BINGHAMTON, NY – A local plastics manufacturer is partnering with an area non-profit to make a product in high demand among frontline medical personnel.

Eck Plastic Arts, which makes plastic component parts for various industries including medical, has started producing face shields.

The Binghamton company says it began the process several weeks ago by retooling some of its machinery to produce the plastic shields and foam bars that are placed against the forehead.

President Brett Pennefeather says Eck worked with Lourdes and used specifications found online to make certain the design was just right.

“There’s a lot more that goes into it, We had to cut a few, see if it was going to work, make sure that it fully wrapped around the face. There’s a little bit that goes into it because it can’t provide false hope that it’s going to work. It’s got to keep people safe,” says Pennefeather.

Eck then reached out to the Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment or AVRE for help in assembling the shields.

AVRE workers will attach the foam and elastic strap and then package the PPE for delivery to Lourdes, Uhs and perhaps Guthrie hospitals.

AVRE Chief Operating Officer Jenn Small says it’s a good way to keep some of its employees busy while some of its other work has slowed.

“Often times, you’ll get involved with a local company that is doing business with someone in Florida. It’s really nice that 2 local companies are working to help support healthcare here,” says Small.

Pennefeather says the biggest challenge has been procuring enough raw material to make the face shields.

He says starting this week and continuing for 3 or 4 weeks, he plans make 10 thousand of them.
Pennefeather says Eck is not planning to make a large profit on the endeavor and his goal is to recoup the company’s investment while helping medical personnel stay safe.