We are in Ukiah, in Mendocino county in northern California, where our client, Factory Pipe LLC, successfully makes tubes for the automotive and motorcycling sector. Factory Pipe produces tubes for the automotive aftermarket, original equipment, exhaust pipes, carburettor tuning and motorcycle accessories. The company had recently purchased a Crippa 980HE tube bending machine to increase performance and precision levels.
The 980HE is a machine designed for high production volumes. It can handle extremely complex production processes with high workloads, but can also be used to make small batches thanks to its rapid tooling change device. What’s more, like all of Crippa’s machines, it is extremely adaptable and versatile.
In the month of March, California became involved in the health emergency connected with the spread of COVID-19 and, in just a few weeks, the number of infected people had risen and hospital beds were beginning to become scarce. County hospitals were forced to manage the situation and, at this point, our client began to take action by converting the production line from the automotive sector to the hospital sector.
The owner of Factory Pipe, Ross Liberty, tells us what happened. “The hospitals needed to add more beds, and they were trying to use existing spaces while still guaranteeing patients the necessary privacy, with the highest level of protection from infection deriving from being close to other patients. Therefore, they asked us to design curtain rod supports to attach to the sides of the emergency room beds so that they could separate the areas for each patient. We reprogrammed our 980HE to make these supports and get them to hospitals as fast as possible,” said Liberty. However, this conversion was not only the result of entrepreneurial leadership at Factory Pipe LLC and the flexibility of their Crippa tube bending machine. It was also a gesture of great generosity and solidarity with the community. In fact, the company decided to donate the supports. Ross Liberty told us very simply that it was a natural choice for him. “We decided to donate what we had produced, but it was only a small way to help support our healthcare system during this emergency. Those curtain supports are designed to hold plastic curtains while patients are being examined. It’s only a curtain, but it can protect both healthcare personnel and the patients. Ours was a small contribution for a great cause that we can win only if we fight together.”