Saintfield firm helps American university in COVID-19 battle

Saintfield firm helps American university in COVID-19 battle

25 March 2020

A SAINTFIELD company is lending its state-of-the-art computer technology to a leading American university in a bid to combat coronavirus. 

Donite Plastics is a successful thermoforming company which creates and designs products for a number of sectors such as coach and bus manufacturers. 

They are running software from Stanford University on their computer system to simulate how Covid-19 proteins react.

By running their software on Donite’s computers to gain a greater understanding of COVID-19’s protein structure, Stanford University’s scientists may be able to help predict new ways of treating the virus and its symptoms.  

Patrick Knight, quality manager and lead manufacturing engineer, said the company’s team of engineers are pleased to be playing a role in the fight to save lives around the world. 

He said: “COVID-19 has been the word on everyone’s lips over recent weeks and the seriousness of the virus is apparent, not just in terms of how it is effecting businesses and livelihoods but also the number of lives that have sadly been lost across the world since the outbreak began.

“Our team of engineers here at Donite Plastics are delighted to know that they are contributing in the fight against this terrible virus, no matter how small that role may be.

“Once our engineers have completed their work during the day, we allow the scientists at Stanford University to use the graphics cards and processors on our high spec CAD and CAM computers, which are usually a tool for our engineers to bring products to life before they are manufactured.

“Now these programmes are being used to give scientists a better picture of the protein structure of COVID-19 and they can hopefully work to establish how best to deal with the virus going forward.

He added: “We have always been proud of our company and the products we manufacture and it’s even more heartening to know that we have been able to offer assistance during this difficult time.

“We really hope that the help we have been able to give is valuable to Stanford University’s scientists and we will continue to do all we can to help support them in their work.