Updates on Sign Products: Availability and Uses

A collection of company statements amid COVID-19 shortages and regulations.
Manufacturer Updates

Signs of the Times (Cincinnati) has received the following updates regarding product availability amid COVID-19 (coronavirus) shortages and directives.

  • Gerber Technology (Tolland, CT) has created a PPE Retooling Package which includes the Gerber Paragon PPE Edition for the HX and LX, our industry-leading AccuMark and YuniquePLM software.

    Earlier, the company announced "the formation of the Gerber PPE Task Force to help manufacturers increase production or convert to producing personal protective equipment (PPE). The Gerber PPE Task Force is able to offer support, share best practices, and provide resources such as process videos, pattern data, cut files, and markers, as well as tech packs for masks, technical suits, gowns and caps to make the transition as smooth as possible. To support from the Gerber PPE Task Force, click here.

    "Many companies have been asking how to submit proposals. Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted a new solicitation for PPE and medical supplies in response to COVID-19. Please review the key points below before beginning PPE production:
    •    You need to have a "Full Package" lined up - Produce more than one item and have materials supply and production lines completely ready to go.
    •    To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011).
    •    If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID-19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) here.
    •    Note that there are additional requirements, such as FDA approvals and scope of offer that will be considered in addition to the price of your offer."
    For more information, click here.

  • ORAFOL Americas (Black Creek, GA) announced that the company supplies adhesive tapes that are used for personal protection equipment (PPE). The statement said the products are used in the manufacturing of face shields and to secure standing sneeze guards in place to protect cashier stations. Following are the suggested products for various applications:

    Adhering foam strips to face shields
    •    Orabond 1377
    •    Orabond 1397PP

    Securing acrylic sneeze guards to counter tops
    •    Orabond 1812TM
    •    UHB03050T
    •    UHB03080G

    Bonding/joining sheeted acrylic together and to frames
    •    Orabond 1397PP
    •    UHB03025T

    For more information, click here.

  • Sullaway Engineering Inc. (San Diego) announced that the company's office will reopen on May 1, provided that California's governor follows through with lifting state's stay-at-home order. Earlier, Britta Anne Sullaway, the firm's vice president released a statement that read, in part, "We at Sullaway Engineering hope you and your families stay safe and healthy during this critical time of the COVID-19 epidemic. Many of you have been emailing or calling to find out if we are still open. We are open. If you have engineering requests, please send them to projectmanager@sullawayeng.com."

  • ThinkSIGN (Louisville, KY) announced that, with the cooperation of its co-location in Hangzhou, China, the company owners procured surgical and N-95 masks to send and share with their signage partners. "It felt so good, they got more and donated over 1,000 surgical masks, and 500 N-95s to local hospitals," said Paul Hughes, national sales manager for ThinkSIGN. "In all we've sent masks to nearly 400 signage partners and we are proud and humbled to be able to do so." For more information, click here.

  • Stouse (New Century, KS) released a statement that the company remains open to serve its customers throughout the US: "We continue operations as an essential business supporting a number of industries providing essential products and services. We are following CDC guidelines and taking additional measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees.... We have provided our associates with choices regarding staying at home. There are currently no direct virus-related impacts or delays in our facility." For more information, click here.

  • Daktronics (Brookings, SD) announced the following: "[The company] will resume production at its factory in Redwood Falls, MN, on April 13 as demand for communication products remains steady." Earlier, Daktronics took steps to provide a free library of relevant content that can help businesses during this challenging situation." For more information, click here.

  • Alpina Manufacturing (Chicago) reported that the company has been designated as a components supplier to 'Critical Infrastructure Manufacturers and Agencies' (CISA) and that they are open and operating. Alpina is now making PETG Face Shields and Cashier Guards.

  • JDS Sign Supply (Sioux Falls, SD) announced that the company "is doing our part to answer the local medical community call for desperately needed face masks, and our Customer Service Department has worked together to provide them. Patti Moberly, our Call Center Director, provided fabric, the team got to work cutting, and Patti is sewing the masks together. The masks have a wire for the nose piece, a pouch to add additional fabric or tissue for extra protection, ribbon for the tie, and best of all, they are machine washable. In less than a week they have so far been able to complete hundreds of the much-needed masks to protect very appreciative hospital staff, and also provided some for JDS employees to share with friends, neighbors, and family who work in front-line positions at nursing homes, clinics, and other medical facilities. These masks are great for day-to-day use and are vital for freeing up the hospital’s supply of masks for use where needed in more critical areas. The call for donations of supplies has been sent out to employees and the team will continue to make masks for both the hospital and for JDS employees to share. In these times of such uncertainty we can all step up and do our part to help keep our communities and our loved ones safe." For more information, click here.

  • GMG Americas (Hingham, MA) has released the following statement: "In light of the challenging personal health and business situation surrounding the COVID-19 crisis around the world, GMG ... has announced a contingency plan to assist its user community in any way possible. GMG remains fully operational, with GMG staff working remotely for any of support needs. Of course, supplying software is not a challenge, but GMG also wants its customer base to be aware that GMG media is fully stocked and ready to ship." For more information, click here.

  • Primeview Global (New York) CEO Shay Giuili announced, "... our team has been able to successfully transition to work-from-home model to support our global customers ... Despite concerns about production delays and Primeview pro-services availability related to the global pandemic, Primeview is 100% open for business globally to deliver your LCD flat-panels and direct-view seamless LED video-wall displays today." For more information, click here.

  • FUJIFILM North America Corp. (Hanover Park, IL) has made the following announcement: "Fujifilm’s business units focused on the Commercial, Sign & Display, Packaging and Industrial print segments remain committed to continuing our support of these businesses, in accordance with government directives that permit Essential Businesses to operate when they supply or otherwise support critical infrastructure sectors and other essential businesses. Fujifilm’s manufacturing, distribution and service teams provide products and support to several Essential Businesses including, but not limited to Newspapers, Food & Beverage Packaging and Pharmaceutical packaging and labeling." For more information, click here.

  • Watchfire Signs (Danville, IL) announced that the company is open, accepting orders, continuing to produce and meeting all committed shipment deadlines. "Our manufacturing facility allows for our team to work with ample space for social distancing, and we are following all CDC guidelines. We have sufficient component and materials inventory, and we continue to receive orders. As a service to our customers, our design team has produced a special EasyArt library to help existing sign owners communicate important messaging from the CDC. This artwork can be accessed in our software download portal, and will work on Watchfire digital signs that utilize our Ignite content management system. For more information, click here.

  • MBS Standoffs (Tampa, FL) has made the following announcement: "We have temporarily closed our Chicago warehouse until it is safe to reopen but, we are remaining open in Tampa and Las Vegas as long as we feel it is safe for our employees and customers. We are available to help you with any of our products during our regular business hours and we are still shipping orders daily." The company is also offering projecting rod and sign-bracket systems that hold clear counter screens in place. For more information, click here.

  • Canon U.S.A. Inc. (Melville, NY) has announced "a webinar series [March 25, 26 and April 1] titled 'Moving Forward.' Held over three sessions, top photography industry leaders will speak on key strategies designed to help businesses move forward and prepare for growth utilizing imagePROGRAF solutions once the threat of the coronavirus has been reduced. Every session will consist of two speakers who will present their topics for roughly 30 minutes each. At the end of each presentation, we will hold a brief Q&A to answer any questions." For more information, click here.

  • Larson Electronics (Kemp, TX) announced that the company is now manufacturing and distributing the following types of N95 respirator masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19: 25 Packs, 50 Packs, 100 Packs, 250 packs, 1000 packs, and 2500 packs. The announcement states, "Unlike other places, there are no limitations on how many masks you can order when you buy from us. We understand the importance of staying safe and protected while keeping business operations going during this time. Our line of N95 masks are available at many quantities. These masks have a 95% filter efficiency rate and offer protection against the corona virus, bacteria and dust." For more information, click here.

  • Printing Industries of America (PIA; Warrendale, PA) has issued the following announcement from President & CEO Michael F. Makin: "We are advocating on behalf of the printing and graphic communications industry to mitigate the negative business consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wish to assure you that the PIA staff and I are dedicated to helping you through this difficult time by providing the most up-to-date information and resources. The response from the federal government is coming fast and furious with legislation passed by Congress and executive actions taken by the Trump Administration. Our current efforts on your behalf are outlined below along with a link to our COVID-19 Information and Resources page. We will continue to alert you of any important developments as needed with these special updates." For more information, click here.

  • 4S Graphics Inc. (Fort Lauderedale, FL) is making its Graffiti Polyester Paper available to sign companies for free to help the awareness campaign regarding the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). "We are offering free Graffiti Polyester Paper (product on us, shipping on you) to print ... educative posters for free distribution with any laser printers and give [them] away to your clients, friends, family or, to your health officials, grocery store or small businesses, to display and spread awareness." The paper is waterproof, tear resistant and can be sanitized by any any alcohol-based sanitizer after printing. For more information, click here.

  • Roland DGA Corp. (Irvine, CA) announced the following: "Our employees are working remotely ... and we continue to provide sales and support to customers. Our offsite third-party distribution center is classified in the 'essential services' category and therefore remains open, so Roland products and consumables continue to be shipped out. The Roland DGA online store is also open." For more information, click here.

  • Mimaki USA (Suwanee, GA) has released the following statement regarding printer maintenance and long-term storage options: "As a result of COVID-19, we know that many Mimaki customers are limiting business operation for the health and safety of their employees. If you need to store your printer or anticipate downtime, we’ve prepared a simple planning and maintenance checklist to ensure your Mimaki printer will be production-ready when normal business operation resumes." For more information, click here.

  • Testrite Visual (Hackensack, NJ) President Jeffrey Rubin released a statement which read, in part that the company “is focusing our resources on creating solutions to help medical professionals and deliver products to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Isolation rooms, hand-sanitizing stations and privacy stands are all products we’re ready to manufacture.” The company is also offering clear cashier shields. To see the contact options for Testrite Visual, click here.

  • Tex Visions (Carlisle, PA) released a statement that an order issued by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has resulted in Tex Vision's office and manufacturing facility closing, as a continued action to decrease the spread of COVID-19. As a result, Tex Visions must cease operations immediately and halt production. They will be unable to accept any new orders or send any pending orders into production. Any orders that are in production but have not yet shipped are on hold under further notice. The company's customer service department is available through these contact options

  • Trotec Laser (Plymouth, MI) has issued a statement that quotes company president Warren Knipple, "We have established a business continuity plan to address various threats and vulnerabilities, including a response to the pandemic and high absenteeism." Measures involve offering interactive digital methods for communicating with customers, including webinar options for monthly educational workshops, and using live-streaming technology with live interaction to provide virtual product demos and conduct other customer meetings. For more information, click here.

  • FLEXcon (Spencer, MA) has issued a statement and here is an excerpt: "We are monitoring the developments around COVID-19 very closely and can report the following: We continue to operate within multiple manufacturing locations with redundant capacity, geographically disbursed. We have received no reports of potential disruption, nor are we aware of any circumstance that would affect FLEXcon’s raw material supply chains. For updating information, click here.

  • Caldera (Eckbolsheim, France) released a statement on how its customers may contact the company, which reads, in part: "We have deployed all the necessary tools to work remotely (telephone, video-conference, collaborative tools etc.), which should maintain the quality of business engagement we have with our customers and partners. As the main office switchboard is no longer operational, please contact us by email, or through support tickets for CalderaCare customers, and we shall revert to you very shortly." To contact Caldera, click here.

  • GENLED Brands (San Antonio, TX) announced that is still open for business. Their statement read, in part, "Both our custom architectural lighting arm GENLED Acolyte and GENLED AgiLight, our premium LED signage lighting division, are taking extra health precautions for customers and employees, but our production capabilities have not been affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. Our employees are working hard to make sure our products are available and ready for delivery with the same care and custom craftsmanship we are known for – and in the safest way possible." For more information, click here.

  • Cision (Chicago) will be presenting a webinar on March 19 at 3 p.m. EST, to answer questions about their products and services. To reserve a spot in the webinar, click here.

  • Brite Frame Fabricators (Bellport, NY) has released this statement: "... our top priority is the well-being of our employees, customers, and global business partners. Our doors and communication channels will remain open and accessible to our sales team in addition to online ordering through our full-service website portal. Our inventories are fully stocked with production time ranging between 1-3 business days. We appreciate your business and wish you and your family health and safety..." For more information, click here

  • Chuck Miller, president of Coastal Enterprises (Orange, CA), said his company is operating on a "business as usual basis" has taken measures in line with the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. “We are not experiencing any material shortages, production delays or shipping slowdowns, nor do we expect to. Typical shipping times will remain from receipt of P.O. to shipment, even large orders, at 3-4 days." More from Miller: “As this is a fluid situation, we will keep you informed of any changes to the above, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with your questions or concerns via email at hdu@precisionboard.com or by calling us at 800-845-0745.”

  • Global Imaging (Louisville, CO) announced, in part, "As of Monday, March 16 we have received feedback from our partners and have been informed that for all products, the majority of our manufacturers are operating in the realm of ‘business as usual’ and, for the time being, product supply is not expected to decrease as a result of this virus." For more information, click here.
  • INX International (Schaumburg, IL) announced, in part, that the company "will continue its manufacturing operations amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with government directives that permit essential businesses to operate when they supply or otherwise support critical infrastructure stability. INX will continue to support our customers’ production and distribution of vital food, beverages, and household health and safety products as an essential supplier. Our customers require inks and chemical products for all forms of food packaging, medical labels and vital communication materials defined as printed media. The manufacture of printing ink is a fundamental chemical process to prevent widespread shortages of these essential products around the globe.” For more information, click here.
  • LEDCONN (Brea, CA) announced, in part, "Our team has been set up with the necessary equipment to work remotely and service you with the same level of service we’ve always provided in the past. Please note that our US shipping and production capabilities will be limited due to the current situation. We will do our best to fulfill our current orders, but we do anticipate possible logistics and production delays." For more information, click here.
  • Mutoh (Phoenix) announced, in part, "We have a strong, global, integrated supply chain in place that is managed by a dedicated team who are committed to keeping our operations running smoothly so that we can provide you with the best possible service with no interruption with critical supplies to run your business." For more information, click here.
  • Tex Visions (Carlisle, PA) issued a statement that, in part, read, "We're still here to assist you and your business in any way that we can. Our website will continue to be available 24/7, along with online chat. Trust that we are monitoring every development closely, as we are committed to upholding and providing excellent service in these trying times." For the full statement, click here.

For more updates on how COVID-19 is affecting the sign industry, click here and scroll below for companies who issued updates via social media.

Provis Graphics COVID-19 mask

Provis Graphics (Minneapolis) has announced that the company has converted its 3D printing capacity -- normally used to produce illuminated signage -- to produce face shields to protect frontline healthcare and law enforcement professionals fighting the war against COVID-19.

Kenan Hanhan, founding partner and President of Provis Graphic LLC, the Minneapolis-based US branch office of Provis Graphic stated, “In the USA, we respectfully ask the White House Administration to coordinate sourcing and purchasing of critical PPE and ventilators to avoid price surges and allocate supply where it is needed the most, by not allowing States to compete against one another. We also recommend immediate implementation of the Federal Defense Production Act.”

The allocation of Provis Graphic protective shields is currently focused on the immediate region surrounding Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Provis Graphic production is based. Once local needs are satisfied, Provis Graphic will make its face shields immediately available for export to communities in need in the USA. Additionally, Provis Graphic will make its face shield production files available free-of-charge for anyone in the USA who has 3D printing capacity to join the battle against COVID-19.

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