Over half a century, generations of customers have given the Snitz Creek Cabinet Shop in Lebanon, Pa. opportunities to make their homes more beautiful with handcrafted cabinets made from solid wood. As COVID-19 put healthcare workers on the front lines of a pandemic, the family-owned company seized a new opportunity to give back to its extended community.
Snitz Creek’s Dean Zook was first to reply to the email Biesse America Product Manager David Paine sent on April 3 to his woodworking customers in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. In it, Paine offered information for producing plastic Intubation Boxes designed to protect healthcare workers during COVID-19 emergency procedures. “After being inspired by encouragement from our Italian administration, ideas from our Biesse Group France subsidiary, and an article promoted on Woodworkingnetwork.com about a new Provider Protection Movement in the woodworking industry, Biesse America and Biesse Canada developed a program to help,” Paine said.
Biesse America’s showroom engineering staff came up with drawings, bSolid programs, Biesseworks programs, nesting pictures, .DXF files and tooling information with the feeds and speeds customers could use to make the Intubation Boxes with their Biesse routers. Snitz Creek Cabinets had a Biesse Rover-A CNC machine, so the Zook family could spring into action to join the Movement.
Dean Zook and his brother Glendon ordered the tooling Biesse specified right away. Their sister Sharon, who had already begun sewing cloth face masks, contacted her connections and found the Einstein Healthcare Network hospital in North Philadelphia needed Intubation Boxes STAT. The Zooks found a local source for the 3/16-inch polycarbonate they would need for the boxes.
“Working with plastic is different than working with the wood we normally use, plus I had to learn how to glue the polycarbonate parts together,” Dean said. “Since Biesse was able to send us the code for the bSolid software that runs our Rover machine, we didn’t have to rewrite any programs and could move quickly.”
Glendon prepared the machine and cut out the needed parts on April 9th as soon as the bits arrived. Dean came in the morning of Good Friday to glue the parts together. Later that afternoon Sharon drove 3 hours roundtrip to deliver them directly to her Einstein Healthcare Network contact.
The family’s breakneck tag-team effort resulted in five new intubation boxes ready to protect those on the front lines of the Coronavirus crisis. As of April 13, they had enough materials to produce five more.
During Paine’s investigation of the need for Personal Protective Equipment in the fight against COVID-19, hecontacted the Department of Health for the State of Pennsylvania and was referred to the newly developed Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal announced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on April 6. The Portal is for manufacturers, distributors and other suppliers to list supplies available for purchase and will allow the state to more quickly and efficiently procure these supplies for hospitals and medical facilities. You can learn more at: https://spportal.dot.pa.gov/ppeinventory/Pages/default.aspx.
“It’s great to have this resource so shops like ours can join the fight,” Dean Zook said. “We were so happy to be able to act quickly to make a difference for healthcare heroes in our region.” Paine was equally enthusiastic about what his customer had accomplished. “I heard about Snitz Creek Cabinets 20 years ago and have been proud to work with them for more than a decade.” he said. “I am grateful that Biesse and I have been here to help support their efforts.”