Brad Cairns of Best Damn Doors.
Brad Cairns of Best Damn Doors, who is well known by many in the industry for his talks on Lean production, didn’t wait for the government to pivot his business to start making personal protective devices.
Cairns said he realized some time ago that there would be a great need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for many people, including health care workers, firefighters and manufacturers and instead of waiting for orders he began the process of prototyping, manufacturing and ordering supplies.
“While we were doing this, I also filled out a bunch of forms on government websites, but so far I haven’t heard back from them,” he said.
But that hasn’t stopped him.
Cairns said he ordered supplies to start manufacturing his face shields and so far they have made about 1,000.
“We prototyped it on a CNC, but then I bought a roll die cutter because manufacturing on a CNC would be way too slow.”
Cairns said he is gearing up to make up to 500 face shields a day, but says their biggest problem will be assembly.
“I can cut them fast enough, but the assembly takes some time, so that’s what’s slowing us down right now.”
He said he is still waiting to hear from the government, because he needs to have confirmed orders to ramp up production.
“I think it’s great if companies answer the call to mobilize and manufacture products that will help us in the fight against the virus, but I would also caution anyone to be careful,” he said.
“Don’t produce until it’s sold. Just this morning I talked to someone who said they needed lots of product, but when I asked them for a deposit, the conversation changed.
“So make sure you don’t get into something until you know that it’s sold, you don’t want to go bankrupt.”
Cairns said he didn’t take his own advice, instead he decided to do what’s right and not what he can afford and hopes that it won’t hurt his company in the long run.
“Yes, we've rolled the dice and we’ve sold everything we made so far, but you have to be careful too.”
To find out more get in touch with Cairns here.
Can you help?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that the government is working with companies to step up the fight against COVID-19.
Trudeau announced progress under Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, which increases Canada’s ability to respond to the outbreak with necessary medical equipment and supplies.
The Government of Canada is investing $2 billion to support diagnostic testing and to purchase ventilators and protective personal equipment, including for bulk purchases with provinces and territories. Personal protective equipment includes things like masks and face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.
If you think you can help, have a look here to get you started.