Innovative Machine Specialists, Next Step Prosthetics collaborate on face shields
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Innovative Machine Specialist and Next Step Prosthetics are collaborating to assist Marshfield Clinic Health System with their supply needs, as the two local businesses work together in the production face shields.
Innovative Machine was recently approached by clinic representatives requesting their assistance with 1,000 shields.
“Innovative had the capabilities and manpower to do so, but after exhausting their efforts trying to find the materials, they needed other resources to do so. All of the suppliers they had contact were sold out of the specified materials needed as many other places were trying to make the face shields as well,” explained Shyanne Harn, owner of Next Step.
The clinic next contacted Harn, to see if he made plastic. Harn inquired on specs and materials.
“I had stated my concerns with open-celled foam and what we could do to make them multi-use instead of single use with a couple key changes, due to the inability to get more supplies,” Harn said. “The materials contacting the skin are able to be cleaned appropriately and will help protect the skin. After all of the materials were ordered for the first 1,000 face shields, the clinic called and requested 5,000 more. We had to be a bit more creative to get all of the materials needed but had successfully ordered the appropriate amount. The only thing that was different was the size and color of the elastic Velcro.”
“The process for us started with our engineers,” said Innovative Machine Specialists Human Resources Manager Molly David. “We had to come up with a drawing, create a working prototype, and then gain the final approval. After the final approval was given, we were able to start production. The production process includes cutting the headband pieces on our waterjet and then having employees add the vinyl piece, the foam, and the elastic. Apart from the 6,000 face shields, we were also asked to make 10,000 disposable face shields.
“We are very grateful that we have the capabilities to be able to help out our community in times of need and for the business partnerships we have built, such as our working relationship with Next Step Prosthetics.”