Manufacturers Mobilize to Confront COVID-19 — The Story of America’s Creators

Breweries are making hand sanitizer, vehicle manufacturers are making ventilators, and companies with 3D printers are making face shields.

At a time when our healthcare industry is being hit the hardest on the front lines, our manufacturers have stepped up to support them with the medical equipment and protective gear that they need to stay safe and save lives.

Not only are they creating supplies for healthcare workers, but they are also keeping supply chains running and helping us stay connected with one another through technology.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at how COVID-19 is impacting the manufacturing industry and what companies are doing to rise to the challenge….

How COVID-19 is Impacting Manufacturing

COVID-19 is having an impact on the manufacturing industry in many ways. We’re not going to discuss them all in this article, but we’ll cover the top 3 ways it’s causing changes.

Shortage of Medical Supplies and PPE

With ventilators, N95 masks, and medical swabs in such high demand, the companies that generally manufacture those products are struggling to keep up.

This shortage in the market place has inspired some manufacturers to pivot their companies in a new direction so they can start manufacturing these products and meet the supply needs of the healthcare industry.

If not for the quick thinking of these manufacturers and their ability to adapt, our healthcare workers would be in a far worse situation than they are.

Changes in Operations

Over 53% of manufacturers anticipate making a change in their operations within the coming months. With social distancing becoming the new norm, manufacturers are working to adapt their facilities to the new guidelines.

They’re fielding work from home requests, evaluating inventory levels and work schedules, They’re implementing plans for restricting face-to-face interactions and staggering shifts to make up for sick workers who can’t come in.

Manufacturers are doing everything they can to make sure that if the virus hits their employees, they won’t be forced to shut down completely.

Disruptions in Supply Chains

35.5% of manufacturers are reporting disruptions in supply chains. Reduced availability of parts and supplies and late arrival of orders are creating product delivery delays to customers.

While most manufacturers report that disruptions have been minor so far, they worry about what’s going to happen if the slowdowns continue, and it gets worse. The more that factories are forced to close or drastically reduce their workforce due to the virus, the harder it’s going to be to keep the supply chains going.

How Manufacturers are Mobilizing to Meet COVID-19 Challenges

We’re seeing some incredible innovations due to the challenges manufacturers are facing because of COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some companies who’ve made a difference at this time of crisis.

Anheuser-Busch Pivots From Beer to Hand Sanitizer

Breweries across the world are experiencing a problem they’ve never experienced before. They were about to throw away several thousand gallons of beer that was going to spoil because COVID-19 forced them to close their doors.

Instead of calling it quits and accepting this loss, some innovative breweries discovered that they could manufacture hand sanitizer out of the spoiled beer instead. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest breweries to jump on the bandwagon and start churning out hand sanitizer to help meet the demand.

They’ve partnered with local breweries to use their spoiled beer as a starter for more hand sanitizer. Nicolas Hammond, the owner of Pacific Coast Spirits, said it was his way of giving back to the community.

You can read the full article here: Distillery partners with breweries to turn spoiled beer into hand sanitizer.

Ford Partners with GE Healthcare to Produce 50,000 Ventilators in 100 Days

People are stuck at home, many not knowing where their next paycheck is coming from, and vehicle manufacturers have taken a hit.

The decrease in demand for vehicles and the desperate need for ventilators led Ford to partner with GE to manufacture 50,000 ventilators for Michigan. They have even promised to have all 50,000 ventilators completed in the next 100 days, and they expect to be able to produce 30,000 more ventilators per month from that point on.

Read the full article here: Ford to Produce 50,000 Ventilators in Michigan in the Next 100 Days.

Apple Manufacturers Face Shields for Healthcare Workers

The tech giant is leveraging their 3D printers to fill the need for more PPE for our healthcare workers on the front lines. They plan to produce and ship one million face shields every week, and they delivered the first batch to Kaiser Permanente hospital facilities California just recently.

Apple even created a support page on their website with instructions for making their face shields for other manufacturers who want to produce them.

You can see that page here: Apple: Make Your Own Face Shield.

Quick Recap

With their efforts to mobilize and confront COVID-19, manufacturers are playing a vital part in our communities.

This situation is sparking creativity and innovation like we haven’t seen in many years. The manufacturing sector is rising to the challenge in remarkable ways.

Some of the ways COVID-19 is impacting the industry are:

  • Causing a shortage of medical equipment and PPE.
  • Disrupting supply chains and causing delays in production and delivery to customers.
  • Forcing manufacturers to change how they operate.

Some of the ways manufacturers are rising to the challenge are:

  • Pivoting their focus to meet the increasing demand for medical equipment and PPE.
  • Creating and implementing staggering work schedules to comply with new social distancing protocols and make up for missing workers.
  • Reducing face-to-face interactions.
  • Making plans to prevent a complete shutdown if the virus hits its workers.

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