Door and Window Companies Rally Together Amidst COVID-19 and ProtestsJune 30th, 2020 by Emmariah Holcomb
As the country continues reopening efforts, many in the door and window industry are coming together to donate materials, create protective face shields and more.
The Pella Corporation (Pella) began producing face shields in its 3D printing facilities in Shenandoah and Sioux Center, Iowa. According to the company, the state’s health care workers were in “desperate need of personal protective equipment.” Pella announced it is able to produce more than 600 clear protective face shields daily.
“We have a real drive to want to help out,” said Aaron Ryan, Pella design assurance lab senior engineer team leader. “Our 3D printing is a stop-gap until the usual injection-molded parts get back on the market and can meet the increasing demand.”
Members of the Pella, Iowa community has been sourcing other pieces of local medial professionals’ personal protective equipment (PPE). According to the company, the laminate used for its shields was donated by one of the company’s supply partners.
According to CBC News, Brian Bower owner of a Timbermart building supply business in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was in need of a way to safely bring customers back into his store. He reached out to Kevin Pelley, the CEO of Kohltech, for help. Pelley didn’t have the materials when Bower reached out, but was able to send him a shipment of tempered glass shields within 48 hours.
“They sent down a couple of prototypes and we put them on the counter and they’ve been working ever since,” said Bower.
Pelley described it as a “fly by the seat of your pants” design and manufacture process with one simple goal — getting a product out the door as quickly as possible. According to Pelley, he initially thought his company could build face shields for health-care and other front-line workers. That however, would have meant having to retool the plant and buy supplies the company didn’t normally stock. He wanted to help during the pandemic, but in a way that would mesh with the company’s existing door and casement window manufacturing process, according to CBC News. The tempered glass shields were the answer.
“The end goal here is to help local businesses that have suffered the most through this COVID situation,” said Pelley. “So we see this as an opportunity to keep our people busy here, keep our great team employed, but also help our local businesses here get back open.”
North Star Windows & Doors
North Star Windows & Doors, located in St. Thomas, Ontario, partnered with various vendors to design and source the materials required to produce protective face shields for frontline workers in the community.
“North Star has been supporting the COVID-19 situation by repurposing some of our assembly lines into producing facial protection equipment for the community,” said Glenn Schmitchen, engineering manager. “At the start of the outbreak, the engineering and maintenance team began to brainstorm how we could support frontline efforts by leveraging new capacities in cutting, existing raw materials, and like-minded suppliers to quickly produce a good that was in need. The result is a PPE product that is effective, affordable, and easily accessible.” According to the company, its expansion will allow for 3,000 face shields to be made weekly.
According to WREX news, a handful of Freeport, Ill., businesses were damaged following protests that became violent. Joe’s Pizza in Freeport, Ill., was one of the many businesses impacted by the violence.
“There was anger, there was sadness, there was surprise, there was disappointment, you know you have never had anything like this happen,” said Joe’s Pizza owner Becky Valenti.
Scott Williamson, Window World of Rockford, Ill., president, noticed the damage and wanted to provide a little bit of relief. “We told them that we are going to go ahead and replace this and it’s not going to cost you anything,” said Williamson.