Despite the impact that COVID-19 has on so many parts of our daily lives, some of our clients have turned to creativity and innovation to keep their business moving and contribute to the community. We are inspired by our clients, now more than ever, and wanted to share some of their stories during this time with you.
What do you do when the nature of your business changes overnight?
Kenco Label & Tag‘s primary business is all in their name. Because they’re one of the most advanced label manufacturers in the world, there’s nothing with adhesives or labels that they’re not able to manufacture in their state-of-the-art facility. When they saw COVID-19 growing into the global pandemic it’s become, they adapted their production model to meet the changing needs of the environment.
Aaron Karan, a company executive, told us that once the company heard about the PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages, they knew it was the right move to start shifting production to try to fill that need. Within a week, they had their first face shields available for sale.
Why Do What Everyone Else is Doing When You Can Innovate?
Not only has Kenco Label & Tag moved its focus to the production of face shields, but they took things one step further. Working with medical professionals, including a neurosurgeon, they identified solutions that would improve the protection afforded by the face shields currently available in the marketplace.
Identifying the problems and finding the solutions
First, wearing the traditional face shield with an elastic band for extended periods of time can be headache-inducing, cause migraines and skin abrasions. Secondly, face shields that are not attached to a mask have openings on the bottom, which leaves a path of transmission directly up through the face shield, exposing medical professionals who are providing care.
Kenco’s new, and patent-pending, face shields were created to combat both of these problems. The shield attaches to a face mask, so nurses and doctors who are already wearing a 3-ply, surgical, or N95 mask can put the shield on what they’re already wearing. It’s lightweight, easy to apply, and causes no head strain. Secondly, the face shield does not have an opening from the bottom, which allows particles to move upward without getting on the inside of the shield. Since the start of production, Kenco has launched two different face shields. The current design went from concept to patent-pending and production within a week.
From concept to production in no time flat
Currently, Kenco is producing over 100,000 face shields per day and are on their way to produce 250,000 per day. They’re gearing up to produce millions of face shields per week. This is not just a side product, but a mass production effort. Everyone in the company is putting in the time to make this goal a reality. “Innovation and creativity are the foundation for all we do at Kenco”, Karan said. “We are constantly striving to make products better, smarter and faster.”
Anyone who has paid attention to the news knows that there are shortages on all types of PPE, so in addition to producing face shields, Kenco is working on face masks. The hope is that by the end of April they’ll be producing 1 million face masks per week.
Stickers and Posters
In addition to face shields, Kenco has been hard at work producing other products to help companies navigate this new landscape, both in and out of health care. They were the first company on Amazon to produce and sell a social distancing floor decals to help keep people mindful of how far away they need to be from others. They’ve also created an informational poster geared towards younger readers to educate them on COVID-19 symptoms and precautions.
When you’re focused on innovating, slowing down isn’t an option. Kenco is also planning on rolling out more products to support businesses, health care workers, and members of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. One upcoming project is a band designed to release fatigue from face masks that have elastic. Essentially, the band works to turn a wrap-around-ear mask into one that ties around your head, which healthcare providers prefer when they need to wear masks for long periods every day.
Another upcoming product is targeting food safety and supply chain security. Many of us are relying on delivery for our meals, much more than normal, from both grocery stores and restaurants. Kenco’s new food safety labels with proprietary tracking software allow users to activate and track the security labels that are tamper-evident from any mobile device without downloading any software or creating a username and password. Kenco’s technology is designed to go on takeout bags to ensure food stays safe and is not tampered with in transit.
By engaging in all of these efforts, Kenco is hoping to save lives, keep their business strong, and keep the workforce moving. We at Chortek have had a relationship with Kenco since 2004, and have supported them on their research and development projects during that history. It’s truly inspiring to see the work they’re doing to make a difference.