More than one year after the onset of COVID-19, manufacturers continue to readjust their product and production priorities. One example is Waukesha, WI-based Husco, which specializes in high-performance hydraulic and electromechanical components.
The company is also part of MaskForce, a consortium of Southeastern Wisconsin businesses that design, develop and produce reusable face masks. Last spring, Husco shifted part of its production to manufacturing N95 respirators to be used by healthcare professionals and first responders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It was a priority for us to help those on the front lines get the personal protective equipment they need do safely do their job,” says Brian Cull, director of advanced manufacturing engineering at Husco. “Being able to directly impact peoples’ lives is inspiring.”
Before making masks, Husco needed to purchase a conveyor to transfer completed N95 masks to a bagger for packaging. The manufacturer worked closely with Crane Production Systems (a Waukesha-based material handling distributor) and Dorner before purchasing the Dorner 2200 Series belted conveyor for the project.
Crane and Dorner met separately on April 3, 2020, to discuss and pick the best conveyor for Husco. Dorner prepped the conveyor that same day, and Cull delivered it to Husco.
The conveyor is 10 feet long and 6 inches wide. Prior to packaging, N95 respirators are treated with disinfectant and placed on the conveyor. It moves the respirators underneath an air knife to ensure they are dry and perform a final cleaning. Masks then travel to a bagger, where they are packaged and ready for shipping.
“We have had a number of COVID-19-related inquires, and we’ve responded to those customers who need a conveyor system right away,” says Matt Jones, vice president of sales and aftermarket for Dorner. “In Husco’s case, it was the same day. Everyone here at Dorner has worked well together to build and expedite orders for these time-sensitive requests.”
“Husco deserves to be commended for its drive in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts through manufacturing N95 masks,” adds Jones. “All the organizations that are part of the MaskForce consortium really stepped up when the area needed them, and we were happy to play a small part in making their visions a reality.”
The 2200 Series consists of modular-belt, belted, precision-move, gravity roller and pallet-system conveyors. It is a versatile platform engineered for numerous applications and industries, including automated and manual assembly, packaging, industrial, accumulation, small-part transfers, and moving things on inclines and declines.
Vision care, Bicycle handlebar, Motor vehicle, Automotive design, Hood, Eyewear, Bumper Belted models are low-profile units with a durable single-piece frame design. Guiding is adjustable, and the conveyor handles loads up to 120 pounds. Universal T-slots come standard. Options include a high-speed nose bar transfer that enables speeds up to 200 fpm.
“The project as a whole really demonstrated how the greater Milwaukee area came together and collaborated to quickly get help to the field,” concludes Cull. “These businesses all said, ‘What do we need to do?’ It was really inspiring and rewarding to work in that environment.”
For more information on modular conveyors, call 800-397-8664 or visit www.dornerconveyors.com.