In Response to National COVID-19 Crisis, Midwest Manufacturer Shifts Production from Display Fixtures to Safety Products

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Acrylic fixture company Creative Concepts Fabrication is looking to help meet the need for protection of our front-line grocery and healthcare workers with a new safety product line and a recharged workforce.

"the company has seen a definite spike in the emerging field of protection."

Creative Concepts Fabrication is a full-service production facility of plastic acrylic parts and products for a wide range of industries. Historically, the company’s products have included point-of-sale fixtures for stores and retail chains and safety product dispensers for industrial workplaces. With the advent of COVID-19, that focus has shifted to much needed personal safety barriers.

With mandated social distancing and ultimately the shutdown of businesses in Illinois, Creative Concepts sent all non-production staff home to ensure their safety. Because the company is considered an essential service, the production crew remained at work, following safety guidelines established by the CDC.

When a long-time customer notified Creative Concepts of a need in the Chicago area for 1500 safety shields to protect grocery store workers and customers from COVID-19, General Manager, David King affirmed that his team was up to the task, and a new safety product was born. In order to meet the immediate high demand volume, the fabrication crew at Creative Concepts worked significant overtime hours and throughout a full weekend.

King states that the company has seen a “definite spike in activity in the emerging field of protection” and cites another request made just today for Plexiglass “Aerosol Boxes” to aid in shielding physicians and nurses when working with critical patients who need intubation.

The inquiry into these healthcare safety barriers was made on behalf of the ICU staff at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It was an urgent request as staff nurses were starting to get scared of performing intubations and becoming exposed.

To speed up production and get a first order of his Plexiglass Aerosol Boxes into the hospital as quickly as possible, King used a recently published design created by Taiwanese physician, Lai Hsein-yung.

Lai has shared his drawings and design freely online to help his fellow healthcare providers across the globe. “It all started when my friends in the medical field in China asked me in January to design something to give additional protection to medical workers in facilities that were running out of resources”, wrote Lai on his Facebook page. “But now, most of the inquiries I get about the box are coming from my friends in the United States”, said Lai.

Like all businesses, Creative Concepts Fabrication is unsure of how long this pandemic will be affecting manufacturing in the U.S. They do expect, however, that many customer-facing industries will be looking into similar means of protecting workers and customers through acrylic barriers and safety shields of some type. Because Creative Concepts is an American based company, working with American made materials, they are uniquely capable of creating custom acrylic products, such as the Safety Shield, in large amounts for U.S. customers within short deadlines without the added expense of overseas shipping.

King says that before these new safety product orders, his work crew faced possible layoffs due to low order volume brought on by COVID-19, and spirits were low. Now, his team is excited to be working hard and proud to help protect their community front-line workers from possible virus spread.

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