MMT Chats: Collaboration and Communication Key to Mold Builder/Molder Face Shield Operation Setup in Three Weeks

Wepco Plastics of Middlefield, Connecticut, worked with partners to combat COVID-19 locally by launching a face shield operation in its facility employing local labor and offering an inexpensive option. Today they still need plastic material and assembly vendors.
#covid-19 #leadership


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Hey, MMT followers, Christina Fuges with MoldMaking Technology, and another quick MMT Chat. I am back with Amanda Wiriya the Manufacturing Support Manager for Wepco Plastics to follow up with her on the company’s pet project. It was not only to jump in and make face shields (something that's not done in the shop’s typical day, but certainly something the team can handle), but they've used this opportunity to employ a local assembly shop, if I understand that correctly. Amanda, can you walk us through the genesis of this project to where it stands today?

Amanda Wiriya Hi, everybody. We have taken over the front office Wepco. This is day one of our prototype run. So you can see, we'll take a little spin here. Everybody behind me is working. We were able to employ six new people at and we have another supplier that's going to be helping us manufacture the assembly of these units, so that we can get them out even faster.  The faster we can get plastic, the faster we can get these out the door. We're going to be shipping partial shipments to our large customers today as well as making some donations to local nurses and doctors and different hospitals.

Christina Fuges  So, from start to finish, how long did it take you to set this up?

Amanda Wiriya This took us about three days. We got the office cleaned out on Monday, and we were all set up as of yesterday, so we had a great team in here helping me out.

Christina Fuges Do you want to give a shout out to anybody?

Amanda Wiriya I do. We actually have a brand new employee, Noah. This is his third day. He survived two full days with me and came back. It's been wonderful. And then we have an intern that we're lucky to have back. Kyle returned to us, and is now doing school from home.   This has been an essential team project so far, and I am very thankful for the people we have here.

Christina Fuges Wonderful, and everybody out there is thankful for you guys, for what you're doing. It's still wonderful to see all these manufacturers just coming together to get it done.

Amanda Wiriya Working hard to get these out. So, here's one of our finished unit tests. Hopefully, nice and comfortable. Help keep them safe out on the frontline.

Christina Fuges Now, how many do you expect to get out and day?

Amanda Wiriya Today we're shooting for around 5,000, which may not seem like a lot due to the need that's out there, so that's why we've teamed up with some other partners. These are all being assembled by hand.

Christina Fuges Well, that's why the 5,000 is a decent number. Where are they going?

Amanda Wiriya So, so far, some of our large contracts are with hospitals out of the state of Connecticut, as well as Yale New Haven hospital is one of our major supporters through this process, and then the Connecticut Department of Corrections is utilizing them as well,

Christina Fuges Excellent. Is there anything you guys need?

Amanda Wiriya  We are limited by the amount of plastic that we get. The more plastic that we can get, the more partners we can turn on to help us really meet the need here. So, we're looking for vendors that can deliver under two weeks t  keep up with what we're able to put out. We are also open to different assembly vendors, if you're interested in helping us put these together and getting them out into the marketplace. We would be happy to talk to you. You can reach me at amanda@wepcoplastics.com.

Christina Fuges Anything else, I want you to get back to work with, your team.

Amanda Wiriya My main tip before we go would be just to reach out to your colleagues, vendors and customers. That's how we were able to put all of this together so quickly. This is the results of about three weeks.  Thanks to the great network that we have, including you, Christina because you set us up with some connections. We really appreciate it.

Christina Fuges It's awesome communication, collaboration, that's what's going to pull us through.  Thank you so much, Amanda.  Stay safe and stay healthy. And everybody out there, if you want any more information visit moldmakingtechnology.com


  • The Plastek Group Now Molding to Donate Face Shields to Protect Against COVID-19

    When this news release about The Plastek Group came across my desk detailing how the team stepped up to mold and donate face shields, I was not surprised. I’ve known this company and the generosity of its founder and family since launching MoldMaking Technology in 1998.

  • Answering the Call: Plastics

    Mold builders and processors in the plastics industry are undergoing change as we speak. This change will require businesses to adapt, or they will fail. A marketing communications strategy is key to transforming the image of plastics and manufacturing.

  • MMT Chats: Austrian Mold Builder Talks Reusable Masks, Motivation and Digital Molds

    MoldMaking Technology’s Christina Fuges chats with some of the Haidlmair team—CEO Mario Haidlmair, Head of Corporate Communications Peter Peschl (Austria) and COO/Sales for Haidlmair NA Angelo Morra (Canada)—about a reusable mask project to help fight COVID-19 as well as the role of digital molds today.