Thanks to a donation of essential plastic materials by Spartech, a Wisconsin-based company has been able to produce 20,000 face shields to help protect first responders and healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Spartech is a manufacturer of engineered thermoplastics and custom packaging solutions.
“We recognize the need to support healthcare workers and other first responders who are on the frontlines in safeguarding the health and safety of Americans during the fight against COVID-19,” said Todd Niemuth, market manager-healthcare for Spartech. “This is an unprecedented crisis and we want to do our part to help these heroic men and women do their vital jobs in the safest possible way.”
Spartech made the donation of materials to Lake View Industries, a company that normally makes custom rubber, plastic and foam parts for a variety of industries. The company has since re-purposed itself after receiving an urgent request from local government officials to make face shields, which Lake View then donated directly to area first responders and healthcare workers.
Spartech has long manufactured the clear plastic films used to make the personal protective equipment that helps protect first responders and healthcare workers in their daily work protecting and assisting their patients. Now the decades of expertise in forming plastic materials is essential in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Niemuth said he first learned of the request from another customer, who told him about Lake View’s need for materials to make the face shields. With more companies partnering and collaborating to meet the mask shortage, Spartech immediately decided to make a material donation that would produce 20,000 face shields and promptly shipped the donated order in three days.
Because Spartech has multiple facilities to process these clear materials, including Sheboygan Falls, Wisc., and Greenville, Ohio facilities which are producing the materials for this order, the company can ensure a constant supply of face shields even during high demand. Spartech’s other facilities that can process the materials are Muncie, Ind., and Newark, N.J. Having more than one facility that can produce most of its materials uniquely positions Spartech to ensure business continuity even in times of crisis.
Prior to the pandemic, Spartech already had customers that make face shields for medical and industrial applications. Not surprisingly, Spartech’s healthcare customers that produce face shields are now seeing an increased demand. As a result, the company is now running materials and meeting that demand from many other companies capable of mass-producing face shields.
“We are fortunate to have multiple locations with the capability and capacity to process the materials and the ability to ship them in an expedient fashion,” Niemuth said. “We are proud of our employees who continue to step up in a time of great need.
Spartech, which was designated as an essential business, conducts daily healthcare screenings for employees upon entering its plants. The company’s workers are also using face shields produced by Lake View.