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Rhoads Metal Works Creates Clean Air for Hospitals

Rhoads Metal Works needed to find a way to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of RMW’s loyal customers were forced to pull projects, defer maintenance or close completely. The business needed to respond quickly to the harsh reality of decreased revenues and the need to furlough many employees to assure survival. Rhoads would have to adapt to the changing needs of their customers.

Rhoads Metal Works filtration for hospitalsRhoads’ innovated response was found in the changing needs of its healthcare customers. RMW joined the front lines alongside our healthcare workers to create an effective solution to help combat COVID-19. Jerry Loehr, HVAC Supervisor at Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Hospital contacted Rhoads with an immediate need for assistance as they created new COVID-19 patient rooms. The isolation rooms required a negative air pressure balance. During normal times, portable HEPA Air Scrubber units can take months to order and arrive; Rhoads only had days to deliver. The team at RMW needed to custom fabricate a portable unit with equipment and materials that could be obtained immediately. The design needed to be simple for efficiency of fabrication and something that can be modified for other hospital needs and uses. The Rhoads team came together with guidance from George Rossi at General Aire Systems who assisted the design. Matt Shinn, Operations Coordinator at Rhoads, drew up the design and lead the fabrication team to build and deliver the new Air Scrubber units to Penn Medicine in three days. Penn quickly put these units into operation in order to create patient rooms better equipped to deal with the pandemic. Rhoads Metal Works established some quick literature to advise their other healthcare facilities. The response has been extremely positive, and orders are coming in. Einstein Medical Center attached some units to sections of their HVAC system and Penn Medicine’s Pennsylvania Hospital received five mobile units to clean the air in their isolation patient rooms.

The owner of Rhoads Metal Works, William Rhoads, has a daughter who is a SICU nurse at Temple Hospital. Bill said, “I want to keep one and strap it to my daughter’s back!” The General Manger, Michael Pagano, explained how purposeful it felt to work on a job that is making a difference. He said, “The hospitals really appreciate what we are doing which is protecting people.” Adapting the business and keeping the remaining employees working will ensure the Rhoads’ 124-year history of serving the changing needs of their customer.

Rhoads Metal Works, Inc. is a fourth-generation company founded in 1896, proudly servicing the tri-state area for over 120 years. We are a leading industrial metal fabricator and mechanical contractor with unprecedented experience in both institutional and industrial environments. Our diverse experience makes us an ideal strategic partner offering clients comprehensive solutions with custom fabrication, design consulting and mechanical installations.

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