Card Manufacturers Pivot to Combat COVID-19 Globally

ICMA Members Make PPE for Frontline Workers

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., June 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) are pivoting operations to meet the worldwide demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) to help combat COVID-19.

"During this time of crisis, ICMA members are adjusting their existing infrastructure to ensure critical products reach essential workers," said Jeffrey Barnhart, executive director and founder of ICMA. "As a global association for card manufacturers, suppliers, issuers and personalizers, ICMA's members' critical role in the essential products value chain has been amplified and the importance of manufacturing has never been so distinct."

ICMA members' crisis-induced pivot is helping people and communities:

EXIM, based in Istanbul, Turkey, is offering a variety of solutions for face shield applications and face shield products.

Bristol ID Technologies, headquartered in Lima, New York, is leveraging its experience in the global plastics manufacturing industry and producing face shields. The company's initiative is in conjunction with New York State to supply hospitals with equipment to protect health care workers from the coronavirus. Bristol's shield features a state-of-the-art wrap around design for face protection with a clear polycarbonate and polyester (PET) film shield.

Ruhlamat GmbH, located in Marksuhl, Germany, has shifted operations to produce protective N95/FFP2 masks for frontline workers. The company's mask automation production line integrates mask forming, edge pressing, cutting, tape welding, nose bridge beam loading and printing processes. Automated ultrasonic equipment is used for mask forming and production, requiring just one or two employees for the entire production line.

Covestro, which is located in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, is supporting rush orders of medical equipment manufacturers by supplying raw materials to produce diagnostic and respiratory equipment, protective devices and test strips for disease control and other emergency aid. To relieve the burden on medical facilities and to help contain the coronavirus, Covestro is applying its existing know-how and 3D printing technology to software for 3D printing of mask holders to improve wearability. Covestro is also collaborating with 3D printing companies and a research institute to explore 3D printing of ventilator components. Covestro provides raw materials to produce products such as medical devices, safety goggles for medical staff, as well as hospital mattresses.

Impact Innovations by Design Group in Maynard, Minnesota, is supporting the fight against COVID-19 by supplying communities with PPE. Utilizing the same die-cutting equipment and assembly staff, which is typically used to manufacture membership cards and point-of-purchase displays, Impact changed portions of its production to produce face shields for a variety of markets, including medical, dental, long-term care facilities and funeral homes.

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to pose unprecedented obstacles to businesses and one of those challenges includes keeping frontline production workers safe. Companies like Arroweye, which is located in Las Vegas, a region that has been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, has employed extraordinary safety measures.

"As a result of COVID-19, companies are reacting to the demand for secure cards and they are fast-tracking their orders," said Peter M. Krauss, president and CEO of Arroweye. "We are busier than ever, but our focus is to keep our people safe. We've been taking extraordinary efforts to take care of our frontline team members—ramping up mitigation protocols, issuing masks to employees, taking employees' temperatures daily and following the proper cleaning and disinfecting practices."

Headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, Valid, a provider of technology solutions for mobile, identity, data and payments, is staying on top of the global pandemic by monitoring impacts that could affect stakeholders and production capabilities, while prioritizing the safety of production employees.

ICMA members across the world are reacting swiftly to ensure business continuity, as they produce COVID-19 necessities.

"Prior to mandates that called for the required use of PPE for essential workers, we had already implemented a rigorous set of safety measures at our facilities, which includes staggered shifts and mandatory use of face masks and nitrile gloves," said Eli Carmeli, president and CEO of Valid USA. "We have been able to reduce significant materials and logistics impacts by shifting our supply chain to regions less impacted by the coronavirus."

About ICMA 
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, ICMA is a nonprofit association of card manufacturers, personalizers, suppliers and related industry participants. With more than 200 members globally, ICMA is a resource for industry issues, including the production, technology, application, security and environmental issues of cards. More information is available at icma.com.

Media Contact:
Kimberly Tjoumakaris, public relations manager
(609) 297-7845
ktjoumakaris@icma.com

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SOURCE ICMA