Ohio-based Standard Textile has restructured its supply chain to provide support for frontline medical workers during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The family-owned company is converting its manufacturing operations and prioritizing the distribution of medical garments at its manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States.
For several weeks, the company has increased production of personal protective equipment such as gowns, face masks and face shields in order to provide hospitals and health-care workers in the United States with additional protection against COVID-19.
The company has pivoted and revamped its Brownsville, Texas, facility to make face masks. In another facility, employees were reassigned to make face shields. A collaboration between the company’s research and development laboratory and its operations in Thomaston, Ga., and Union, S.C., resulted in rapidly developing a unique version of a liquid-resistant, breathable and reusable cover gown for health-care workers.
“With American-based manufacturing operations and a local rapid prototyping and innovation center, we are uniquely positioned to leverage our extensive technical expertise and facilities to urgently provide needed personal protective equipment,” said Richard Hobert, director of development for Standard Textile. “In three short weeks, we orchestrated fabric development, material sourcing, garment fabrication, wash durability testing and other product testing to deliver an essential reusable gown for our medical communities.”
Phase 3 Marketing and Communications, which operates three print and fabrication facilities in Atlanta, Dallas and Fairfield, N.J., has created two health-care PPE solutions: clear rigid vinyl face shields and workplace protective acrylic barriers.
Phase 3’s face shield provides extended face protection for medical professionals with its 12-inch by 10-inch clear rigid vinyl shield face. The vinyl offers good clarity and the face shield can be easily cleaned with rubbing alcohol. The face shield is assembled with foam pads for shield distancing and comfort, and an elastic band that secures the face shield to the user’s head. Each shield will be individually polybagged and bulk boxed in sets of 25.
Phase 3’s workplace protection barriers are acrylic, crystal-clear barriers that provide protection from the front desk to the production floor. Two styles are available: a freestanding protective barrier, which is movable and intended to be place on reception desks, and a hanging protective shield, providing safety in other public areas.
The freestanding protective barrier is available in a standard size (23.5 inches x 31.5 inches) or jumbo (47.5 inches x 31.5 inches). Custom sizing also is an available option. The barriers have interlocking acrylic feet for standing and include a letter-sized pass-through for easy transactions. The hanging protective shield is custom sized and includes hanging hardware, two s-hooks and 4 feet of cable per hook to enable hanging the shield from any ceiling.
“When our country is faced with tough times, it’s refreshing to see the ingenuity of our industry coming to the forefront of finding solutions by retasking people, equipment and goods,” said Troy McGinnis, EVP of print services at Phase 3. “We have raw materials and resources to help fight the pandemic by creating this new line and trying alternative healthcare protective solutions for workers, medical professionals, nurses, doctors and first responders that are caring for patients each day. Usually our role is to inform and educate, but now our industry has the chance to fill in with unique ideas and materials to help where we can.”
Meanwhile, New Jersey-based commercial furniture manufacturer Stylex is producing washable protective masks for health-care workers.
A handful of the company's craftspeople are making masks that will be donated to local hospitals as long as there is a need. As of March 31, New Jersey accounts for the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Stylex co-CEO Bruce Golden has been setting up deliveries and personally bringing masks to hospitals and other health-care facilities.