Essential manufacturers that want to continue to operate have to follow strict Center for Disease Control) CDC guidelines.

By Adam Khan, CEO and Founder of AKHAN Semiconductor

Due to Covid-19, the United States has had to shut down many non-essential manufactures, such as automakers. Specific industries like defense, national security and electronics, have been deemed essential during this time of crisis, but it certainly isn’t business as usual. To stay open and operational, there are strict regulations and recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) that essential manufacturers need to follow.

Broadly, any business that operates in food supply, medical supply, security and communication has been deemed essential. Manufacturers that fall into one of those industries, are also considered essential, but there are added measures these manufactures must take to comply.

Essential manufactures that want to continue to operate have to follow CDC guidelines that include:

  • Mandatory social distancing
  • Regular hand washing
  • No handshaking
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of elbows
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Keeping workers at home if they feel sick or have a sick family member in their home

Beyond the general guidelines provided by the CDC, some existing manufacturers are already more equipped to maintain production because they require the use of “clean rooms” to operate normally, regardless of whether or not we’re in the middle of a pandemic. A clean room is made up of a combination of fresh air, a highly filtered air system, and positive pressure in an enclosed room system. Outside air is first circulated to a filter system. The filters (typically HEPA) then clean and decontaminate this outside air according to the room’s classification/specifications. The filtered air is then forced into the cleanroom, while contaminated air within the cleanroom is forced outside the room. The total air volume is recirculated back into the filters, and the process restarts. Companies that already have these systems in place, such as electronics, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, are significantly more prepared for when a pandemic or other unforeseen disaster happens.

CleanroomBW , Industry Today
Employees work in a cleanroom environment made up of fresh air, a filtered air system and positive pressure in an enclosed room system.

Just because a manufacturer has a cleanroom, doesn’t mean it’s essential. Technically, it’s up to cities and states to define what is and is not considered essential, but for the most part, any manufacturer in the defense sector is able to stay operational. During these times, its gravely important to have national security and defense manufacturers stay open because the fight against our nation’s enemies never stops.

Foreign adversaries are always trying to take advantage of the United States, whether that’s by spreading disinformation, hijacking our technological advancements, or worse. That’s why maintaining supply chains to national security and defense is so crucial. Manufacturers must continue to hit deadlines and develop next-generation technology because otherwise, foreign powers can gain critical leverage on United States, which will ultimately close the gap in developing weapons and defense technology. Even though there is an international health crisis going on, it’s still incredibly important to identify essential manufactures and keep them running.

While it may be clear as to why national security manufactures are considered essential, another industry that might not be so obvious is electronics. At first thought, you may ask yourself why electronics are considered essential during a time like this where consumer devices don’t seem as critical as defense and other services. However, electronics today, more than any other time in history, have become our main source for connecting with family and friends. They are critical to our mental and social health and provide the world with a way to stay connected to everything that is going on. Personal electronics are keeping businesses running, as employees are able to stay connected from the safety of their homes while the country fights this pandemic. If we thought we overly relied on personal electronics before, now, they have literally become essential in how we socialize and work, which is why we must keep electronic manufactures up-and-running during this time of crisis.

The world has never seen anything like COVID-19. It’s extremely important to keep everyone safe, while also keeping essential services moving forward. In manufacturing, defense and consumer electronics are crucial. Though the world may be distracted by the coronavirus, we must always consider our national security, and the smallest delay in manufacturing could put our country at a huge disadvantage. Electronics have also become essential in today’s world as every business and individual communicates through personal devices. It’s important to keep essential manufacturers operational during this time, but to do so, they must follow the strict guidelines shared by the CDC, WHO as well as their local municipalities. That is the only way we can keep our country running while also slowing the spread of this dreaded virus.

Adam Khan Akhan Semiconductor, Industry Today
Adam Khan

Adam Khan – Founder, Chairman, & Chief Executive Officer
Adam Khan has authored several patents and technical publications and is also a frequent speaker on Diamond Semiconductor & Clean Technology. As a result of his award-winning research, which he began as an electrical engineering student at age 19, Adam is inventor of the Miraj Diamond® Platform. Adam has also served as a speaker and expert witness to a variety of Federal bodies, including the U.S. House Space, Science, & Technology Committee and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, Adam’s work was recognized and individually honored by the United States Congress in the 114th Congressional Records & Proceedings.

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