Leaders in the Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Diana Headrick, on April 14, 2020
The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. With stay-at-home orders designed to “flatten the curve” of infection in many locations worldwide, companies are relocating employees to work remotely in their homes, while others furlough staff in wait for a return to normalcy. Yet, staying home may not be enough to address the challenges this pandemic generates. Several weeks before the expected “peak” of illness, hospitals are already struggling with providing patient care for the volume of sick. Procuring enough equipment to treat patients and to protect staff are critical challenges.
Every evening in New York City, residents lean out their windows to applaud healthcare workers, transit drivers and grocery store employees as they change shifts. We are grateful for their heroic efforts to serve the community and save lives. Supporting this first line of defense are a number of companies working around the clock to provide desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE), diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatments and preventative vaccines. Because every mask, every testing device, every medication and every clinical trial needs a label, many of these companies use Loftware solutions throughout their supply chain. We would like to take a moment to highlight their remarkable efforts to make a difference in the battle against the novel coronavirus.
A major step in the fight against COVID-19 is the production of personal protection equipment. Loftware salutes of work of N95-mask market leader 3M and automaker turned mask manufacturer General Motors (GM).
Ramping Up Production of PPE
When teams at 3M Healthcare saw early reports about a rapidly spreading virus in China, they immediately knew the world would need more protective gear. Within days, 3M facilities in the U.S. and Asia ramped up production of N95 respirator mask and other protective gear, placing reserve equipment into production and adding additional staff and overtime shifts. By March, they doubled production to 100 million units per month with the goal of manufacturing over two billion masks in 2020. They also announced their partnership with Ford to jointly produce respirators. In addition, the diversified manufacturer has also ramped up production of hand sanitizer and cleaning products to help meet customer demand.
GM re-opened a plant in Warren, Michigan to make Level 1 surgical masks in response to the demand for face masks across the U.S. With the delivery of the necessary machinery last week, the line will quickly ratchet up production over the next two weeks so workers at the facility can manufacture 50,000 masks a day – and up to 100,000 masks per day with adequate support from the supply chain. The masks from Warren Transmission are in addition to the 20,000 masks GM announced it delivered last week. GM has also begun manufacturing ventilators to address the national shortfall, especially in virus hot spots.
Accurate Labeling Speeds Delivery
Personal Protection Equipment is key to protecting healthcare workers, first responders, grocery clerks and others on the front lines. While still in high demand worldwide, N95 masks would be impossible to locate today had 3M not had the foresight to double production at the first hint of a problem. The longtime customer of Loftware’s Enterprise Labeling Solutions also had the foresight to select Loftware Spectrum as their strategic labeling platform, enabling label printing to scale globally with mask production.
While a small factor in the effort to save lives, we are proud that labels printed with Loftware Enterprise Labeling Solutions are helping send critical products such as these where they are desperately needed.