KMUTT lecturers assist Thai mask industry by innovating equipment and streamlining the process to boost production by 30%
A team of KMUTT researchers has teamed up with Thai Hospital Products Co., Ltd. to accelerate production for ensuring Thai people sufficient supply. The team has 4 members leading by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bavornchok Poopat and Mr. Nopnarong Sirisatien, KMUTT lecturers at the Department of Production Engineering. Secondly, Mr. Paisal Tangchaisin is a former student of the Department of Production Engineering. Lastly, Mr. Thossaporn Bunthae is from The Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO).
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bovornchok Poopat revealed the plan after working with the company to help plan and design special equipment to increase their output. Because of the uninterrupted production, the company runs its automatic machines, a semi-automatic machine, and 60 manual ultrasonic welding machines in 2 shifts to raise the output. The limitation of time for maintenance leads the team to work on the development of 60 manual ultrasonic welding machines rather than the automated machines which cannot afford interruption to make the least effect on the current production plan.
Workers have to manually feed ear loops into a manual ultrasonic welding machine and weld them together with a face mask which slows the process and requires certain skills. The skillful workers can have 4,800 pcs/8 hours while less skilled or new workers can produce only 1,200-2,000 pcs/8 hours and the quality has not been consistent. After the team helps the company to change the working procedure for the workers and install additional equipment, a new ultrasonic welder head, the production can be raised to 5,000-6,000 pcs/ 8 hours or a 50% growth of production capacity. If the prototype is fully developed, the output can be increased to 6,000-6,5000 pcs/machine/8hrs or 360,000-390,000 pcs/60 machines/8hrs. Besides, the total capacity of the new machine combines with both automatic and semi-automatic machines will be 30% higher.
KMUTT architecture lecturers offer hospitals the COVID-19 patient screening sub-station design with specific zones to reduce risk of transmission
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, healthcare workers become infected during testing and treatment for potentially infected people. While personal protective equipment such as the n95 mask is rare, the design for the COVID-19 test station by Ms. Sunaree Lawanyawatna and Dr. Martin Schoch, architecture lecturers from SoA+D: School of Architecture and Design from KMUTT, has been developed. It is said to help reduce the spread of the disease to medical staff and other hospital patients.
Ms. Sunaree Lawanyawatna, SoA+D: School of Architecture and Design, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) disclosed that earlier, the team designed a single booth for conducting a nasal swab. The swab is a method for collecting a test sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and the throat by using a polymerase chain reaction or PCR technique. Health care workers must be in very close contact with patients. She learned from interviews with doctors and experts that throughout the process of providing care, during and after the treatment, health care workers face the risks of infection. At each hospital, many patients are waiting, hence crowd gatherings occur. Out of this necessity, her continued ideas of five connected stations of COVID screening areas have emerged. The first station is to assess whether the patient meets the criteria for testing or not. The second is where health workers provide consultation after the assessment. Next is where the nasal swab-test takes place. The fourth is the medication dispensing substation for general symptoms while waiting for results such as painkillers and fever reducer. The last, the fifth substation is the registration point for follow-up.
Ms. Sunaree Lawanyawatna also added that drawing documentations of the design were provided to six hospitals, which are: Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, Udon Thani Municipality Hospital, Medical Engineering Division, Ministry of Health, Nakhon Sawan Municipality, Fort Somdej Phranaresuan Maharaj Hospital, Pitsanulok Municipality, Infrastructure and Medical Engineering Subdivision of Sri Saket Hospital, and Khanom Hospital, Nakhon Si Thammarat. The team continues to offer the design to more hospitals, which can be modified to suit the area, required use or budget of each hospital.
Together with the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO) and TOT Public Company Limited, the team is cooperating on the adaptation of old phone booths for the screening and sample-taking purposes to assist the work of community hospitals and public health agencies in remote areas. Interested parties requiring more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://bit.ly/TOT-COVID-19-Test-Station
KMUTT Production Engineers Hint Copper’s Natural Antiviral Properties
Dr. Kongkiat Puparatanapong, Head of Research Center for Advanced Metal Processing (RCAMP) and lecturer at the Department of Production Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, KMUTT, together with the research team members including Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chaowalit Limmaneevichitr and Dr. Supareuk Boontien suggest using copper to fight back against Coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
The outer structure or membrane of the coronavirus is like most viruses made of a lipid bilayer that houses proteins and enables the virus to attach itself to host cells. However, it can inactivate by the copper ions that contain natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
Dr. Kongkiat Puparatanapong revealed that the research team conduct an additional study and discovered evidence confirmed the property to kill the virus. The research in 2015 and the recent medical study in 2020 show the time virus can be killed on the surface of over 90 percent copper. Besides, pure copper foil can be used for this purpose as well. Therefore, the team studied to incorporate copper plate into elevator buttons, the touch surfaces easily contaminated and have a high risk of transmission. By doing so can reduce the risk of being infected.
As a pilot project, 12 elevators at KMUTT installed the copper buttons provided by Acting Sub. Lt. Paponsan Pongsai (LUDTHUNYADAPON LIMITED PARTNERSHIP), who graduated from the Production Engineering Department. For more information or any inquiries please contact KMUTT at Tel. 02-4709188 or email: email@example.com