Throughout our country’s history, manufacturing companies have stepped up in times of need. Two sports giants have answered the call as the medical profession continues a fight against the Coronavirus.
Bauer Hockey and Cascade Maverick Lacrosse, in the midst of a near shut-down as the sports world remains in flux, has turned their production lines into lifeblood of supply for the medical community, creating custom-made face shields for professionals fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. Leaders of both companies knew they could address the problem.
“We happened to be watching the news,” said Win Fream, the Senior Director of Research and Development for Cascade Maverick Lacrosse. “We were chatting and said, ‘We can make these.' We were watching people make the product out of parts from Home Depot. I think they were talking about HR departments in hospitals making them. We said, ‘This is crazy! This is in our wheelhouse.'"
“We have been building protective equipment for hockey players since 1927,” said Mary-Kay Messier, Vice President of Global Marketing for Bauer Hockey. “Thinking about the helmet with the visor - it is something you would think could be re-purposed.”
The know-how was there, but with any project, the devil is in the details. Getting to the perfect prototype involved ingenuity and getting answers to critical questions as quickly as possible. Medical professionals, including a friend of Fream’s, were contacted and brought in house to provide specific instruction.
“We literally made models, right then and there,” said Fream. “We spoke to him and he said, ‘This is how it works.’ He gave us the user experience that needed to be done and by Monday we had our first prototype from some of our vendors who we had called Sunday night."
The immediate demand has been overwhelming, but not surprising considering the crush on our country’s medical system.
“By yesterday, and now today, people have found out about it and have been calling non-stop,” said Fream.
“We do have good manufacturing facilities and capabilities and we can ramp up,” said Messier. “We can think about how you can expedite and increase the volume by adding shifts and we’re willing to do whatever is required and as much demand is out there that we can meet the expectations and do as much as we can to accomplish that.”
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