We've been lucky to be able to work with customers that are impacting the front-lines during this global crisis caused by COVID-19. Many manufacturers are doing amazing things during this time from ramping up production of essential goods during this time of need, donating essential supplies to front-line workers, to completely revamping production strategies to manufacture much-needed PPE and hospital equipment.
In this article, we'll be highlighting some heroic companies and the amazing things that they are actively doing to provide relief during this time of need.
Two manufacturers located in the UK, known for their vacuums and motor-driven airflow tools are looking to quickly design and manufacture ventilators amid this crisis. They have done so in response to the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson's request for ventilators. Dyson, who has partnered with The Technology Partnership, has designed a brand new ventilator called the CoVent that meets the clinical specifications required for both bed-mount and portable w/ power supply. The amazing part about all this is that because they have made slight modifications to existing motor designs that they've used in the past, Dyson says that there are fan units readily available for high volume production. Dyson has announced that it will produce 10,000 units for the UK and will donate an additional 5,000 units to the international effort.
With a similar response, Gtech has also developed its own ventilator that can be easily manufactured in numbers with their already available stock of material. In addition to providing 30,000 units to the government. Gtech has also made their designs available to the manufacturing community. Read more about that here
At a press conference on Thursday, March 26, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a partnership called L.A. Protects. The initiative will recruit Los Angeles's manufacturers to produce non-medical-grade face masks, which it will supply to the city's non-medical but essential workers such as grocery store and pharmacy employees, who are also in dire need of protective supplies right now. The goal, according to a representative for the brand, is to produce five million masks.
Reformation's role, alongside the recruitment of manufacturers, will be "leveraging our expertise in garment and apparel production to provide quality assurance checks, and build out funding and in-kind support for this initiative," according to a brand statement. Reformation's sewing factory will also be producing face masks made from fabrics that are already in its warehouse.
On Reformation's online shop, you can purchase a five-pack of these non-medical-grade masks for yourself for $25. You also have the option to purchase a pack of five that will be donated for the same price. According to the masks' product page, they are made from varying materials but can be machine-washed and reused, unlike medical-grade masks which should be thrown out after use.
Rum producer of Bacardi and producers of Jamison Whiskey and Absolut Vodka are shifting their manufacturing process to make ethanol and hand sanitizers that they will donate amid the shortage. The fight against Covid-19 is a nationwide effort and it's times like these that companies can make a difference during the massive shortages.
"The health and safety of our employees — and our communities — is our top priority," Ann Mukherjee, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, said. "In times like this it is important that everyone, especially companies with strong U.S. roots, like ours, prioritize good corporate citizenship and step up in the name of the greater good."
LVMH, the multinational that owns Louis Vuitton, Dior, Sephora, and much more is using its supply chain to source 40 million masks to be sent across Spain, France and Italy, which have been more recently most affected by Covid-19.
L'Oreal is helping with the shortages of sanitation by producing hydro-alcoholic gels to be distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, and food distribution channels.
At a time where these businesses are under pressure possibly to survive, these selfless shifts in production and priority are truly helping the world overcome this crisis.
US automakers are shifting their production lines as fast as possible to procure medical supplies as this article is being written.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has taken lead on helping supply much-needed ventilators and masks to medical professionals across the nation. Tesla has already donated masks found within their facilities to hospitals and sourced over 1,000 ventilators that it plans to distribute across the nation to hospitals within the Tesla delivery network. The plans to deliver ventilators when needed instead of having it sit unused. In addition to this, Tesla plans to shift production from electric cars and focus on producing ventilators to aid in the crisis.
Ford is currently producing 100k plastic face shields per week by leveraging 3D printing capabilities. They have also partnered with 3M to produce a "powered air-purifying respirator" mask design that uses parts from off-the-shelf to move as quickly as possible. The use of fans from Ford's own F-150 trucks paired with 3M's portable battery packs is helping make this possible.
In light of the recent events, these are just some of the many manufacturers out there who are shifting their focus to help in creative ways amidst the crisis that we are all facing. There are many more stories and companies that have yet to be mentioned, in the coming weeks we will provide updates and continue to share all the great stories of what manufacturers across the globe are doing during this time.