Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based lighting manufacturer Cerno has shifted its manufacturing capabilities to produce face shields for local hospital systems that are currently struggling to acquire the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as they assist patients battling COVID-19.

Co-founders Daniel Wacholder and Nick Sheridan designed a product using open-source forums online and by leveraging the capabilities of the Cerno team and facility. Ingenuity came into play with the simplicity of the design, but also in the creative sourcing of the materials. The operators of Plastic supplier, Professional Plastics, gave the Cerno founders a substantial discount when they found out how they were planning on using the materials. Thanks to a generous donation, Cerno was able to secure material to make approximately 10,000 face shields.

Cerno designed and presented the initial prototypes to practicing physicians at a local hospital who validated that the design would work. Cerno made a slight modification to extend the length of the shield to add extra protection, and a select group of Cerno employees volunteered their time to make the first 900 face shields. To date, Cerno has produced more than 3,000 face shields that have been donated to hospitals in the MemorialCare Health System (Orange County) and Long Beach, as well as Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes.

“Daniel spearheaded this effort, but without the help of so many people jumping in to assist, it would not have been possible. We realize that our contribution to this global crisis is small, but we hope that it inspires many more small manufacturers around the county to help where they can, and the collective effort makes a real impact,” says Bret Englander, Co-Founder of Cerno.