U.S. assembly plants are finally restarting production, albeit with new procedures and equipment to combat the spread and transmission of COVID-19.

Under the “new normal,” for example, employees will need to complete a health-screening questionnaire and have their temperatures checked before starting work. Tools, workstations and common areas, such as locker rooms, bathrooms and common areas, will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Staffing levels, start times and break times might need to be adjusted to accommodate social distancing. And, of course, everyone will need to wear face masks.

Those are the easy tasks. More challenging will be redesigning assembly lines and other areas to keep workers safely separated. In some cases, workstations will need to be repositioned 6 feet apart—which won’t be easy in an assembly plant where every square foot matters. In other cases, protective barriers or partitions might need to be installed.

Fortunately, engineers can use modular aluminum framing to build a variety of custom equipment and protective barriers to help guard against airborne transmission of pathogens. For example, engineers can use the framing to build transparent dividers between workstations. Such dividers can be attached directly to workstations, or they can be designed to stand on the floor so they can be repositioned when needs change. Similarly, framing can be used to create transparent barriers that hang from a ceiling or sit on a desk or counter.

Framing can also be used to create a central location to store cleaning and sanitizing supplies.

Do you need to post health and safety information and protocols throughout your plant? Use aluminum framing to create sign boards.

Dozens of bolt-together connectors are available for virtually any load or application; almost any structure can be quickly assembled without special tools or skills. If needs change, the various elements can be easily adjusted or converted later to create new equipment for other needs. In addition, the framing looks clean and is aesthetically pleasing without the need for painting or other finishing.