GREENSBORO, N.C.—The definition of "essential" business has been extended to many rubber manufacturers these days, and they have responded in a variety of ways.
For example, Greensboro-based CGR Products Inc. turned a reduction of its core business in the short term from COVID-19 into an opportunity to support efforts around North Carolina and the country to fight the pandemic.
CGR Products offers custom cutting and fabricating services, along with critical and customized engineered parts that are necessary for everything from automobiles and lawn mowers to gas pumps and generators. The business has more than 125 employees at facilities in three states, including Alabama and Wisconsin, where they produce more than 10,000 unique parts each year.
CGR officials say they understand the need for versatility.
So by late March, CGR began production on ventilator gaskets that have been rushed to Ford Motor Co., which is producing ventilators in the short term. These gaskets are made of specialized neoprene rubber that have a 3M high temperature adhesive on both sides.
"We had previously cut these gaskets for a client several years ago before they moved the production to China," said CGR President Chuck Keeley. "With the current (supply chain) challenges they recently contacted us to see if we could produce them again. Within 10 days we were able to locate the tooling needed, ordered the specialized material, and started die-cutting the parts."