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New HepaCart™ product for hospital construction gets healthy reception

Kansas City Business Journal - by James Dornbrook

HEPACART Inc. is trying to capitalize on its early success by launching new products, including one that has received high marks at industry trade shows.

Shawnee-based HEPACART™ products primarily are used by contractors or maintenance staff working at hospitals. The products lock into place and create negative air pressure to prevent dust or contaminants stirred up by work above a ceiling or general construction from spreading through a building.

In 2007, the company launched the HEPACART™, a mobile unit that locks into place and allows ceiling access. Now, the company is rolling out a stationary product that attaches to a doorway, allowing an entire room to be isolated during construction and renovation projects. HEPACART's™ AnteRoom won raves at the 2011 Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo, including awards for Most Innovative Product, Most Sustainable Product and Best of Show.

"When you walk into a hospital and they are doing renovations, you used to see all this plastic hanging in front of doors and windows," said Mark Farnsworth, HEPACART's™ sales and marketing director. "Sometimes they would even wall off a whole wing because you don't want construction dust and debris sailing through the whole hospital. But the AnteRoom allows you to renovate one room without blocking off a whole section."

The company introduced the product in the spring and, after hitting various trade shows, is starting to get orders. HEPACART™ has built nine of the $3,500 AnteRooms for inventory, sold five and received about 50 inquiries about the product.

Moussa Moussa, construction safety manager at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, was one of the first to buy an AnteRoom. He'd bought the mobile HEPACARTs™ in the past and liked that the AnteRoom provided an extra layer of protection. He said HEPACART™ also is willing to customize the device.

"It's a huge time saver," Moussa said. "You don't worry about it falling apart or tearing like some of the ones that are built of plastic. It's ... very strong."

The product is made of high-grade aluminum.

Farnsworth said the AnteRoom will be available through direct sale and through distributors, such as W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) and Communications Supply Corp.

HEPACART™ hopes to continue launching about two new products a year.

"We have several new tools coming out soon," Farnsworth said. "For contractors, it's all about saving time. Anything we can do to make their jobs faster and easier, they're interested in us."

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