Coorstek among local companies, groups producing essentials for COVID fight

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum part of community effort to produce face masks

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/14/20

Prior to World War I, most dishes, cups, mortars and other lab equipment used in the United States was produced in Germany. So during the war, the US government asked Coors­Tek, a then-pottery …

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Coorstek among local companies, groups producing essentials for COVID fight

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum part of community effort to produce face masks

Posted

Prior to World War I, most dishes, cups, mortars and other lab equipment used in the United States was produced in Germany. So during the war, the US government asked Coors­Tek, a then-pottery company based in Golden, to begin producing its own lab ware. CoorsTek delivered.

Then, after 9/11, the government needed baggage scanners for its airports. So it again called CoorsTek, which put together an entire factory to do just that.

Now, with the US facing another historic challenge, CoorsTek is again putting its industrial might and materials science technologies to use to help create a product the country needs to get through this latest crisis.

“We are currently wrapping up making hundreds of thousands of parts at one of our Golden factories that will then be assembled by Ford, which is stepping in to increase the output of ventilators,” said Randel Mercer, the Chief Technology Officer, at Coors­Tek.

The materials, which Mercer described as a few different parts that are being mass produced by the thousands, are being assembled at Coors­Tek’s Table Mountain North plant.

Ford announced on March 24 that it would begin producing simplified ventilators at one of its facilities in Michigan.

“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, in a press release.

Mercer said CoorsTek’s expertise in manufacturing the parts needed for the ventilators made the company a natural fit to produce them for Ford during this crisis.

“Typically for these types of products doing the engineering and development that goes into this can take months and we needed to do it much faster,” Mercer said.

Making masks

Also teaming up to provide needed items during the crisis are the Golden Civic Foundation and Golden’s Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, which are partnering to make protective face masks.

“We were hearing from the BGoldN meal program and the Food Bank of the Rockies and a a lot of the nonprofits that have been on the front lines that they were having trouble getting good quality face masks,” said Julie Bartos, the development director at the civic foundation. So we contacted the quilt museum and they were on it.”

Anyone interested in making a mask can visit rmqm.org for a pattern.

On April 10, Bartos went to the museum to pick up the first batch of masks for distribution to the nonprofits. That batch numbered more than 150 masks, Bartos said.

Giving the first stash now waiting to collect the next round probably next week

“They are beautiful, certainly some of the most stylish masks you’ll see,” Bartos said.

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