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Local graphics company now making 1,000 medical gowns each day

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BATON ROUGE - LSU and Lamar Advertising are now partnering with a local commercial graphics company to assist with the new PPE production facility inside the PMAC.

The collaborative effort has more than doubled the production of those much needed medical gowns for healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least three industrial-sized, automated cutting machines are now slicing through billboard martial 24 hours a day Monday through Friday.

"It's working really, really well. We've got two or three trips a day to the LSU assembly center where they're finishing them out," Vivid Ink Graphics President Stephen St. Cyr said.

For over a week now, Lamar Advertising has donated the billboard materials to LSU. Upon arrival, it's been cut up to make gowns inside the PMAC. That's when vivid ink stepped in to help lend a hand in the manufacturing process.

"Once we got involved we said we can cut it, automate, and eliminate that whole step (of cutting it by hand). That actually sped it up three, four-fold at least," St. Cyr said.

The commercial printing company, located on Airline Hwy., is now turning out over 1,000 gowns per day for healthcare workers around the state, using their existing machines and manpower.

"The other thing that sped it up, they were sewing the sleeves. We provided a banner tape, which is taping the sleeves which also made it much quicker," St. Cyr said.

They are also pumping out Plexiglas shields for places like grocery stores and restaurants.

St. Cyr says this new venture with LSU and Lamar is not only about helping to protect doctors and nurses, but it is also about protecting his employees.

"Two things: we want to help. We want to do our part to do everything we can in this time of crisis. I also have a lot of people wanting to work. We're an essential business and it was a good project to serve both of those needs," St. Cyr said.

Those needs on both sides are being met through the series small cuts that shape hundreds of medical gowns each day.

"We're doing what we can. That's exactly right. Can't do everything, but what we can, we will," St. Cyr said.

Vivid Ink says they will produce around 5,000 gowns a week for as long as they're needed to.


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