Steve Cornforth

As the country has been fighting COVID-19, Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing in Bamberg received an order to produce parts for ventilators, said sales manager Steve Cornforth. The company is making 2.2 million ventilator parts and also has been manufacturing parts for hand sanitizer pumps.

Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing has always been proud to say, “Made in the U.S.A.,” a statement that is especially meaningful with its current order.

“As the country has been fighting COVID-19, we received an order to produce parts for ventilators,” sales manager Steve Cornforth said. “It was a tighter schedule than usual, but we stepped up our production time because we wanted to help our county, state and country.”

Though he cannot reveal the ventilator contractor, Cornforth said the company is making 2.2 million ventilator parts, which is a larger-than-usual order. Phoenix also has been manufacturing parts for hand sanitizer pumps.

“Phoenix is a short-run metal stamper,” he said. “When we say short run, low to medium volume is what we do. We’ll make parts for you a hundred at a time up to a few thousand at a time for aerospace, automotive, agricultural, industrial, medical – any industry that you can think of.”

Having the order for ventilator parts ensured Phoenix’s status as an essential employer, which kept all 125 full-time staff employed when many businesses deemed non-essential had to shut down to avoid spreading COVID-19.

“With these parts, we had an opportunity to help employees here to stay gainfully employed,” Cornforth said. “These parts fit right in our wheelhouse of what we do, so we have been able to help our local economy as well as our country.”

When they began making parts to go in ventilators, Phoenix put signs by each press to show employees the end product for the part.

“They are helping during this pandemic, and it is a big sense of pride for our employees and for Phoenix,” Cornforth said about helping in this effort.

Phoenix had to make some adjustments to keep employees safe while working through the pandemic. The maintenance staff cleans common areas three times daily, and workers clean their areas twice a day. Employees and machines have been moved to ensure social distancing.

“We say ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ because all the parts are manufactured here in Bamberg, South Carolina. We buy products that are made in the U.S.,” Cornforth said. “The older I get, the more I realize the sacrifices that were made for us to be here where we are today living the life we have, and Phoenix is proud to be supporting the United States.”

Holly Kemp is the News Editor at the Aiken Standard. To support local journalism, sign up for a digital subscription at my special rate. Click here to subscribe.