As the fight against COVID-19 continues, several companies have been forced or encouraged to temporarily close operations. For Meridian Adhesives Group, a U.S.-based holding company for adhesive manufacturers, the opposite has been true.
In fact, employees have rallied to continue the production of adhesives and epoxies used on the frontlines of treating COVID-19 patients. Here, the company shares insight with Fastener Engineering.
Can you first please tell us a little about Meridian Adhesives Group?
Meridian Adhesives Group is a American-based manufacturer and custom formulator of high-value adhesives technologies, with four key divisions in the electronics, flooring, infrastructure, and packaging sectors. Essentially, Meridian is a holding company, which provides a platform for several companies.
In what ways has the current pandemic affected the businesses at Meridian?
Meridian Adhesives Group companies have continued to operate through this global COVID-19 pandemic. All of the Meridian manufacturing facilities were quick to adopt a series of precautionary measures to protect our workforce.
As part of the critical infrastructure industry as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we have a duty to continue to produce materials that are key components to several critical market sectors — including medical device manufacturing and infrastructure build and repair.
Can you please provide an example of how you support the medical device industry?
Absolutely. There are several companies under the portfolio of Meridian Adhesives that support the medical device industry.
For example, Epoxy Technology, Inc. (ETI), a pioneer in the development of specialty epoxy, ultraviolet, and hybrid adhesives to meet the critical performance standards of high-tech industries worldwide, is a part of Meridian’s portfolio. ETI produces several products that are manufactured as key components for medical devices.
In particular, EPO-TEK 730, an all-purpose epoxy adhesive, is used in the assembly of medical airflow sensors. These sensors are then part of ventilator assemblies, which are in very high demand. ETI has been able to maintain needed production levels and ship this material as needed to keep ventilator manufacturing going strong.
Then, there’s Epoxies, Etc., an epoxy resin manufacturer, that produces a material known as 50-3152, which is a thermally conductive, flame-retardant, epoxy-potting compound used in various applications. This includes the manufacture of air purifying systems for use in hospitals. These systems are an important part of keeping healthcare workers and patients safe.
Another example is Evans Adhesive Corp., which offers hot-melt, pressure-sensitive adhesives, which have the ideal qualities to support the assembly of face shields. Face shields are a critical piece of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used by healthcare workers and others to minimize the possibility of spreading or contracting the COVID-19 virus. Evans is currently working with a customer to qualify this material for the application.
What precautions or modifications have these companies had to make to ensure safe working conditions?
The companies are closely following the CDC guidelines and enforcing rigorous safety precautions to ensure the wellbeing of customers, employees, and their families.
Meridian Adhesives Group has also implemented additional steps to prevent potential spread. This includes the following measures:
- Social distancing is enforced through staggered breaks to keep the CDC-recommended 6-ft. distance and to have fewer employees congregated in one space.
- Routine internal meetings are now done via phone rather than in-person.
- Sales staff are utilizing phone and video conferencing to continue meeting and serving clients.
- All personnel, in addition to those required by PPE, are wearing gloves and masks for enhanced protection while minimizing any hand-to-hand contact.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting are also taking place to remove potential germs.
There are also contingency plans in place to address the unfortunate event an employee comes to work with COVID-19. For example, the ETI plant is prepared for a temporary closure for environmental cleaning and disinfection if necessary. ETI is also working proactively with individuals who may fall into an at-risk category to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Have any other companies under your portfolio been deemed essential at this time?
Yes. It’s extremely important to keep America’s infrastructure in working order to keep critical supply chains moving. Taylor Adhesives, an adhesives and coatings manufacturer in the floor covering industry, has been able to supply flooring adhesive that’s frequently used in conjunction with resilient flooring. Many of the emergency temporary medical facilities that were built in various parts of the U.S., for instance, relied on Taylor products to install their flooring.
Additionally, Adhesives Technology Corp., which specializes in advanced structural adhesives and high-performance concrete repair materials, was recently consulted to assist in the repair of a runway at Nashville International Airport. The team was able to quickly identify and supply Crackbond Healer/Sealer for a quick and effective repair of the runaway.
Thank you! Do you have any final comments to share?
The hardworking teams at Meridian Adhesives Group companies have continued to produce and supply products through these difficult times, and we are especially proud that those products are part of the solution in combating COVID-19. We wish everyone a safe and healthy future.