East Belfast-based manufacturer Crossen Engineering has seen its business surge as requests from beauticians and hairdressers flood in for its new visors.
The company, run by the Crossen family, makes plastics for the healthcare sector as well as metal parts for other sectors.
A downturn in business at the beginning of lockdown saw it enter into a collaboration with other manufacturers and firms via a funding process to create Hero Shields protective visors for healthcare workers. That business has become more lucrative, seeing Crossen produce over 70,000 visors per week.
And as other sectors look towards resuming business, the company is receiving orders from beauticians, hairdressers and other businesses. Managing director Paul Crossen said: "We've had beauty salons, hairdressers, workwear companies and a lot of our own suppliers ordering the Hero Shield."
Mr Crossen, along with his team, has created another visor known as a Peak Shield for employees who wear caps as part of their uniform. He said the surge in business prompted his team to create the new PPE visor that would be suitable for other sectors. Peak Shield is the firm's first ever product.
"There are many companies doing face shields so we took this opportunity to be creative and come up with Peak Shield, which allows companies to get their own branding on it.
"I think you have to be creative at times like this and while we always aspired to creating our own product, this has fast-tracked us into it.
"It's a whole different animal, creating something and marketing and selling it yourself. It's been difficult but very rewarding.
At the beginning of lockdown Crossen Engineering furloughed 75% of its staff.
But the addition of face shields to its production line has allowed it to bring back all of its 30 staff members and an additional 10 temporary staff.
The company has also rented a new unit to enable it to cope with more production.
"It was right to become part of the Hero Shield collaboration because we have the resources, but now it has turned into a commercial venture," said Mr Crossen.