End Markets | 2 MINUTE READ

Thermoformed Plastics of New England (TPNE) Provides Face Shields to Coronavirus Frontliners

TPNE recognized for community contribution during coronavirus pandemic with more developments underway.


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Our team at PT, as is the case with the teams of our other Gardner Business Media (GBM) siblings, has been reporting on manufacturers and their suppliers who have been stepping up to help in the battle against COVID-19 in some exemplary and innovative ways. I recently had the pleasure of talking to Paul Tyson, founder and general manager of Thermoformed Plastics of New England, (TPNE), of Biddeford, Maine. The 17-year-old custom thermoformer services a broad range of markets starting with medical device housings/packaging and materials handling and dunnage to telecommunications protective housings (repeaters/radomes), to retail, defense and food packaging.

Face shields were not among the products previously produced by TPNE, but the company stepped up starting in late March to manufacture PET face shields—over 12,500 of which it donated to Maine and New Hampshire first responders and healthcare workers. “I didn’t know anything about face shields…but I quickly learned about them,” said Tyson. He noted that knowing there was a need to be met, TPNE asked its customers, outside of medical, if they could push their orders back a bit so they could start production of the face shields, and all agreed.  Throughout the month of April, while exercising all types of safety measures, the company has been operating 10-hr days, seven days a week.

TPNE has been operating 10-hr days, seven days a week to meet demand for face shields and other custom-thermoformed medical products.

“None of this could have been accomplished without our employees. They have stepped up to the plate over-and-over again. We have one mission, get our products to the front lines and keep as many people as safe as possible,” said Tyson. TPNE’s products have been in such demand, the company will be making an announcement in the coming days about a new COVID-19 related product. The company, which prides itself on having a 100% on-time delivery rate and nearly non-existent customer reject rates, currently has job openings ranging from accounting to machinists.

Meanwhile, TPNE will be giving back again to its community with the help of the Sentry Insurance Foundation. Sentry chose TPNE as a leader in the community for the donation of face shields. As part of the recognition, Sentry will gift $2500 to two charities of TPNE’s choice. Says Tyson, “We appreciate the recognition and are pleased to announce our chosen non-profits are Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Biddeford Food Pantry. TPNE will continue to give back to the community—that’s what it’s all about in times like this.”

Said Don Bisson, director of Biddeford Food Pantry, "We really need the money right now to purchase food. Since the coronavirus, we are up 22% to 25% in terms of need. We are thankful Thermoformed Plastics of New England understands about giving back to the community."

Said Good Shepherd Food Bank’s v.p. of development and communications Erin Fogg, “Good Shepherd Food Bank is very grateful for this contribution, which will help provide meals to Mainers who are struggling during these uncertain times. We know that so many of our neighbors were struggling to make ends meet before the COVID-19 crisis, and now even more Mainers are in need help to put food on the table. We are working as hard as we can with our community partners to meet the increased need.”