S.C. textile company works to keep up with high demand for medical products
LANDRUM, S.C. (WCSC) - There are no days off at Phenix Engineered Textiles.
CEO Rod Grandy said some of their products are in high demand because of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
“We’re running 24/7,” he said. “We’ve gone from five-day shifts to seven-days a week now.”
The textile company based in Spartanburg County manufactures specialty braided and knitted medical products. Grandy said they are one of the few companies in the country who makes the elastic ear-loop bands for face masks.
Over the last few weeks, production for these elastic bands has doubled.
"We went from making about a million yards a week of the braided material of our medical products to about 1.9 million yards a week," Grandy said.
Grandy added there was already growth over the last year for these products. In January, demand spiked dramatically. He said volume has gone up to 50% for their customers.
Grandy said the company had extra equipment available to help with the demand. They hired dozens of new employees as well. According to Grandy, the increased production has put a strain on the company.
"When you add shifts and ask people to work around the clock and on weekends, people get tired. You just gotta go the extra mile to let people know how much we appreciate them. It's tough on them," he said.
Grandy said regardless, his employees understand how important these products are to helping stop the spread of this deadly disease.
"I think everyone is proud they are able to help," he said.
Grandy said they will be ordering more machines to keep up with the demand. He said his buyers say demand will continue to increase for a while.
According to health officials, these face masks are not effective in preventing the general public from catching the coronavirus, but healthcare providers can give them to sick patients to prevent the spread of the disease.
Anyone with questions about COVID-19 can call the DHEC hotline: 855-472-3432. They said staffers are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
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