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Industry Nine's offer to help manufacture ventilators met with red tape

Published March 24, 2020
In the meantime, the component maker aids with PPE manufacturing.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BRAIN) — When trying to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, the last obstacle a company wants to encounter is red tape. Yet, that's what Industry Nine has in front of it.

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Offering to manufacture ventilator parts with its dozens of CNC machines, Industry Nine hasn't made headway since its announcement Sunday. Founder Clint Spiegel told BRAIN on Tuesday morning that there are many machined ventilator components his company can make in high volume.

"Lots of contacts, not much action," Spiegel said. "Red tape and certifications are slowing things down. It sounds like a ton of people are working on it. The automakers, I have heard, are trying to get certified, and hopefully that makes it possible for others to help more."

Until then, Industry Nine is supporting Kitsbow Cycling Apparel in Old Fort, North Carolina, to produce personal protection equipment, which in itself is becoming challenging.

"We are helping Kitsbow with face shields now," Spiegel said. "There is a huge material shortage, and we are working to get alternative materials. We were in Charlotte (North Carolina) first thing this morning, picking up samples which will go on our waterjet machine the moment it arrives."

Kitsbow decided on Thursday to start making face shields and face masks for first responders and medical staff. The next day, manufacturing began with the first shipments Monday.

Spiegel said Industry Nine will reduce bicycle component manufacturing as needed. "We won't balance; the more we get to work, the less i9 production happens. We have been shown an overwhelming amount of support, and everyone is of course willing to have delays on their orders."

Industry Nine and Kitsbow are two of several cycling and cycling clothing companies volunteering to change over their manufacturing during these extraordinary times.

"Almost everyone who is in a position to manufacture has made this decision," Spiegel said. "It is obvious. Just like health workers, if you can help, you do. I have seen almost everyone with capabilities want to help."

Topics associated with this article: Coronavirus

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