Hannibal company develops face shields to donate to health care workers

Bill Baker, president of Park Place Sign Systems Inc. of Hannibal, Mo., presents one of 100 face shields that his company has created and donated to Quincy Medical Group on Friday, April 10, 2020. The company has created and donated more than 500 face shields to local health organizations to aid in the fight against COVID-19 using supplies they had on hand. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
Katelyn Metzger1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 11, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — Shortages of personal protection equipment have been reported across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one local business is helping health care providers keep it in stock.

Park Place Sign Systems Inc. of Hannibal, Mo., manufactures interior signage for hospitals and other health care facilities across the county, but it started working on face shields to help health care workers.

Bill Baker, owner and president of Park Place Sign Systems, presented Quincy Medical Group with 100 face shields Friday.

"We know there's a problem with getting the personal protection equipment right now," Baker said. "It's really hard to find, so we were looking for a way that we could support those workers."

A design for a 3-D printed face shield was found on the University of California San Francisco website, and the company was able to modify it using existing materials it has in its shop.

"We actually cut it out of quarter-inch thick acrylic on our laser table, and we used common clear acetate with a three-hole punch, some rubber bands and came up with a very lightweight face shield that we could provide to several different organizations across the area," Baker said. "It's a really neat design, and I'm glad we could help out."

In just three days, the company manufactured 500 face shields and distributed them to eight area health organizations.

Initially, Park Place used its 3-D printer to build a face shield, but it discovered that it could only produce eight per day.

"We knew that wasn't going to be much of an option, so we wanted to come up with a better way, a simpler way of manufacturing with the products that we had in house," Baker said.

Glenda Hackemack, director of Business Development at QMG, said the shields are in demand like much personal protection equipment.

"We are constantly every day searching for more that we can get in here so we can take care of not only our staff but also the community when they come for our services," Hackemack said.