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In Southington, Sign Pro switches gears to help first responders

The company retooled a 3D printing machine so they can begin production of face shields

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — The shop floor at Sign Pro is always busy with orders for various signage for companies all across the country but the team at the 30 year old company has made a shift during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Sign Pro owner Peter Rappoccio has taken the lead to retool a 3D printing machine and train more of his employees to use it so they can begin production — not for new signs — but for face shields that first responders can use. “We saw what was happening and we shifted gears,” said Rappoccio. “Our team jumped in and now developed a face shield.”

With the help of a new high tech 3D printer, which costs the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, Rappachio has two shifts a day now dedicated to making face shields — about 400 can be made a day. 

Some of the shields will be for sale and some will be donated to various police departments and to hospital workers. Sign Pro is also using the same technology to make “sneeze guards” and commuter bus driver shields. 

“This was all about community service and being there for each other, “ said Rapppoccio. “We have to stick together, we are one state.”

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