Norcab Kitchen and Millwork Co. is joining the growing list of companies switching its production line to assist in the health and safety of the community during COVID-19.
Located on Huronia Road in Barrie's south end, the family-owned business has been manufacturing cabinets and commercial millwork for more than 20 years.
When the current health crisis started being a strain on front-line workers, Norcab general manager Ryan Pemberton said the company got to work retooling its systems.
“We focused on making PPE (personal protective equipment) for anyone that would need it most,” Pemberton told BarrieToday.
“There are a lot of health centres who are looking for protective screens, but also workers in grocery stores need that barrier," he added.
The online store features six different types of partitions to suit whatever is needed to keep workers and clients safe.
The retooling process required the company to invest in some new equipment, which wasn’t as much a challenge as other aspects of the business.
“Our main challenge has been getting the items to the public, as we’ve mainly been direct to consumers," Pemberton said. "We scrambled to get the website properly set up and, of course, we needed a way to distribute the items to clients.
"But we’re ready for the new launch.”
The acrylic screens Norcab is producing are in testing. Pemberton hopes to get them out this week.
While there are some businesses and health-care facilities using such screens, Pemberton says improvements need to be made to what is currently out there.
“A lot of the PPE out there were rushed to meet the demand," he said. "That isn’t being negative about anyone, it's just that all of this happened really fast and companies did what they could at the time.
“We want to perfect the new equipment we send out and make it more user-friendly for those who have to sit behind it all day and the people who are next in line," Pemberton added.
Demand has been high for protective equipment given the global pandemic, and while Pemberton says he's ready, he's also preparing for what lies ahead with possible societal changes.
“We know that, right now, there are items needed to get through the crisis and everyone is doing what they can to help out,” Pemberton said. “Norcab is also getting ready for the future. After this is all over, who knows what will change in retail and generally being out and about.
“It is cliche, I know, but we’re all in this together now and after. If we can help even a little, we will.”
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