“If you asked me in February if we could produce a tool in 48 hours, set up 20 percent of our workforce to work remote, and turn around ventilator splitters in two weeks, I would have said you were crazy,” said Kevin Hogan, Chief Executive Officer of Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI).
But, that’s what happened as just-in-time manufacturing took on a whole new meaning for DPI when original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) were scrambling to produce face shields and ventilators in the fight against COVID-19.
Like many other manufacturers, DPI was deemed essential when Gov. Tim Walz issued a shelter-in-place order in March. However, the company found itself with excess capacity due to the postponement of elective surgeries and lower demand for other products. That’s when DPI considered ways it could step in and ease the shortage of life-saving equipment.