In the wake of plant shutdowns, Mark Sitzer — a chef who oversees the Fort Mill, S.C., cafe operations on behalf of Schaeffler's food service contract partner, Southern Foodservice Management Inc. — began preparing lunches for those in need. He used the Schaeffler kitchen and supplies to donate about 450 lunches to support various front-line workers.
Travis Taylor, a senior tool designer in the supplier's Fort Mill Prototype Department, has been using his expertise and 3D printers to manufacture face shields.
Early in the crisis, Taylor — a Schaeffler employee of 21 years — was furloughed for the first time. But that didn't discourage him from helping others.
He reconfigured his home office to use his personal 3D printer for shield production — a printer he bought two years ago to do work and make household objects after having foot surgery.
After The Herald, the local newspaper, reported on his shield production, he received countless inquiries from the community for hundreds more and requests for the shield design files. He also received donations of supplies and funding; Taylor estimates each shield costs $2 to make.
Taylor worked day and night for about two months. Initially, it took three hours to make one shield, but after buying a second printer and modifying the process, Taylor could make two on each printer every hour and a half.
As of July 9, Taylor had delivered 1,400 to eye-care centers, local hospitals and urgent cares and other in-need organizations.
Taylor, who's back on the job at Schaeffler, slowed down his production a month and a half ago but has been preparing to ramp back up as the need skyrockets in his town and neighboring communities.
"There's been numerous people who have helped me through this," Taylor said. "The people that donated supplies or money had just as much a part of this."