Lego transformed production to begin making protective medical equipment.

Even toymakers are making PPE
Add Lego A/S to the list of companies that have transformed production to begin making protective medical equipment.

The global toy maker is now injection molding protective visors, rather than toy blocks, on six presses at its Billund, Denmark, headquarters factory, making 13,000 of them per day. It also says it can ramp up to 56,000 per day, if needed. The project included design and making tools.

In a video on its social media feed, Lego said 100 employees are working on the project. Lego will also be expanding the project to all of its plants, starting in Hungary.

Beyond that, Lego is donating $50 million to education programs.

 

 

Quarterly complications
It's quarterly earnings season, which can always be a rough ride for publicly traded companies. But with the coronavirus epidemic hitting right in the beginning of the year in China, and in the final month of the first quarter in Europe and North America, this quarter is going to be especially difficult.

Consider the case of Lyondell Basell Industries.

On April 15, it sent out a warning that its sales and profit will be taking a hit, with overall profit expected to be down by nearly 80 percent compared to a year ago.

But on the flip side, a lot of those companies are also contributing to their communities through donation of equipment, hand sanitizer and money. LBI is sending $1.3 million to Global Food-banking in a project that will provide food in 17 countries.

Frank Esposito has more.

 

A new reality'
Layoffs are also continuing to ripple out through the industry. Auto suppliers and molders working in nonessential markets were among the first to have to shutter shops. Those, in turn, are leading to layoffs for suppliers to those molders.

LyondellBasell is temporarily idling production at some of its Advanced Polymer Solutions sites. Thermoplastic polyolefin compounder Advanced Composites is temporarily shutting down.

And a wider slowdown in the economy is spreading to other firms. Window and door maker Deceuninck North America LLC is cutting its workforce by 30 percent in Monroe, Ohio, due to a severe drop in orders.

"Over the last few weeks, we have quickly entered a new reality, the duration of which is unclear," President and CEO Filip Geeraert said.

 

 

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