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Doing Their Part

Two Madison, Ind., businesses now making Covid-19 safety shields

Royer Corp., Super ATV take action to serve safety needs

(May 2020) –Wanting to do their part, many local businesses have been coming up with creative and useful ways to help with the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The result is personal protective shields and face shields that aid in keeping the workplace and workers clean, safe and sanitary.
Tom Seaver, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Royer Corp. in Madison, Ind., said that Royer “started supplying face shields in mid-March, when it was clear that ample PPE (personal protective equipment) was going to be critical to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic – and that there were likely going to be shortages.”

Photo provided

Royer Corp. Plant Manager Zach Zehren displays a face shield made by his company during the coronavirus pandemic.


The family owned Royer Corp. is a custom injection molding manufacturer and supplier. It is best known for its creative cocktail picks and swizzle sticks. It also manufactures coasters, biodegradable products and digital printing.
The company’s 130 employees have been using the company’s laser engraver to make face shields. “Our talented team has worked around the clock for the past month to come up with the most efficient ways for us to produce these,” Seaver said.
“Along with being precisely cut with our in-house laser engraving technology, we have also worked collaboratively with the team at Clifty Engineering to fabricate and build an additional die cutting machine which elevates our shield output even further,” he said. By mid-April, the Royer Corp. had shipped out close to 500,000 shields, he said.
The shields have gone to Kings Daughter Hospital, local nursing homes, police departments, the National Guard, food manufacturing facilities and the list goes on. “We plan to produce well over 1 million shields since there continues to be high demand. As long as there is a need, we will continue to serve. Royer is committed to doing its part to help in the fight against Covid-19.”
The company has also negotiated a contract with the state to manufacture shields for the National Guard. “We are currently supplying the state of Indiana with our face shields. Along with hospitals and other areas of need, the state also distributes to the National Guard,” said Seaver.
Not only is the Royer Corp. helping businesses in Indiana, it is manufacturing shields and shipping them nationwide. “We have orders going out to Texas, the Chicago area and New England. We started regionally and have expanded from there,” he said.
The company was founded in 1970 in Hamilton, Ohio, by Roger Royer and Dean Long under the name Gadgeteria Inc. What began in the basement of Royer’s home quickly expanded until 1977 when it was bought by Guy Kitchens and renamed the Royer Corp., having already moved to Madison.
When Kitchens died, the business was taken over by his brother-in-law, Roger Williams, the current president and CEO.
Meanwhile, a second company in Madison, Super ATV, has joined the effort to keep the public safe. Super ATV is a provider of aftermarket All-Terrain Vehicles and Utility Task Vehicles parts and accessories. But is recently has shifted its focus by producing scratch-resistant Clearly Safer Personal Shields. These clear barriers, or “sneeze shields,” effectively shield employees and customers from harmful germs and viruses.
They are made so that a pass-through cutout at the bottom allows for easy transfer of payment, while allowing employees to maintain valuable face-to-face interaction without any unnecessary contact. The shields are lightweight, durable and easy to clean.
Task Vehicles parts and accessories. But is recently has shifted its focus by producing scratch-resistant Clearly Safer Personal Shields. These clear barriers, or “sneeze shields,” effectively shield employees and customers from harmful germs and viruses.
They are made so that a pass-through cutout at the bottom allows for easy transfer of payment, while allowing employees to maintain valuable face-to-face interaction without any unnecessary contact. The shields are lightweight, durable and easy to clean.
“We started making them about the time the virus started to escalate in the U.S. and the Stay at Home initiatives began for the local community,” says Jay King, Managing Director for Super ATV. “Workers were still working, and we wanted to find a way to help.”
Several local businesses are using them such as Kings Daughters Hospital, the Dollar Store, Red Pepper Deli, law offices and automotive parts houses. So far, 2,000 barriers have been made and will continue to be made as long as there is an interest for them, he said.

Photo provided

John Heitz, co-owner of Red Pepper Deli in Madison, Ind., poses behind a plexiglass safety shield created by Super ATV. The shields are being used at dozens of locations in town, including at the local post offices.


The personal shields are sold for $44.95 through SuperATV. That is the only thing sold directly to the public. Everything else is sold by contract to the state or hospitals.
“When we saw that customer interaction was at risk, we took a look at what we had and decided how to use it to keep people safe.” Over a 48-hour period, the company pulled a design together, made some barriers and got them out to those who needed them.
“The response was overwhelming,” King said.
During normal times, the company gets the most business for its polycarbonate windshields, said King. Using the same theory, Super ATV is converting a quarter-inch thick polycarbonate sheet into barriers. The polycarbonate makes them stronger, lighter and more flexible than those made of acrylic, and they are also highly resistant to chemicals and high temperatures.
An XR Optic Hard Coating is applied to both sides of the shields, making them resistant to scratches or abrasions of any kind. They can be easily cleaned and sanitized using Lysol and a microfiber cloth. Two standard sizes are available:  28 inches wide by 26 inches high or 21 inches wide by 30.5 inches high, or they can be custom sized if needed.
The process begins with a flat piece of polycarbonate, which is then run through routers before moving to a press to bend the material. They are packaged along with bases and hardware. “We can make over 300 per shift,” King said.
The barriers will “last a long time. Indoors they will potentially last forever.” The company will make barriers for “anybody that needs them,” he said. Super ATV is owed by Harold Hunt, who “always has the local community in mind,” King said.
Super ATV has also made about 3,000 clear face shields for first responders, “with more orders coming in,” King said. So far “our biggest customer is the state of Indiana,” in the form of the National Guard.
A third item the 20 employees at Super ATV are producing at this time is intubator shields for the medical field. So far 150,000 have been made. If a patient is put on a ventilator, they will need to be intubated (have a breathing tube placed in them), which puts the nurses, doctors and others at risk from the patient coughing on them, etc., said King.
By using such shields, hospital staff can “perform their jobs without direct exposure to patients.” Over the last couple of weeks, these shields were sent out to two hospitals and EMS workers.
King said he foresees changes in the future when businesses begin to re-open. “I think we’ll see more of this type of product (barriers) in place in retail outlets.”

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