Carbon8, one of Sydney’s leading creative commercial print businesses, has answered the call for much needed personal protective equipment and is now producing tens of thousands of face shields for the health sector each week.
When the warning signs of what lay ahead as COVID-19 took hold in early February, Carbon8 directors Peter Musarra and Kenneth Beck knew a creative approach would be needed to keep their business going and their 23 staff employed.
Carbon8’s industrial designer, Daniel Sutherland, came up with the face shield idea and knowing it would be possible to produce the shields in high volumes using existing cutting and other manufacturing equipment at Carbon8’s Marrickville factory made the suggestion.
Musarra says Carbon8 saw the opportunity well before the government call out and innovated out of necessity to get ahead of the curve by moving quickly to make multiple prototypes.
From there Musarra and Beck began the intense process of not only shoring up raw material supply chains, but also ensuring the production techniques and specifications of the shields met with NSW Health protocols.
Then there was the critical part of finding a wholesaler through which to sell the shields and get them where they were needed most – with frontline health workers.
A cold call by Musarra to Sentry Medical, a medical wholesaler in Sydney, who were supportive from the start, proved fruitful and the deal was eventually done to supply the shields.
“We were successful in securing a significant contract to produce the face shields and that came at a crucial time when we were looking to reduce employee hours due to the downturn. Instead, we’ve been able to keep our entire team working and bringing in additional casual staff with production expanding to one and half shifts six days a week to meet demand,” Musarra told Sprinter.
“We are supplying much needed PPE to the health space, both kept and created jobs, and Carbon8 now has a lifeline revenue stream that otherwise wouldn’t have existed so we are extremely proud of that.”
Musarra says the fact Carbon8 has been able to find a creative solution given the current climate, while supplying critical protective equipment for healthcare workers, exemplifies the inventive nature of the company and its team.
“This has been about redefining and showing that Carbon8 will always be inventive and think on our feet. We have such an incredibly creative and capable team,” Musarra said.
“As Dan says we have the know-how, the machinery, the staff, and all of a sudden the time, so it made sense to do it.”
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