Harris Products and McKinney Welding Supply collaborated to rapidly provide oxygen regulators and systems at two New York City field hospitals.

Source: Harris

A sampling of the oxygen panels installed at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which had a total of 750 beds.

As McKinney rushed to respond to the urgent need for oxygen delivery systems, the New York-based distributor turned to Harris for custom solutions at the field hospitals. 

The temporary hospitals at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal were set up to treat coronavirus (Covid-19) patients.

Working with McKinney, Harris designed, produced, and delivered systems with 78 panels and 1,170 regulators to serve the needs of 1,092 patient beds.

As smaller oxygen tanks were not available, McKinney contacted its bulk gas supplier and developed a plan to pipe the oxygen throughout the buildings and regulate the pressure at each bed using flowmetres.

Dan Mattiace, General Manager of McKinney, contacted Harris sales representative Joe Prunty, and the Harris technical support team then came up with a solution. Instead of regulating pressure at each bed with flowmetres, the technical team proposed accomplishing the task with a series of panels that would regulate the pressure near the oxygen source and then distribute it throughout the facility.

“This turnkey solution was perfect and a great use of resources,” said Mattiace.

“We could pipe the oxygen supply right to the panels. Each panel would have 14 regulators that would provide oxygen to 14 beds. Harris quickly provided a CAD/CAM drawing of the design, I proposed it to the contractor, we went over it with their doctors, and they all immediately approved it.”

McKinney and Harris, a Lincoln Electric company with headquarters in the US, then focused immediately on producing and delivering the systems. Harris redeployed employees to work on the project at their Gainesville, Georgia, facility, where its Specialty Gas Group is based and its medical-related equipment and systems are produced. They added production lines and called upon supply chain partners to find and provide materials expeditiously.

The plant ran multiple shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The contractor assigned drivers to pick up systems daily, taking them directly to New York so that the plumbers could begin connecting them into the main lines as soon as they arrived.

The facility began accepting patients eight days from when McKinney had received the first call.

Source: Harris

Dan Mattiace, General Manager of McKinney Welding Supply, in front of dewar tanks at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

Mattiace said, “Harris Regional Manager David Sprague did a fantastic job in coordinating the effort, and David Gailey and Tom Trame from Harris’ Specialty Gas Group, were outstanding with the technical aspects of the project.” 

Within weeks of the outbreak of the coronavirus, Harris says it had produced and supplied thousands of critically needed medical regulators and hundreds of gas systems to distributors throughout the US.