Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn Navy Yard companies accelerate coronavirus PPE production, inspire others worldwide

April 9, 2020 Mary Frost
Industrial firms Duggal Visual Solutions and Bednark are using their spaces in the Brooklyn Navy Yard to manufacture personal protective equipment for local hospitals. Company workers built face shields in the warehouse on March 26, 2020. Photo: Paul Frangipane/Brooklyn Eagle
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In late March, companies at the Brooklyn Navy Yard heard New York’s call to action, transforming their facilities virtually overnight to produce personal protection equipment for the battle against the coronavirus.

CEOs Michael Bednark of Bednark Studio and Mike Duggal of Duggal Visual Solutions teamed up and began producing desperately-needed plastic face shields for health care workers.

On Tuesday, Duggal’s Vice President Marc Lovci called the Brooklyn Eagle’s “special local reporting” of this effort “an inspiration that we believe triggered journalists around the world to cover and hopefully inspire the same action to happen in their communities.”

Now Duggal and Bednark have news which they shared exclusively with their “hometown paper.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

To help meet growing demand, the companies have accelerated production of the PPE by 25 percent. Starting with 65 volunteer employees, the team has grown to 200 and is producing 25,000 to 30,000 face shields each day, seven days a week.

“We have produced over 260,000 face shields as part of an initial order totaling 480,000,” Duggal told the Eagle via email. “Over 600 additional units have been donated and 5,000 rush units delivered directly to local facilities in dire need of PPE.”

The facility has expanded to intubation boxes in addition to face shields. These are used to block aerosol or fluid transmission when intubating a contagious COVID-19 patient.

Production is running seven days a week “thanks to the many staff and volunteers who exemplify what it means to be New York strong,” Duggal said. “They are making the choice to travel and volunteer to work in support of healthcare workers—heroes helping heroes.”

Duggal said the companies’ efforts are “inspiring and giving hope beyond what we could have imagined.”

Since the story first broke, “We have been featured by news networks and newspapers across the U.S. and as far away as Germany, France, England and Brazil,” Duggal said.

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