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Fleece Performance Engineering switches from auto parts to PPE
Fleece Performance Engineering in Pittsboro, Indiana, is manufacturing lightweight, disposable full face shields at top speed…up to 50,000 per week.

Fleece co-founder and owner Brayden Fleece and his team of 50 engineers, designers and builders quickly converted space devoted to the company's automotive parts to production lines for disposable face shields, and most recently added countertop sneeze and cough guards. The personal protection equipment is sold to hospitals and health care service providers nationwide. These include first responders, dental professionals, and private care facilities fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Central Indiana.

Fleece has been on a growth trajectory since its founding in 2008. The latest expansion opened a few months ago. It is fueled by a SBA 504 loan to founders and owners Brayden and Chase Fleece. The loan was provided by Centier Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.

Brayden Fleece says, "We may not have been able to do our expansion project with a conventional business loan. The SBA 504's 25 year fixed rate loan is one of the largest benefits to me."

Fleece continues, "The expansion allowed us to convert to PPE manufacturing when the need arose."

Fleece Performance Engineering's full face shields (13" x 8") are designed to wear over glasses, N95 masks and surgical masks. They are made of near optically-clear lightweight PETG. And they are shipped flat, requiring less than 3 percent of the shipping and storage space of existing face shields, thus substantially reducing shipping and storage costs.

Centier Bank's Derek Phillips says, "Fleece continuously adapts to changes in the automotive industry. Their conversion to manufacture PPE equipment is why they are so successful. Additionally — knowing Fleece's management team — I was not surprised that they decided to help out on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. They genuinely care about making a difference in the community."

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