Supplies were recently running low at Epoxytec’s headquarters in Hollywood, Florida, USA, as in other places all over the United States. This included supplies of hand sanitizer. In response, office manager Victoria Nixon suggested making some in-house for Epoxytec’s own internal office use. As a supplier of coatings and linings for critical infrastructure, Epoxytec’s headquarters is equipped with an research and development (R&D) lab and has two polymer chemists on staff.
Nixon presented the idea to Ross Davison, Epoxytec’s R&D manager. “It’s easier than making epoxies. I think we can do it,” was the response. The team then presented the idea to management. At this point, the idea was still to make the sanitizer for internal office use only.
But by the end of that week, things around the nation began taking a turn for the worse. Cities were shutting down. Michael and Silvia Caputi, Epoxytec’s president and vice president, then spent the next weekend studying the FDA’s Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19).
Michael contacted every U.S. governor to get a feel for the demand, while Silvia began to take the temperature of the community. “I called my friends who are firefighters, police officers, nurses, and first responders,” she said. “I found that the need right here in our own south Florida backyard was tremendous. Particularly with first responders, who are on the front line. They needed supplies and protection to help them continue doing their job. I told Michael, ‘Let’s start local.’”
And from there, “I think we can do this” turned into “We’re doing this.”
Epoxytec’s skeleton office crew met on Monday morning. As an “essential business” that provides products to protect and conserve critical infrastructure such as water and wastewater, Epoxytec remained open, although by that time the city was under a county ordinance for all non-essential businesses to close. Epoxytec had safety measures in place to protect staff members still coming to work, including temperature checks, social distancing, and additional cleaning. The four remaining Epoxytec staff members sat 6 feet [1.8 m] apart, wearing masks and gloves, and got to work.
That work continued around the clock. Every member of the Epoxytec team played a part, from the sales team working remotely from home, to the warehouse operators, office management, and the R&D team. Tasks included securing raw materials and packaging; preparing labels; authoring Safety Data Sheets; obtaining an FDA Labeler Code; and more.
According to the company, Epoxytec has been forced to think outside the box every step of the way, as supplies are scarce and “normal” business operations no longer exist. This included working with a local Fort Lauderdale distillery in order to obtain alcohol, the main ingredient of hand sanitizer.
After less than one week, Mano-Care Hand Sanitizer by Epoxytec International, Inc. was ready to hit the market and address the critical shortage. “The doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, and first responders on the front line — what they are doing is truly inspirational,” Silvia Caputi says. “Epoxytec is simply trying to help in whatever way we can, and manufacturing hand sanitizer to give the heroes one thing less to worry about is something we can do.”
As such, Epoxytec is now offering its Mano-Care sanitizer and says it will work endlessly to fulfill orders and play its part during these hard times.
Source: Epoxytec, www.epoxytec.com.