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COVID-19 and the Gerber PPE Task Force FAQs
Due to the current pandemic and global shortage of masks and similar supplies, manufacturers in various industries are being asked to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To help support the fight, we have created the Gerber PPE Resource Team to support our customers as they need to increase their production and/or transition to manufacturing PPE.
We are reaching out to all sewn goods and printing manufacturers, suppliers and our ecosystem of partners to facilitate new or increased production and distribution of PPE.
Our PPE initiative has 3 main components:
- Helping current PPE manufacturers scale their production, and keep it running smoothly.
- Assisting current soft/sewn goods manufacturing customers in converting their production over to PPE manufacturing (starting from base patterns and we can share, up to helping you implement a full production line).
- Leveraging our network of partners to help match the demand for PPE with supply (Including identifying PPE manufacturers, sourcing of materials, knowledge sharing between manufacturers, etc.).
- Connecting signage and label companies with the tools to design and produce safety labels.
We also encourage you to reach out to us if you have resources, materials, expertise to share that can help in the fight against COVID-19.
The situation is very dynamic, but below is a general categorization of the type of personal protective equipment that is needed. Note: Some of these products are subject to regulations and we do not recommend converting current production to PPE production of regulated products.
Below, items in red are product categories not currently supported by Gerber’s production tools and equipment.
Antimicrobial disposable wipes
Blood pressure cuffs
Lateral air transfer mattress
Body bags/transport bags (ill or deceased)
Sterile Packaging / Sterilization Wrap
Disposable Personal Protective Apparel
Medical equipment bags
Hazmat suits/durable protective apparel
Medical/surgical face masks
Textile components of heart monitoring devices
Healthcare-related filtration materials
Other temporary shelters
Hospital bed sheets/pillowcases
Patient lifting systems (slings)
Hospital privacy curtains
Patient restraint/safety straps
Other: Thermometers, Ventilators, and generally speaking “hard goods”.
Sign & Graphics:
|Social distancing signage
|Warning & safety signage (OSHA/ANSI/FAA compliance)
|Medical equipment labels
|1st responder helmet and equipment decals
|Clear flexible safety shields
|Emergency vehicle graphics
|Security/tamper evident labels
|Heat resistant low-surface-energy adhesive labels
|Temporary permits and badges
In order to produce PPE, typically pattern making and nesting software, spreading, cutting and sewing equipment is needed. Specifics depend on the type of PPE product made.
Please see our resources on the https://gerbertechnology.com/covid19 website, and our experts can be contacted via a form on this site.
Gerber OMEGA™ design and output software and the GERBER EDGE® FX production system.
Depending on your production equipment and processes, and the current products you make, Gerber can make recommendations on which PPE products to best produce (e.g., masks vs. scrubs vs. hospital sheets, pillow cases).
Note that the availability of raw materials, or lack thereof, is also an important consideration and we recommend not attempting to manufacture highly regulated products.
Capacity will vary based on the type of PPE equipment produced, the number of lines converted, etc. While every conversion will have its nuances, Gerber offers standard consulting packages to convert a regular soft good production line over to the manufacture of PPE. Please contact us for further information at https://gerbertechnology.com/covid19. Fill out the form for additional resources to get you started.
We can help out with pattern design, cutting parameters, equipment modification and implementing entire production lines if needed.
- In order to produce PPE, typically pattern making and nesting software, spreading, cutting and sewing equipment are needed. Specifics depend on the type of PPE products made, but we are available to consult you on this. Note that additional topics need to be addressed, such as fabric selection, sourcing, and potential regulations. Gerber is ready to connect you to various other resources and information, but make sure you inform yourself accordingly.
We are also happy to connect you with our sourcing partners that can assist with the procurement of fabrics of finished PPE products. We will continue to update our resources and what’s available on our website: https://gerbertechnology.com/covid19
There is a lot of uncertainty and need for information in the market. Gerber is actively reaching out to the U.S. Government and leading industry consortiums on trying to coordinate broader, localized efforts. Gerber will keep our customers posted on those developments.
In the meantime, the National Council of Textile Organizations has requested companies interested in converting PPE make them aware, by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also find valuable resources and information by the CFDA on COVID-19 response including PPE, small business support and other here: https://cfda.com/news/cfda-resources-for-navigating-covid-19-coronavirus-business-challenges and https://www.signs.org/bcrc.