Several members of the National Association for Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) have begun manufacturing personal protective products (PPE) to assist in addressing and mitigating the COVID-19 virus.
The products include face masks and shields; as well as an app to track employee health; protective gowns; and decals for floors, doors and windows. Others are partnering with international companies or manufacturing locally to supply specialised PPE-related equipment such a temperature detection and disinfectant booths.
Renai Moothilal, NAACAM Executive Director, said he is proud of the way in which NAACAM members have initiated these projects, and in such a short space of time. “This bears testimony to the innovation and dynamism of our automotive component manufacturers. We have a world-class automotive component manufacturing industry that is able to compete with the best on the international stage,” he said.
He was encouraged that most of these innovations have originated from Black-owned suppliers, who have quickly adapted their business models to support these new opportunities.
Some of the products from NAACAM companies include SaniStep, a foot-operated door opener from MicroFinish, a foot-operated door opener that works on latch-less doors. The intention is to create a product that reduces the spread of pathogens via door handles – a hot topic given the current pandemic. The Durban-based precision engineering company says it is easy to use and cost-effective, and will also assist users to open doors whilst their hands are full.
Cape Town-based Creative Graphics International (CGI) is also contributing to the production of emergency medical equipment. The company is producing face shields and masks for medical personnel and for the general public, as well as decals for floors, doors and windows. These items make use of much of the same technology and raw materials as the decals the company manufactures for OEM and aftermarket customers.
Hudson Rubber, a Gauteng-based rubber fabrication specialist, is marketing a walkthrough booth that can be used in airports, stations, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, banks, government agencies, businesses and large institutions for temperature measurement and disinfection.
Odin Health, a division of Jendamark, is providing a tool to track employee health and to communicate company policies and guidelines. The Port Elizabeth company specialises in turnkey solutions for the automotive sector, and now uses a QR code system for identification to ease access control at measurement points. The tool also provides pre-existing condition assessments, as well as temperature progress, physical and mental wellness assessments, and health policy audit tracking.
A new division Expert Automotive Trim division, a Durban-based automotive CMT, is manufacturing face masks, hooded coveralls, 2-piece scrub suits and protective gowns. The company says the medical grade material being used has been sourced from reputable, locally-produced manufacturers and says the EM-1TLF mask meets the latest recommended RSA guidelines for manufacture.
Sealtron, a Durban-based Tier 2 supplier, is listed as an essential services provider and is providing PPE products that are FDA and CE approved. At present, it is offering 3 PLY and KN95 masks.
Mergence Industrial Holdings, through its member company Lasercraft, a metal fabrication business in Gauteng, is manufacturing the SANI-Tunnel, a frontline defence against COVID-19 by ensuring that staff, customers, commuters, shoppers, scholars, travellers are properly sanitised at mass entry and exit points to office buildings, factories, mines, malls, train/bus stations, taxi ranks, schools, airports and banks.
NAACAM Associate Member Siyaya Skills Institute has a programme that assists individuals, institutions, companies, and government to assess their preparedness to respond and recover in critical biohazardous events. It also provides education and training with an emphasis on microbial containment and psychological surety. The programme comprises either a virtual course or classroom-based Interactive Learning.
Capewell is an approved essential service company and is manufacturing several products for essential service. It has developed a hand sanitizer bracket for distribution of sanitizer around factories and premises.
Pietermaritzburg-based Ramsay Production Engineers has deployed 25 staff to produce fabric face masks. A second project is the development of a sanitizing tunnel, The HlanZeka Gate. The product is competitively priced and can be easily transported. It can run off a car battery, porta-pack or solar power for remote locations.
G.U.D. Holdings has developed a hand-wash station for taxi ranks. It is a simple hand-washing system using Indy Oil drums that assists commuters and people living in water-scarce areas to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus. G.U.D. will be giving away 100 hand-wash station units in the coming months to taxi ranks across the country.
VSC’s visibility tools allow companies to trace their drivers and their interactions with others during deliveries. The detailed data, provided in real-time, facilitates fast and targeted action which is vital in the fight against the virus. It provides immediate information relating to drivers, their routes, and the people they meet.
The NAACAM COVID-19 Member Procurement Portal may be accessed on https://naacam.org.za/covid-19-procurement-portal/ and all enquiries may be sent to Shivani Singh ([email protected] and 083 765 0220)