A Quad Cities company has added face shields to its usual line of products. Last week, Grace Engineered Products in Davenport made its first shipment to a local hospital, using high school and college students, and others out of work because of the pandemic.
Chief Operations Officer Bryan Van Itallie says Grace continues to produce electrical safety devices for factories and other large facilities. But when COVID-19 began spreading across the country, company leaders wanted to help.
"But as we started thinking about it, we said, well we have the ability to cut plastic, we have the ability to manipulate things, let's look at what it would take to create a process by which we could manufacture these face shields."
And over the course of just two weeks, Grace went from designing prototypes to producing 1,000 to 1,200 a day. By next week, their goal is 2,000 a day.
"Last week we went from design on Monday, we brought in a few additional people on Wednesday, and we shipped our first order of 1,500 units on Friday of last week. So it was basically spun up last week."
In addition to local hospitals, Van Itallie says customers include a retirement community and the Scott County Emergency Management Agency. And they're waiting to hear from the University of Iowa hospitals.