The Center Takes Health & Safety to a New Level with Innovative Investments



safety-first.jpgIt is difficult to feel ‘safe’ nowadays. Any time we leave the house, we can never really be sure of how clean and safe public spaces are, even if they claim to have practices in place. But when I am at The Center, I feel safe.

As soon as COVID-19 was first recognized as a threat, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) started looking for ways to improve the safety of our facility. Immediately, it became a priority to establish the best, safest practices possible to ensure both employees and guests would feel comfortable in our building. Following standards put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), The Center quickly enacted the following safety measures:

  • Limited entry and exit – In support of social distancing, The Center established one entry and two exit doors, allowing one person to pass through at a time.
  • Health check of all visitors – Upon entry into our building, everyone immediately must wear a mask, sanitize their hands and have their temperature taken, in addition to answering several wellness screening questions. All personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizer are supplied by The Center.
  • Social distancing reminders – Signs and stickers are placed around the building in walkways, on doors, etc., to remind everyone to stay at least six feet apart from others.
  • Protective shields – Plastic shields have been placed around all cubicles and at each table in the lunchroom to provide an added layer of protection between everyone.  
  • Nightly cleaning – A cleaning crew disinfects our entire facility each night.

Although these practices may have been sufficient to establish a safer workplace, The Center’s management wanted to do more. Much like how Industry 4.0 technologies can help manufacturers improve their businesses in a variety of ways, technology also can be applied to improve safety. To take our safety and disinfection to the next level, The Center invested in a variety of innovative technological methods of cleaning, including:

  • HVAC ionization systems on each of our 14 HVAC units to improve indoor air quality and measure negative and positive ions regularly for appropriate operability. This method has a 99.4% reduction rate in COVID surface strain within 30 minutes.
  • Mobile robot mounted with ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection technology to clean the entire facility multiple times each week. Using short-wavelength UV light, this system can kill or inactivate more than 100 types of harmful microorganisms, including COVID, by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their RNA/DNA. See our robot in action here.
  • NanoSeptic self-cleaning surfaces placed on high-touch areas like door handles and stair handrails. These surfaces continually oxidize organic contaminants using mineral nano-crystals, rather than heavy metals or chemicals like common disinfection methods, to constantly self-clean.

While the traditional ways of staying safe – such as wearing masks or wiping down surfaces – are proven to help, investing in these additional safety measures has enabled me to feel a stronger sense of protection and comfort than I could have imagined during these daunting times. I know I can hold meetings with coworkers or even attend one of our classes with the reassurance that I will be safe. With limited class sizes, distanced seating and individual lunches provided, The Center has not only thought of employees but also has focused on the safety of our guests and clients. I feel more secure knowing The Center prioritizes safety and will continue investing in the best, most advanced disinfection methods to ensure we all feel safe.

Small investments in safety here and there, from door handle strips to sanitization stations, add up to a lot of reassurance knowing our workplace is as safe as it possibly could be. In these times, that safety is not something I take for granted.

Read more about the safety practices and guidelines we’ve implemented in our facility here.


Shonibin_B-WEB-2021.jpgBarbara Shonibin, Business Solutions Manager
Barbara Shonibin is a Business Solutions Manager at The Center. In her role, Barbara works to support and assist small to mid-size manufacturers in Michigan with achieving their continuous improvement goals. Drawing from her 18 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Barbara helps drive manufacturers’ business growth and strategy through targeted training and consulting.



Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at

Categories: Technology, The Center, Workplace Safety