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50+ signage and print businesses answer NSW “call to arms"

More than 50 signage and print industry businesses are among over 500 companies who've so far offered to 're-tool' to manufacture urgently needed medical equipment during the COVID-19 crisis, after an emergency appeal this week by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

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berejiklian 7“This is a call to arms for NSW manufacturers to look at ways to convert production lines into making the items we so desperately need,” Berejiklian (pictured right) said on Wednesday. “We have the ability within NSW to meet our local demand, and the government is moving to help manufacturers retool quickly to achieve this.

“I’m calling on the great people of our state, those great business people, those manufacturers who are able to re-tool, to help supply the additional things we need in coming months, whether it’s sanitisers, medical equipment or a whole host of other things which our hospitals will rely on.”

Within 24 hours, signage and wide format businesses that answered the call included Avon Graphics, AFI Branding, Ct Signs, HVG Fabrics, HVG Facades, Morris Graphics, NR SIGNS, PROSIGNS, Sign Media Solutions, SignageOne, SIGNARAMA Surry Hills, signms, SIGNCRAFT Group; and UFO Display Solutions.

Print and packaging industry companies who’ve stepped up to offer their help included: 3D COSTUMES; 3D One; 3D Printing Shop; 3D Printing Studios; 3DFillies; A and M PACKAGING; Austcor Packaging; CBS Printing; CNC 3D; DAILY PRINTING SOLUTIONS; Elite Packaging; Foxcil; Inkstone Printing; JENNINGS Print; LABELCO; LAFAYETTE PRINTING; M&N Printing Services; Me3D; OVERMIND 3D; PACKAGING LABELS AUSTRALIA; Printer HQ; Snap Circular Quay; Solaris Paper; STYLEPRINT; The Laser Cut Shop; TIGERPAK PACKAGING; Vistaprint; wazzup screen printing; WELLMAN PACKAGING; WRAPALL PACKAGINGS; and Wysiwyg 3D.

The items urgently needed include: examination gloves; disinfectant and cleaning products; handwash and soap; masks; eyewear; gowns; paper products including toilet and tissue paper; hand sanitiser.

A NSW government statement says: “Can you provide, manufacture or retool to manufacture hand sanitiser, handwash soap, gloves, cleaning products, protective clothing, masks, eyewear, paper products, packaging or associated raw materials? We are establishing a supplier list that covers these products and services, including those not available on our whole of government arrangements.”

Businesses can register their interest at nsw.gov.au.Tender

shield 1Meanwhile, in New Zealand, 3D printer owners “in garages scattered across the country” are answering an online call to print 8000 plastic masks to protect frontline medical staff from Covid-19.

“The initiative was started on Tuesday by Auckland 3D printing business Mindkit owner Tim Carr, who has created a database urging all 3D printer owners around New Zealand to print the masks for understocked medical clinics,” said a report by the NZHerald.co.nz.

The private 3D printer owners downloaded a free open source design from a Czech Republic website to print the plastic masks (pictured right).

Publisher's comment

To each and every one of you who have answered the call, you make us proud to be members of the Signage, Display and Allied industries! Signees have always been inventive, having to deal with impossible designs and installations at times. This reaction to re-tooling/re-purposing is sure to have a huge impact. Acrylic sheet workers are already making a big difference with shields for essential shop staff and medical workers. Next, I expect flatbed table cutters can be made to die-cut the mask materials necessary to fabricate face masks. A thought: medical-grade masks need to stop down to 0.3 micron airborne particles - would printing the front of the mask improve fine particle arresting?

Please share your experiences and stories - we'll even start a Signees' Hero Gallery! Blessings to you all, your staff and families.

Andy McCourt