THE Covid-19 pandemic has brought out of the best in so many companies who have refocused and redoubled their efforts to provide assistance to the frontline in the war against the virus.

Keltech is one such company that has redeployed their capabilities in recent weeks to assist in the fight against Covid-19. Speaking to the Waterford News & Star this week, Keltech business Development Manager Seamus Lawlor said that as soon as the virus took hold, the company “immediately considered what they could be doing to make a positive impact”.“In normal times our factory is busy producing complex metal fabrications for the likes of Caterpillar, Combilift, Moffett, JCB, Liebherr etc. We have full capability here on site to take a sheet of steel and transform it into a finished painted product.” Lawlor Explains.

“I was watching the News one evening when the report came on about Aer Lingus flying in disposable PPE gear,” Seamus said. “The sheer volume of PPE required got me thinking that the disposal of all this used PPE is going to be a serious problem.”

The next morning Keltech reached out to the HSE to offer support on the manufacture of medical waste bins and the reply was almost instantaneous. Globally these bins are in huge demand for obvious reasons and their procurement has been a real pain point for all countries in the war against the coronavirus. Having never manufactured the product before, and with a short lead time required, the task at hand was large but within just one week the Keltech engineering team had developed their first working prototype.

“There were some minor tweaks to ensure ease of use and durability of the design were made and soon enough Keltech were ready for serial production,” Seamus said. “Being adaptable and flexible has been the corner stone of Keltech’s success over the past 30 years.”

According to Seamus, the design of the bin has been carefully thought out.

“The foot operated opening mechanism ensures staff don’t need to touch the bin lid,” Seamus said. “The lid itself, when closed is perfectly sealed ensuring the potentially contaminated waste is secure. It’s also designed with a silent close feature so as to not to disturb patients. The front opening door allows staff easily change in and out bags and finally, the paint technology used by Keltech is state of the art, the glossy powder paint will provide an easy clean finish for years to come.”

Keltech will complete an order of almost a thousand bins for the HSE over the coming weeks, and they will be distributed all around the country to the various care centres that have been set up to cope with Covid-19.

“We’re just happy to be doing our bit,” Seamus said. “Interestingly however, what started out as a mission to support the Irish Health system could turn into something bigger. We have been contacted by several major retailers that understand the value of a no touch sealed bin system on their premises to protect both customers and staff so when the HSE order is completed we actually now expect to continue to manufacture in high volume for the wider market.”