March 2020 - A Changing World
Like so many companies supplying products to the automotive industry, we experienced the significant pain of the COVID-19, Coronavirus pandemic. Within a matter of a few days, we went from a booming economy, that was generating the best year we ever had, to virtually no orders. Seemingly overnight, our sales dropped by over 80% and we found ourselves in fear of losing our company and the inability to employ our workforce. On March 30, 2020, a Sunday evening, owner Steve Buchenroth listened to an interview with New York Physician, Dr. David Price, on the Fox News show, “Watters’ World”. Dr. Price, of Weill Cornell Medical Center and Jesse Watters, left Steve with a very important message.
To prevent yourself from getting the virus and to stop spreading it, "be a hand Nazi" and no matter what. "DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE!"
The ways that you get this is the transmission of the virus almost exclusively from your hands to your face, from your hands to your face and inside your eyes, into your nose or into your mouth,” Price explained. “So there’s a lot of talk about contact or getting it through contacts, hands to face.” Price offered two practical tips to keep you, your family and your friends from getting the coronavirus.
“Become a hand Nazi. Everything you know about your hands, just keep it clean and you will not get this disease,” Price said. “The second thing is you have to start psychologically working on the connection between your hands and your face.”
“Those two things combined is incredibly powerful and will prevent the transmission of disease in your family in 99 percent of cases, to know your hands are clean and not touch your face, period,” Price added.
Looking at the prospect of a growing pandemic, the shortage of personal protection equipment and the wisdom from Dr. Price, Steve called Scott that night and they agreed to take on the task of immediately designing and making Face Shields and Face Masks.
Timeline - idea to production
March 30, 2020
Steve watches Watter’s World on Fox News and learns from Dr. Price how important it is to be a “hand nazi and “don’t touch your face"
March 31, 2020
After sharing the information with several team members, a prototype of a face shield was designed and 3d model printed that day. After a few more design changes and more 3d prototypes, the team’s face shield design was complete. Many thanks go to Nick Wisniewski, David Wisniewski, Scott Wisniewski, WC Wagoner, Rob Harter and Tracy McCloud
April 1, 2020
The Tooling Department began an unprecedented process of building an injection mold in just 3 days. Nick Wisniewski pushed the CAD files of the “halo”, over to the tooling department where they began the tool build process. Rob Harter, Rennie Putnam and Jason Cruea began to work around the clock to build the halo tool for the face shield. Production Engineer Dan Notestine designed and built an end-of-arm tool to enable the 5 axis robot to remove the parts from the tool. Robin Brandewie designed the art for the poly label on the front of the shield. Becky Cronkleton secured a supply of weather proof and alcohol resistant poly labels. Scott Wisniewski and Kathy Hall continued securing vendors for the shield / visor portion of the face shield.
April 2, 2020
After an amazing amount of effort from the Tooling Department, the new tool was completed and polished by 8:00pm on Thursday April 2, 2020. Production can begin!
April 3, 2020
The newly built injection mold (tool) was installed into a press at 8am and production began. The tool not only ran perfectly but it ran faster than our predicted cycle allowing us to produce 70,000 pieces per month on a 5 day work week or 100,000 pieces per month on a 7 day work week.
April 3, 2020
Our first shipment! Many thanks to Angel Payne from The Logan County Solid Waste District for purchasing 100 of our “hey dont touch your face” shields. It was great to make our first shipment right here in Logan County.
June 1, 2020
For the past few months we have been working on finding the perfect shield, and we are excited to announce we have finally received our first shipment. These new shields are distortion free and have greater visibility. Effective June 3rd, these improved shields will ship with every purchase, and with all orders for replacement shields. We continue to strive and find the best options to keep you safe. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
July 8, 2020
For the past several months we have been working on our Face Mask and it’s finally here! It is a soft conforming plastic that fits faces with a variety of shapes, but the mask works with a face that has a minimum of 120 mm (4.7 inches) from the bridge of the nose between the eyes, to the bottom of the chin with your mouth closed. The filter is made from an N92 filter media. This is very close to the N95 media used in the N95 Respirator Masks, and the N92 can filter 0.1 micron particle size with a 92% effectiveness. Paired with our Face Shield and you have a great way to protect yourself in these uncertain times.