Konica Minolta Australia spearheads 3D printing effort to provide lifesaving equipment for COVID-19

Konica Minolta, a leading supplier of 3D printing equipment and services in Australia, is working with partners and customers to help address the likely shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators required on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

Matt Hunter, innovation product manager, Konica Minolta, said, “Rapidly-dwindling supplies of PPE and lifesaving ventilators have created a nightmare scenario in other countries as they battle the virus. 3D printing offers a unique opportunity to address these shortages by providing a fast, reliable production method that means essential equipment can be manufactured and delivered to hospitals without long lead times.

“Konica Minolta knew that many Australian organisations would be eager to help protect patients and healthcare workers from the deadly virus. We reached out to key customers and partners in the 3D printing space, as well as health authorities across Australia, to see what we could do. As a result, Konica Minolta is facilitating the development and manufacture of two key pieces of equipment: the hard-to-source Venturi ventilator valve for patients; and the essential P2/N95 filters for PPE for frontline health workers.”

Konica Minolta partner 3D Systems has designed the Venturi ventilator valve for 3D printing and sent the file to Konica Minolta, which will print the valves if they become required. The 3D-printed valve uses biocompatible, sterilisable, high-temperature-resistant material, making it ideal for medical use. And, because it’s 3D printed, the team can provide high volumes at unprecedented speeds, potentially meeting demand as the COVID-19 crisis hits its peak.

The P2/N95 filter is an essential part of the PPE that healthcare workers require. It filters the virus out of the air being breathed so the wearer breathes clean air. These cost-effective masks with a 3D-printed adaptor and easily replaceable filtration can be mass-produced and sent immediately to healthcare workers on the frontline.

Konica Minolta worked with Erebus Motorsport to develop the filter, which is printed using a 3D Systems Figure 4 3D printer. An existing Konica Minolta customer, Erebus had already been in contact to see how 3D printing could help in the fight against COVID-19. Working with Supercars medical delegate, Dr Carl Le, the team created the e-Mask, a snorkel-like face mask with a 3D-printed adaptor for the easy replacement of P2/N95 filters.

The Erebus team and Dr Carl Le also designed a ventilated Perspex box, which is placed around the patient’s head and chest to provide a continuous filtered airflow, called the e-Aerosol Box. The e-Aerosol Box has already been distributed to hospitals around Australia, as the Erebus team now looks at adapting the model for ambulance transportation.

Barry Ryan, CEO, Erebus Motorsport, said, “The urgency to produce PPE equipment for our health care workers right now is at the forefront of our minds, so with Dr Carl’s guidance we identified what is most crucial and our partners like Konica Minolta have been more than willing to get in and make things happen.

“No matter how big or small, we know that if everyone pitches in then we are doing our part to help protect those who are protecting us.

“It can’t be underestimated. We need to move on things right now and do our part. We want to make sure we are in a better position than overseas, so we are doing all we can to ensure we are ready, if and when the worst hits, and teaming with partners like Konica Minolta and encouraging everyone to pitch in is our way of doing our part as Australians.”

Matt Hunter said, “At this stage, no one knows exactly what the demand will look like as Australia continues to work hard to flatten the curve. However, it’s likely that a fast response will be required to save lives. By facilitating the capacity to 3D print these lifesaving components, Konica Minolta and our customers and partners are playing a small but important role in the fight against COVID-19. Having thoroughly tested the parts, we know they work. We’re now looking to see what other customers and partners we can pull into this project to increase capacity even further, and potentially find new ways to contribute.”

-ENDS-

About Erebus Motorsport

Erebus Motorsport is a Melbourne-based Australian Supercar team, owned by Betty Klimenko and sponsored by Penrite Oil. Erebus has risen throughout the ranks of Supercars, finishing fourth in the 2019 Teams Championship, with drivers including David Reynolds, Anton De Pasquale and rising star, Will Brown.

About Konica Minolta Australia

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia Pty Ltd is a market-leading provider of trusted technology solutions for enterprise, government, small business, education and manufacturing.

Konica Minolta Australia helps Australian organisations keep pace with the needs of the changing workplace to start leveraging the technology of tomorrow today.

Through innovation and investment in building a portfolio of technology solutions that will help organisations shape their future workplace, Konica Minolta Australia has key partnerships that extend its offering into future products such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML); robotics; robotic process automation (RPA); wearables; augmented reality (AR); data analytics; and 3D, now.

Part of the future workplace includes creating businesses, and working with businesses, that are responsible for their impact on and contribution to employees, key stakeholders and the wider community. Konica Minolta Australia actively promotes and innovates in these areas through gender equality, ethical supply chain and climate change action strategies.

For more information visit: konicaminolta.com.au/home

CompTIA launches COVID-19 Resources Forum to serve tech community

CompTIAthe leading trade association for the global information technology (IT) industry, announced the launch of the COVID-19 Resources Forum, an interactive online forum to serve technology companies and professionals as well as government agencies during the ongoing pandemic. 

The forum (covid19.comptia.orglets users  share valuable information, resources and best practices on how technology organisations of all sizes are coping with the impact COVID-19 is having on business operations. The forum also serves as a place to ask questions, list or learn about events and programs, and benefit from ideas and processes that are working for other tech professionals and businesses. 

Nancy Hammervik, executive vice president for industry relationsCompTIA, said,  “CompTIA is committed to helping the technology community stay connected and in step with each other by providing continued access to peers, business insight, useful tools and the resources organisations need to navigate the current environment.  

Users can post information about how the technology industry is responding to the public health crisis, details of philanthropic and community service efforts, and tips and tricks to improve remote working. There are also international resources, a listing of virtual industry events, and sections to ask questions of other users and industry experts. 

Technology companies that work with local, state and federal government agencies also can share information and resources specific to the public sector on the forum. CompTIA’s state and federal advocacy team is sharing details directly from government resources on the forum as well. 

Nancy Hammervik said, “Our members and the technology industry are doing incredible work in communities around the world and we want to make sure they have a platform to share best practices, success stories and valuable resources. The technology industry has stepped up and answered the call on so many levels and we want to empower professionals and companies to continue to serve their customers and the public.” 

All content posted to the COVID-19 Resources Forum is moderated by CompTIA, which reserves the right to remove any postings that do not adhere to the user guidelines.  

ENDS 

About CompTIA 

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5.2 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more. 

OnePlace Solutions offers Microsoft 365 add-on software for free to support remote workers

Remote working software helps businesses remain productive when employees work at home 

Microsoft 365 App Award People’s Choice 2019 winner and Australian software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provider, OnePlace Solutions has followed Microsoft’s lead in response to COVID-19.   

OnePlace Solutions is offering its Microsoft 365 add-on software, the OnePlaceMail App, for free to support remote workers. No credit card details will be required to unlock this offer and it will be valid until 30 June 2020This offer follows Microsoft’s announcement that subscribers to Microsoft Office 365 will be able to access a free trial of its Teams software. 

James Fox, CEO, OnePlace Solutions, said, “The escalating situation caused by COVID-19 means that tens of thousands of workers may be working remotely before long.  

As a small Australian business, OnePlace Solutions understands the pressures that businesses are facing at the moment. We’re doing what we can to support fellow businesses by letting users access all of the features of the OnePlaceMail App for free 

OnePlaceMail will be an important ingredient in making sure that those who implement the free Microsoft trial will get the most value and productivity out of it.” 

Using OnePlace Solutions software, businesses can make it simple for users to share information and collaborate seamlessly and securely using Microsoft Teams or SharePoint, even if they’re not already familiar with these applications.  

Users can share information with their colleagues with just a few clicks and be secure in the knowledge that the documents they’re accessing are the latest and most correct versions, and that an important file isn’t locked on someone’s desktop while they’re on sick leave. 

James Fox said, “Fortunately for many companies, modern collaboration solutions make it relatively simple for most people to be productive from home.  

“Businesses need the right mix of secure access to information and shared digital workspaces to let their employees be just as productive from home as they are from the office. This includes videoconferencing technology, document sharing and management platforms, and collaboration software.” 

To get the most value from these platforms, organisations need to ensure that team members are using them effectively. Microsoft SharePoint and Teams are extremely powerful tools that help employees stay connected and up to speed on the information they need to do their jobs. However, if team members aren’t used to collaborating in this way, they may find themselves relying on inefficient and error-prone approaches such as emailing information to each other and saving documents on local devices or insecure platforms. This creates security issues and violates many best practices when it comes to managing corporate information.  

James Fox said, “With the right combination of cloud-based tools, employees can be just as effective and productive from home as they could be in the office. This can help minimise the disruption caused by COVID-19, letting organisations conduct normal operations including meetings and close collaboration, all without requiring team members, customers, partners, or suppliers to come face to face with each other during this critical time.” 

-ENDS- 

About OnePlace Solutions
OnePlace Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Partner providing SaaS solutions to enable people in business to do more, simply. The OnePlace Solutions suite of products is used by organisations to increase productivity, empower modern workplace collaboration, and achieve intelligent information management and compliance. 

Learn more about OnePlace Solutions or OnePlaceMail at www.oneplacesolutions.com. 

Download the OnePlaceMail App from Microsoft AppSource.