Footwear company Superfeet and sister company Flowbuilt Manufacturing are coming to the rescue of health care providers in the Pacific Northwest by repurposing the 3D-printing capabilities of their Ferndale manufacturing facilities to the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of the ongoing all-in fight against the coronavirus.
Over the past week, Superfeet, an employee-owned company, has pivoted from the production of shoe insoles for footwear brands like New Balance to making life-saving equipment, with plans to manufacture and distribute some 30,000 PPE respirator masks to hospitals in the Pacific Northwest starting immediately.
“We started conversations with local hospitals and health care workers last week and discovered a massive need for PPE, as demand has skyrocketed over the past few weeks,” says John Rauvola, chief executive officer and president at Superfeet. “You can feel the pride our team of employee-owners takes in being able to create something tangible to help combat this pandemic and better protect our community’s first line of defense.”
In addition, Superfeet has teamed with Burlington-based aerospace manufacturer Pioneer Aerofab, which makes airplane interiors, to assist in the effort by producing the hood portion of the PPE masks.
“It's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of COVID-19 and its effect on our daily lives and those around the world,” says Pioneer Aerofab owner and CEO Tim Williamson. “Looking at how you can make an impact on a local level is the best place to start.”
Superfeet plans to continue making its 3D printers and manufacturing facilities available in the battle against COVID19. It is asking other medical facilities that are in need of life-saving equipment to contact the company (email here) to see if the company can be of help.