COVID-19 and Manufacturers - We're here to help

Posted by Meghan Hayes on Mar 23, 2020 4:51:58 PM

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The U.S. manufacturers, skilled tradesmen and engineers are shifting their energy and focus from manufacturing their traditional products and are battling the novel coronavirus nationwide by providing solutions to the lack of ventilators, hand sanitizer, sterilizers, N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages required to fight this threat. They are improvising new methods, tooling and materials to convert factories and keep them humming in the manufacture of these much needed supplies as the coronavirus pandemic threatens one of the biggest disruptions in memory to supply chains, staffing and demand.

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations.’ Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy.  Working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Manufacturers are getting creative to battle the current PPE shortages we are facing. Clothing companies are re-purposing their production to mass produce N-95 masks, great minds of engineers are conferring on how to create ventilators in less than half the time it would normally take, and my personal favorite, alcohol distilleries are transforming into hand sanitizer manufacturers.

Black Button Distillery is following in the footsteps of other craft distilleries across the country shifting toOptimation Blog Body 1.0 hand sanitizer production to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Nashville’s Corsair Artisan Distillery, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania’s Eight Oaks Farm Distillery, and Louisville, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole Distiller are among the producers that have re-purposed their liquor production facilities. The sanitizer contains a 190-proof spirit produced at the distillery blended with 1.45 percent glycerol, a thickener, and peroxide. It has a final proof of 160, meaning its 80 percent alcohol, well above what’s recommended for preventing coronavirus spread.

We tip our manufacturing hats to you, Black Button!

So, what is Optimation doing to keep ourselves, our clients, and our staff safe during this time? This message from our Corporate Safety Engineer Jonathan Shaffer, CSP;

“We are practicing all Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines, frequent sanitation of our work areas, vehicles, and tools with 10% bleach or alcohol based solution, social distancing as much as possible by 6ft or more, frequently washing our hands, not touching our face, mouth, eyes, nose.

If we have symptoms of COVID-19 (none of us have yet), we will be staying home! And calling our healthcare provider or telemedicine line to not flood hospitals and emergency rooms unless absolutely necessary.”

From a human resources perspective, we are finding that clear, concise, frequent and sometimes repetitive communication is key when helping employees remain engaged and calm. It is understandable that our employees are concerned for their families as well as themselves. Providing a safe workplace and the flexibility and ability to work from home or work off hours help Optimation employees remain productive yet safe. Because we are an essential business in that we support utilities, food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, it is imperative to promote business as usual in unusual times.

We are continuing to monitor the ever-evolving developments in the COVID-19 outbreak. We are doing everything we can to safeguard our workforce and to minimize any potential disruptions to our manufacturing process. Thus far, our facilities remain unaffected. As this situation is a dynamic one, we will continue to be vigilant and closely monitor the developments for potential impact.

We will continue to be diligent in following all the recommended COVID-19 safety protocols, as our goal is to maintain our solution providing capabilities to all of our manufacturing clients.  As the nation’s manufacturing base continues to change course to address the challenges of this ongoing threat, we at Optimation are available to assist in providing engineering and execution support.  As we partner with our manufacturing clients, out aim is to implement systems to build whatever novel products that may become needed to continue to fight this harmful disease.

And from our CEO, Bill Pollock,

“We are following all Federal and State guidelines and as much as possible, we are maintaining staffing for both emergency and maintenance of essential suppliers. These include utilities, hospitals and other health related facilities as well as manufacturers of food, pharmaceutical, chemical and other essential systems or products. Our engineer staff and journeymen skilled trades are available. Our engineers and fabrication shops are engaged with some manufacturers of sterilizers, sanitizers and ventilators and face shields to increase production and would be happy to work with others who have needs.

Our staff safety engineer is actively managing our COVID-19 prevention protocols, to ensure that we minimize your risk as you engage with our personnel.”

We are committed to providing superior service to our customers and partners and we encourage you to communicate any concerns directly to our sales team clicking the link below and we will do our best to assist you.

“A lot of the coronavirus shows the importance of bringing manufacturing back to America so that we are producing at home, the medicines and equipment and everything else that we need to protect the public’s health,” President Trump said Monday March 2nd at a White House meeting with drug company executives giving some hope that there is a light at the end of this troubling tunnel. Until then, stay safe and be well, and please, let us know if we can help you!

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Topics: Technology, Internet of Things, Engineering, COVID-19

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The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

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