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  • Creating a New Armor: Local Business Pivots to Meet Demands of COVID-19

    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our local community continues to come together and find unique ways to lend support during these challenging times. Local business Mob Armor, this has meant completely altering their product line and creating reusable face shields to help meet the increased need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) caused by COVID-19.

    “Three weeks ago I watched the news like everyone else and had friends in the hospital system that we’re telling me they were short on PPE,” explained Trevor Orrick, President of Mob Armor. Like many, Orrick said he felt a bit helpless and wondered what he could do to make a difference. “Though we are usually a manufacturer of smartphone and tablet holding devices, I thought why can’t we make something to help.”

    After doing some research, Orrick decided his company could help fill the need for reusable face shields. Orrick researched different options for creating face shields and determined injection molding was something their company could do. From there, Mob Armor went to work at an impressive speed to make Orrick's vision a reality.

    “After proving our design, we built an injection mold tool that can make the headband component [of the face shield] at a rate of 2 every 30 seconds,” Orrick explained. “Typically making a plastics injection tool like this would take 1-2 months.  We built it in 7 days.”

    From there, the company had to gain access to equipment to die-cut the face shield material, and also purchase the raw material to create the face shields. While the company was easily able to secure the die-cut machine needed, finding the face shield material has been no easy feat.

    “We reached out to our typical suppliers, and none of them had any of the material we needed left in stock,” Orrick explained. “We then called 23 other suppliers/distributors and finally found a roll of material. Each roll is 645 pounds. Three days later we learned that our material had disappeared off of the truck. So I was on the search again. I lucked out and found two more rolls of material.”

    Orrick says they are hoping the supply chain stabilizes over the coming weeks, as this material is extremely expensive due to demand.

    With equipment built and materials sourced, Orrick says his company has the ability to make 5,000 units a week on one shift.  And, if the demand it there, they can work 2-3 shifts and triple the output. Their biggest challenge currently is sourcing materials needed to complete the face shields.

    “At this time we have enough face shield material to make around 10,000 units,” Orrick said. “Due to the quality and type of materials  we are using,  10,000 reusable face shields can really help.  If face shield materials can be sourced we will continue to fill the need.”

    Mob Armor began taking orders for their face masks on April 16th, and  offers special pricing for Medical and other essential employees. Orrick says while medical use is their priority, they also recognize the need for these devices in grocery stores, food service and other first responders. 

    “Even in our own facility we are using our face shields for our workers,” Orrick explained. “We think every life is important and we can help at all levels.”

    Orrick is proud that his company is able to do something significant to help during the COVID-19 crisis, and hopes Mob Armor can lead by example in lending a hand, wherever the need may be.

    “If you or your business have the bandwidth to help on a larger level I implore you to try,” Orrick said. “If you are a manufacturer and you have the capability, why wouldn’t you help either on a local level or national if possible?”

    At the end of the day, Orrick says his desire to help is fueled by his understanding that as a local community, we need to come together and each do our part to help one another through this challenging time. 

    “The sooner we stop the spread and saves lives the sooner we can get the economy back on track and hopefully find our way back to normal.”

    Mob Armor’s face shields are available for purchase online by visiting mobarmor.com/ppe/