We need to keep a social distance – strange terminology, as being 'social' is getting close to each other. We are working via Zoom, Skype and other platforms, meaning we don't get to talk and gossip around the coffee machine anymore. All the essentials we experience as human beings at work are taken away by something we can't see, smell or feel. That is really creepy. 

Regency Design, the specialist print business, has appointed Dominic Riley, former Chairman of The Morgan Motor Company and a passionate supporter of British manufacturing, to help take the business to the next stage of growth as companies plan for a post-pandemic resurgence.

As COVID-19 cancelled in-person events, sign & graphics companies were forced to develop new revenue streams in order to stay afloat. Colorwave Graphics was able to expand their business through a quick and seamless transition to producing personal protective equipment (PPE) by leveraging the Gerber MCT Cutter. Colorwave was able to develop signage for social distancing, sneeze guards and even a temporary hospital bed made from 100% recyclable material. Additionally, the versatile solution empowers the Illinois-based signage producer to greatly improve their speed and throughput, enabling them to cut 2-up gang banners in just 20 seconds, which normally would have taken 40 hours manually.

Fisher Textiles, the leading supplier of fabrics for digital printing, has added two face mask and two gown fabrics to its PPE fabric line. Products include 1095 Face Mask, 2806 Mirco Mesh and GF 7400 Blue Gown which are sublimatible, washable and reusable and 50gsm PP Dark Blue, a non-printable and disposable Polypropylene.

Erik Schwartz has owned Minuteman Press in Turnersville for 12 years. As a local business owner himself, Erik knows how important it is for the community to rally together and support local business while staying safe during COVID-19. Erik’s Minuteman Press franchise located at 4991 Route 42, Suite 4 is doing its part by providing vital personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and facial coverings (for non-medical use), social distancing printing products such as COVID-19 safety posters, floor graphics and sneeze guards, and even free marketing through their community website Bounce Back Turnersville.

With businesses across the country needing to clearly explain social distancing guidelines to customers and keep staff safe, the demand for quality signs and personalised PPE has exploded.

THE CHALLENGES faced by the enforcement of mask wearing in shops and supermarket could be helped thanks to the creation of single use PPE kits.

The CEO of a leading online print portal has expressed concern that some schools are not properly equipped to reopen to students later this year.

French software developer Caldera has announced a new initiative that will help furnish the increasing demand for face masks for private individuals, while at the same time supporting their printing clients during a difficult time for businesses. Based on their successful SportsFactory concept which launched at FESPA Berlin 2018, the MaskFactory micro-factory platform will allow consumers to design personalised masks, which will then be manufactured to French AFNOR norms and dispatched to them.

The world now accepts the reality of wearing face masks and coverings. This will be part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future. As expected the immediate demand for mask personalisation and design decoration has dramatically escalated over the past few weeks. This will continue to do so for many years to come. Currently there appears to be a vast range of options, materials and styles. Together with various claims relating to specification and personal safety.

Cotswold Printing Company, a family owned business specialising in wide format printing, is using Canon’s Clear Display Film to produce disposable PPE face masks for local NHS staff, with 25 volunteers working to produce the equipment.

Coupling a budget-priced desktop printer with a small-format digital cutter and specialist heat transfer media supplied by Graphtec GB has provided a genuinely low-cost print and cut solution for the decoration and/or commercial branding of face masks and associated safety equipment employed in the fight against the current coronavirus pandemic. Available at an enticingly low price point of around £350, the Silhouette range of cutters has long been a preferred entry-level option for small start-up companies, many of which have been engaging with the PPE-related initiative whilst contemporaneously introducing a vital source of revenue during the current difficult business climate.

Foticos is a Spanish company that has been operating in the photographic and printing sector since 1984. Today they are a staple in everything related to personalized products and gifts, from blankets to t-shirts or puzzles among many others.

In just two short weeks, Canon Solutions America, Inc.’s customer, Hatch Exhibits, went from operating as a full-service exhibit production shop in Maryland to a producer of protective face shields, disposable gowns, and touchless doorknobs to help those in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Canon’s Colorado 1650, the MultiCam Celero 7, a Colex 10’ x 5’ Sharpcut, and Canon Solutions America’s support in sourcing other necessary materials, Hatch Exhibits has been able to quickly manufacture this gear to help create a safe workspace for its staff to continue with essential projects.

Antalis has launched a range of PPE solutions to protect people working in healthcare, retail, supermarkets, warehouses and other commercial environments from COVID-19. It supports the company’s full range of visual communication materials for use in the production of signage and for solutions such as protective screens, booths and sneeze guards.

Mondi, leading global packaging and paper group, has contributed material and processing expertise to produce plastic protective gowns for staff at local nursing homes and retirement facilities in order to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. The first 100 of these disposable, single-use garments have been delivered to the regional district’s Civil Protection Authority in Diepholz, who will oversee the distribution to facilities that need it most. Mondi plans to produce at least 10,000 further gowns in the coming months.

With a large part of the global production of personal protective equipment (PPE) happening in the United States and China, much of Europe is experiencing a major PPE shortage, putting millions of lives at risk. In order to combat the shortage, the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide (PCIAW) is partnering with Gerber Technology to make PPE more widely available. Through their PPE Task Force, Gerber has already helped over 1,200 manufacturers across the globe successfully convert their manufacturing capabilities to PPE production.

As flexible thermoplastic experts Structure-flex temporarily halted production of lorry trailer curtains and bulk transport bags, their team turned to designing a reusable full-face visor for the fight against coronavirus.

A group of employees at Widd Signs, St Helens site have been doing their bit to support a local initiative aimed at producing much needed face masks for frontline NHS staff and care workers.

Given the PPE shortage across the social care sector, two Yorkshire firms have teamed up to manufacture and donate face shields to over 30 facilities across the region.

Urgent demand to keep employees and customers safe in the wake of Covid-19 has seen a Leicestershire point of sale and visual merchandising display specialist pivot its operations to deliver a range of end-to-end hygiene products and services.

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