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Grand Rapids company reimagining manufacturing floor plans for reducing cornavirus risk

Manufacturing blueprints photo

Reopening manufacturing requires implementing new safety measures protecting employees from COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace. WGVU spoke with one business owner reshaping the factory floor.

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace includes sanitization, wearing masks and social distancing. On the assembly line, easier said than done.

“We see us at the forefront of helping companies social distance.”

Grand Rapids-based Conveyability Incorporated is an automation integrator for material handling solutions. President Heath Verstaete says alternative workflow footprints will be necessary.

“And we can do gravity systems as well that allows you to just to push the product from one station to the next where you were working shoulder-to-shoulder, now we can help provide economical solutions to space that out to try to create some of that social distancing but also, we see large opportunities for automation for less touches on packaging as well. You know, we have power conveyers and stretch wrappers that can take a lot of the operators out of the touching of product.”

Verstraete says when the economy came to a halt in March capital froze. He’s hopeful for an economic rebound with manufacturing reopening in May - and working with businesses - redesigning conveyer systems protecting workers and the economy from COVID-19 outbreaks.

I’m Patrick Center.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.