Osseo Ceramics Company Transitions to Making Hand Sanitizer
An Osseo factory that usually makes paint has added a temporary product line: hand sanitizer.
Since 1961, Ceramic Industrial Coatings has been making paints, varnishes, stains, sealers and other coatings for wood, as well as products under contract for other companies such as floor coating systems and sealers. But with the COVID-19 crisis, company president Rob Laubscher opened a new product line. They will make hand sanitizer using an FDA-recommended recipe.
“We just started this week,” says Laubscher, adding that his factory has a jump start on making the sanitizer because it already had two-thirds of the ingredients on hand plus the necessary production equipment. “We do a lot of blending and packaging of different products besides paints. So we re-purposed some mixing and filling equipment to be in compliance with FDA rules.”
Also a plus for the new line, Laubscher’s workers are used to safely handling the chemicals used to make the sanitizer.
“We’ve got chemists on site here. So they can oversee the production and make sure it’s being done correctly,” he said.
Distributing the Hand Sanitizer
Laubsher’s sanitizer effort is so new, he’s not yet sure where all of it will go. He’s already giving some to the Osseo fire and police departments, and he’d like to give some to senior homes as well. Laubsher will work with cities like Osseo to decide where else they can share the sanitizer.
Besides making just the sanitizer, the company is also donating bottles and caps to another business in New Richmond, Wis. A company that makes vodkas and whiskeys called 45th Parallel Distillery also switched to making sanitizer and will use Laubsher’s bottles to distribute it.
The rapid-turn production effort is ramping up quickly. Laubsher is planning on turning out a couple thousand bottles of sanitizer a week.
“I’m very proud of my guys for getting this going, amongst all their other jobs,” he said.
Brandon Bankston, Reporting