Adelco has a production plant in Kunshan near Shanghai, China where it manufactures its range of oval presses, flash cure units and dryers. It was therefore one of the first in the garment decoration industry to experience a lockdown – and one of the first to experience how to get a factory back up and running.

We chart the screen printing manufacturer’s journey from lockdown to the reopening its factory…

The factory closure began on 26 January 2020, when the Kunshan local government announced the Chinese New Year holiday was to be extended by one more week, then another week, then another…
On 17 February, Adelco finally got approval from the government to start manufacturing again
Only 14 approved employees were allowed in, each of whom had to wear a mask at all times
All employees had their temperature taken twice a day
The factory was sterilised twice a day, and there were government on-site checks every three to four days, extending to once every one or two weeks over time
Group meetings were replaced by online communications
Over the next five weeks, employees took turns to return back to work, with 15% more arriving each week. By 19 March, 90% of the workforce was back, ie 61 people. Production was slowly returning to normal, as was that of suppliers. Adelco was one of the first 80 out of 800 companies back to work in the region.