SEMA eNews Vol. 23, No. 17, April 23, 2020

Movers & Shakers: Companies Manufacturing Protective Equipment for Medical Professionals

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Truck Hero Inc. to Produce Personal Protective Equipment

Truck Hero Inc. has announced five of the company’s manufacturing facilities have been retooled and are now producing personal protective equipment (PPE). Truck Hero facilities located in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Howe, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Lawrenceville, Georgia; and Yankton, South Dakota, will aid in COVID-19 efforts by producing face masks, face shields, isolation gowns and plastic barriers. This PPE will primarily support frontline healthcare workers in local communities, including Henry Ford Hospital, Lutheran Medical Group, Parkview Medical Group, Northside Hospital Group and FEMA. Truck Hero facility employees and other critical infrastructure workers will also leverage some of the PPE items, such as face masks, for a safe and healthy work environment. Truck Hero and the company’s family of brands are classified as critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security in the Critical Manufacturing Sector of Transportation Equipment Manufacturing to support the needs of the sector and beyond. Many of Truck Hero’s existing products support the transportation equipment needs of law enforcement, medical transport, fire safety personnel and many other critical businesses.

  Brian Reese
Brian Reese
   

Brian Reese Joins The Retrofit Source as Chief Executive Officer

The Retrofit Source (TRS) has announced that Brian Reese has joined the company as CEO. He succeeds Matt Kossoff, who will become TRS’ chief product officer and remain on the board of directors. Reese is a veteran automotive industry executive and former CEO of Race Winning Brands. He has more than 20 years of experience fueling premium brands with products and serving customers with best-in-class support in the automotive aftermarket.

Cummins Reaches Agreement With 3M to Manufacture High-Efficiency Particulate Filters

Cummins has reached an agreement with 3M to manufacture high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M’s Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs)—an important piece of equipment for front-line healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The respirators use a battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood or head top that covers the wearer’s head or face and can provide increased levels of respiratory protection, especially for critical healthcare situations such as aerosol-generating procedures. PAPRs may also be more comfortable to wear for those who need respiratory protection for long periods of time. The partnership has the potential to more than double the current production of filters for 3M’s PAPRs. For the latest information, visit www.cummins.com.

Durasafe  
   

Durasafe Announces Rebranding and Launch of New Website

DuraSafe, a manufacturer of trailering, towing and boating-related locks, unveiled the company’s new look following a complete rebrand and website overhaul. The project marks a new era for the Wisconsin-based organization and will allow consumers to shop for security devices for their boats and trailers and take advantage of DuraSafe’s Keyed-Alike offering. Also included in this rebranding project was an update to the original DuraSafe logo.

GDC Inc. Repurposing Manufacturing Capability to Produce Personal Protection Equipment

Based in Goshen, Indiana, GDC Inc. is a manufacturer specializing in die-cuts, shields, baffles and melt-blown acoustical insulation used by the automotive industry, including GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Tesla. GDC production engineers have recently discovered how to repurpose melt-blown insulation production lines to produce hydrophobic filtration media for surgical masks. This filtration media has the added benefit of being negatively charged to attract microbes and trap them more effectively.

“Our automotive partners reached out for assistance in making surgical masks, and we have been able to provide the filtration media requested by both Ford and GM,” says GDC Director of Sales Andy Kitson. “While the two automotive manufacturers are ramping-up to produce hundreds of thousands of surgical masks, GDC is currently capable of producing enough material for six million masks a day.”

GDC also reached out to local healthcare workers and asked how the company could help meet their specific needs. Within 24 hours, the company created a prototype of a requested face shield.

“Our objective was to meet the needs of local healthcare workers by making an effective, low-cost face shield,” says Kitson, whose company has the current capacity to produce 45,000 such shields a day. “We made a few calls and quickly had an order for 60,000 shields from the State of Indiana. We have responded to the increased demand by securing the additional raw materials necessary to improve our output. We’re now positioned to provide hundreds of thousands of shields to Indiana in the coming months.”

More than 150 GDC employees have been working around the clock, seven days a week, altering production processes to facilitate the manufacture of filtration media and face shields.

  VPVP Hand Sanitizer is available in a variety of container sizes, including 32-oz., 1-gallon, and 5-gallon packaging, as well as 54-gallon drums and 325-gallon totes.
   

VP Racing Fuels Hand Sanitizer Arms Retailers, Race Tracks and Series for Reopening

VP Racing Fuels Inc. has announced the launch of VP Hand Sanitizer to support the needs of commercial businesses, retailers and race tracks. “In response to the COVID-19 crisis and requests from customers, we’ve expanded our product lines to include a top-quality 80% alcohol antiseptic product,” said Alan Cerwick, VP’s president and CEO. “This step is part of VP’s commitment to helping our customers and channel partners protect their employees and the general public.”

Rules Amendments, Application Extension For Masters of Motors

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials have announced the call to extend the application period for the AMSOIL Masters of Motors Presented by JE Pistons. To ensure engine builders have adequate time to apply and for judges to review all applications thoroughly, the deadline has been extended to May 15. Selected entrants will be announced on May 22. The AMSOIL Masters of Motors Presented by JE Pistons is still scheduled to take place at JE's Mentor, Ohio, facility September 28–October 1. Officials have also amended rules in two of its classes, the ARP Early Iron Class (designed for vintage engine enthusiasts) and the Holley Performance Everyman's LS Class. For more information, and to register, visit the JE Pistons website.

Graffiti Shield
With the help of Avery Dennison, Graffiti Shield is producing face shields for a local California hospital.
 
   

Graffiti Shield Inc. Pivots to Protective Face Shields With Help From Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping Film

Anaheim, California-based Graffiti Shield Inc. had carved out a niche cutting and manufacturing multiple-layer protective film products to help combat the rise in graffiti vandalism. But after years of solid growth since its founding in 2013, the company saw business fall by half within a few weeks after the COVID-19 shutdown. The company was thinking about face shields as one possible new venture when one of its service accounts, a California hospital, called about procuring some film. Desperately short of protective face shields, the hospital had been trying to make its own by cutting film with scissors and trying to affix elastic bands.

“Knowing the production equipment that we had, within a few hours we had designed and were cutting shields, completely changing the way we do business in order to help them,” Graffiti Shield president Mike Schuch said.

That first day, Graffiti Shield produced 1,000 face shields. The next day the hospital placed an order for 5,000. The original design used an elastic strap to hold the transparent polyester shield and foam pad in place. But elastic was impossible to find, so the team incorporated an adjustable strap secured by a Velcro fastener into the shield. To add a printed label to the top of the shield they turned to Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping Film SW900.

“The main reason we took the project on—besides helping out the hospital—was that we didn’t want to have to furlough any of our people,” CEO Jeff Green said. But as more orders followed that initial purchase, they had to keep bringing on new people to keep up with demand.

“It was about the assembly. We had to teach people who had never worked with adhesive vinyl film before how to apply the label to the polyester shield quickly but correctly so that the end product has a consistent, professional look with no tape line showing,” Green said.

As of mid-April, Graffiti Shield’s production of the face shields was up to 3,500 units a day and the headcount had increased by 10. Green expects the daily volume will hit 5,000 within another week.

  FDNY
FDNY emergency vehicle being serviced with Stertil-Koni Mobile Column Lifts.
   

Stertil-Koni Provides a “Lift” for FDNY

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stertil-Koni, is supporting FDNY by providing, on short notice, three sets of its wireless Mobile Column Lifts to help speed the repair and servicing of these essential vehicles.

Maxxsonics USA Donates More Than 25K Masks and Gloves for COVID-19 Support

Maxxsonics USA continues to assist the fight against COVID-19 by supporting local hospitals and businesses. Maxxsonics has now donated more than 25,000 masks and gloves across the Midwestern United States, offering assistance and support to those in need toward the battle against COVID-19.

Alden Stiefel, president and CEO of Maxxsonics USA said, “Maxxsonics USA is committed to helping medical staffs, hospitals, first responders and various people any way we possibly can. We are excited to see other companies in the 12-volt industry join the efforts to help those in need.”

Dometic Donates Mask Straps to Local Healthcare Workers

Engineers at Dometic have taken the initiative to create mask straps on 3D printers and donate them to local hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Clayton Meyers, an engineer at Dometic’s Elkhart Verdant office has been able to produce about 300 mask straps so far. A portion of the masks have gone to a local school system, as they have been providing free lunches to students. The rest of the masks are intended for local hospitals and nursing homes. Bill Rimel, an engineer located at one of Dometic’s manufacturing sites in Big Prairie, Ohio, has also been making mask straps, which have also gone to area hospitals and nursing homes.

“We want to do as much as we can to support our healthcare and essential workers during this unprecedented period,” says Scott Nelson, president of Dometic Americas. ”Our engineers have been dedicating their time and talent for producing these mask straps. They have been able to utilize the resources that Dometic has available and provide relief from the current shortage of masks.”

Pep Boys
Pep Boys is reopening 11 locations in Puerto Rico.
   
     

Pep Boys Reopening 11 Locations in Puerto Rico

Eleven Pep Boys locations in Puerto Rico will reopen on select days, in response to the government order allowing certain essential businesses to resume operations. The stores will begin reopening this week to service essential personnel only. Nine of the 11 locations will offer both automotive parts and service, while two of the locations will offer parts only. The locations listed below will be open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Pep Boys remains committed the health and safety customers and employees, and will take the following steps:

  • Service appointments must be scheduled in advance at www.PepBoys.com and customers should wait for a confirmation call. Pep Boys will also use its Touchless Drop Off, Extra Mile Care and Cleaning, and Mobile Pay services.
  • Curbside drop-off and pickup will be available for all parts orders.
  • Only one customer will be allowed inside each location at a time.

All Pep Boys locations will continue to minimize health risks by performing additional cleanings and sanitizations and asking employees and customers to use personal protective equipment and maintain a safe social distance at all times.

  ProCharger
Rob Kinnan
   

ProCharger Welcomes New Marketing Director

Accessible Techonolgies Inc., the parent company of ProCharger and Inovair, has welcomed Rob Kinnan as the company’s new marketing director. Kinnan has nearly 31 years of experience in the automotive publishing world, most recently serving as the editor of Mustang Monthly magazine. He also worked with Motor Trend Group, including a seven-year stint as the editor of Hot Rod magazine. Kinnan was also a founding member of the National Mustang Racers Association (NMRA), serving as editorial director for both Race Pages and Fastest Street Car magazines, among many other event-related positions. He joins ProCharger's team in Mill Valley, California. He will also be involved in expanding ProCharger's presence in the state, mainly testing and racing opportunities at Sonoma Raceway, where the company has space for development vehicles. He will also assist with the company's latest project, a ProCharger system for the supercharged C8 Corvette.

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