 hours to produce a design to make medical-grade face shields.

When they realized their initial proposal of using a 3D printer took too long, they attempted to use a laser cutter to carve pre-purchased plastic into the appropriate shape.

It cut down the manufacturing time of each face shield to two minutes.

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“It is challenging to retool the manufacturing focus of a company,” says Homayoun Najjaran, associate director of the manufacturing engineering program at UBCO, who consulted on Percept’s proposal.

“Agile manufacturing, the ability to retool based on the customer need, is exactly where the future of manufacturing is. It is a great accomplishment that Ephraim and his team were awarded the contract and that their shields are licensed to use by Health Canada.”

Nowak also recognizes that Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna was vital in the process, as it gave the team a suitable space to manufacture, package and distribute the face shields.

For more information on the product, click this link.


Full Kelowna Now Article Here.

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