Movers and Shakers
Industrial automation community expresses support for COVID-19 efforts
By Kristina Urquhart
The industrial automation community has pulled together to help keep essential manufacturing running during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the May and June issues of Manufacturing AUTOMATION, we asked you for some messages of support, encouragement, contributions and stories to share with your peers – and you delivered!
Here’s what you said:
“It was a quick pivot when we saw what was needed; the entire Eclipse Automation team put their skills to the test and now we are producing mask assembly systems, and manufacturing N95 and surgical masks at our Cambridge site. Providing reliable domestic PPE solutions is our contribution to the fight.” – Patty Attwell, Eclipse Automation [ed. Eclipse team pictured above]
“On behalf of Electromate, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who is working tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19. We are proud of our team members who have been able to adapt without hesitation to the changing demands and needs of our industry, and who are making tremendous contributions in designing new and efficient medical products to use on the front lines. Stay strong, everyone!” – Electromate
“[We’re] excited to see our partners helping the community, deploying collaborative robots in making critical PPE available to first responders, schools and nursing homes. Hats off to our Canadian Certified Systems Integrators, Revtech Systems [pictured above] and Hannafin Automation [pictured below], that in record time were able to take their UR cobots and put them to work in new impressive application cells, each day producing hundreds of face shields. In times like these, ‘flexible automation’ has a new ring to it.” – Universal Robots
“As global citizens, we are honoured to be able to answer the call for help in hopes of minimizing the spread of this pandemic. When called upon to help, our team rushed to transform production lines to produce hand sanitizer for areas where it is most urgently needed. I am proud to work with such innovative and dedicated employees who not only care enough to make a difference but have the spirit to make it happen.” – Rajeev Gautam, president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies
Endress+Hauser Canada donated employee time and a Proline Promass S 100 coriolis flowmeter to measure glycerol as part of a joint endeavour between four companies to make hand sanitizer. Burkert Fluid Control Systems, a manufacturer of measurement and control, supplied a converted blending skid and a space to do the manufacturing. Brock Street Brewing Company organized the ingredients (alcohol, glycerol and hydrogen peroxide), and Applied Lubrication Technology further processed and packaged the sanitizer into smaller containers. Over a weekend in April, two transport trucks were filled with about 55,000 litres of sanitizer.
“#StrongerTogether: Abhinav Shetty and the Rittal Mississauga warehouse team are on hand to receive deliveries, ensure that they are well stocked, and that orders go out on time to all parts of Canada!” – Rittal Canada
“The Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) is grateful to everyone who continues to support efforts to suppress the spread of COVID-19. We are proud to be part of a network of manufacturers who are diligently working together to support each other, and the public, amid this crisis. In that same spirit of aid in a time of need and best practice sharing, we applaud all of our members, and non-members, for contributing to the recently developed Member Needs Help COVID-19 support resource made easily accessible for manufacturers across the country. Moving forward, EMC will continue monitoring the pulse of the industry, providing assistance, opportunities and efficiencies to member manufacturers across Canada!” – The Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium Team
“Thanks to EVERYONE for doing their part; we remain engaged around the world to conquer this virus.” – Balluff Canada [ed. scroll through the gallery above to see the staff]
As the Canadian representative for Grace Engineered Products, Turck Canada is helping to distribute some of the 10,000 face shields Grace is producing at its Iowa location every week. The shields are being delivered to health-care workers in the company’s global network.
“We continue to be grateful and humbled by our great team at Phoenix Contact Canada. Our entire team is doing a fantastic job supporting our customers and partners, as well as each other, while adjusting to remote work. Thank you!” – Brad Hammer, national sales manager, industrial components and electronics, Phoenix Contact Canada
“In the midst of the rapidly changing manufacturing landscape, our Automate Canada members have collaborated and innovated to help medical equipment manufacturing quickly scale up and to make a measurable impact on their communities […] From 3D printing for medical equipment projects to the supply of new automation, they are actively focused on the fight against COVID-19 and we applaud them! The teams at Automate Canada and our sister association, CAMM, have been working exceedingly hard to identify emerging issues for our industry and to launch programs to help address the issues. We are here to help and to be your voice.” – Shelley Fellows, chair, Automate Canada
“The Easter Bunny was not the only one working on Easter weekend! XL Tool Inc. in Kitchener [was] making ventilator parts!” – Robert Cattle, executive director, Canadian Tooling & Machining Association
“At Festo, innovation never stops. We’re being creative working from our home offices. We are tirelessly working on solutions for medical applications – for example, for components for laboratory automation or for devices for patient care. Even in these difficult times, we’re doing everything we can to make sure our customers and partners emerge from this difficult situation stronger and more productive than ever before. On behalf of our team, THANK YOU to all front-line workers – we’re stronger #CanadaTogether!” – Festo Inc.
“Wajax has recently donated over 5,500 pieces of personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves and goggles, to local hospitals across Canada. Thanks to everyone on the front lines working hard to keep our country strong. You need to stay up and running, and we’re here to ensure you do.” – Wajax
“In a time of crisis, it’s encouraging to see our partners rise to the challenge and use our robotic grippers in new and unprecedented ways. We’d like to give a shout out to PSI Technologies [for] developing a robotic COVID-19 testing application, limiting human-to-human contact in a potentially contagious setting. To our employees working from home, we extend our gratitude for keeping up our one- to two-day lead time – a team effort despite all of us being apart.” – OnRobot