29 Oct 2020
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We continued to pay the staff despite the hiatus of production and temporary closing of the factory: Christian Tse
California-based jewellery manufacturer Christian Tse talks about manufacturing post Covid-19
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 15 2020 12:34PM
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Reference: 24926  

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Manufacturing of all types, especially the highly specialized and detailed hand-craftsmanship that is necessary for luxury goods like fine jewelry and watches, faces new challenges post Coronavirus. High quality production of fine jewelry, especially in quantity, requires a wide variety of skill sets and tools, creating many metallic surfaces on which a virus like COVID-19 can potential live for up to 72 hours. At facilities like Christian Tse Design & Manufacturing, cleanliness and safety are more important than ever, ensuring the health of highly skilled and well-trained workers.

Upon learning of the dangers of the Coronavirus pandemic, Christian Tse, the Owner and President of Christian Tse Design & Manufacturing, knew immediately that he had to take action. “My first thought was concern for my employees,” says Tse. “In a small business like mine, with just under 50 employees, the staff becomes like family. I did not want them to be concerned physically or financially. We continued to pay the staff despite the hiatus of production and temporary closing of the factory. But I was also concerned for the on-going well-being and security of our entire team when getting back to work. From a business perspective, fine jewelry production requires a highly skilled labor force. It would be incredibly time-consuming and challenging for us to replace some of our talented craftsmen like the diamond-setters, mold-makers, polishers, quality control engineers, etc. Plus, they are like members of our extended family now. So, we are very motivated to protect us all!”

Immediately after the stay at home orders were issued by the California Governor, Tse temporarily closed the CTD&M factory and began researching the best possible options for keeping his team safe. The facility already has several UV ovens, the same ones used in the health care industry, which the staff began using before the quarantine to sanitize items that are regularly touched by the workers – towels, scissors, combs and the typical tools of the jewelry trade such as pliers, wire cutters and blades.

For even greater protection, Tse decided that the best option would be to invest in an air purifying system that also cleans surfaces. Upon careful consideration, he opted to install the Air Scrubber Plus® - an air purifying system designed to reduce indoor air quality risks known as Sick Building Syndrome.

The innovative air scrubber works within the existing air conditioning unit at the CTD&M factory. While it has not yet been tested against COVID-19, the system has been scientifically proven to reduce bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in the air, as well as on surfaces. In peer reviewed scientific studies, the air scrubber has proven effective against DNA and RNA viruses like Swine Flu, Avian Bird Blu, Staph, Black Mold, Strep, E Coli, MRSA, etc. The emphasis on surfaces is key for jewelry manufacturing because there are many machines, jewelry benches and tools used in the CTD&M factory. As an added benefit, the system also eliminates odors, dust, pollen, mold and other allergen air pollutants. The precision required for fine jewelry polishing and finishing can be impaired by allergies. Removing such allergens can ensure employee accuracy and consistency, thereby creating greater quality control.

The Air Scrubber Plus was first used in the International Space Station and is made entirely in the USA. Using only 18 watts of electricity, the air scrubber utilizes Active Pure Technology to purify the air with special germicidal UV light waves. Additionally, a proprietary catalytic process creates molecules of hydrogen and oxygen that scrub the air in any environment, similar to how nature cleans the air. Studies indicate that the air scrubber system removes 99.9% of harmful contaminates in the air, making it possible for employees to “get fresh air” inside any time and all the time.

For Tse, the air scrubber was an important step in getting his factory ready for production once business and manufacturing resume. The scrubber cleans air ducts, tables, counter tops, furniture, doorknobs – making almost every surface that would be touched in the facility safer. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be readily available in all areas of the building, and staff will be cleaning/wiping surfaces regularly as they work. Plus, traditional safety attire for fine jewelry manufacturing will continue to be worn as craftsmen protect their eyes and their skin when soldering, polishing precious metals, etc.  

The team is also using the quarantine time to reconfigure the factory floor layout. Benches will now be farther apart to allow social distancing to continue when everyone returns to work. In addition, the team has instituted a daily practice of using the UV ovens to purify employee cell phones upon entry and exit and more importantly, to sanitize finished jewelry pieces before shipping them to clients. When work resumes, these extra precautions will now become the daily norm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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