Novation Industries, an Illinois-based injection molding and vertically integrated product production company, received increased production orders for personal protection equipment (PPE) and rapidly replied to demand. Increased order volume, which started in April and will continue at least through September, includes molding and complete product assembly of face protection products.
Novation produces the PPE for an existing customer, a global safety products company, which recently contracted with the U.S. Federal Government to provide an array of safety products to meet a nationwide spike in demand for healthcare, laboratory and industrial work environments. “Our company’s longstanding 10-plus years of working together helped to provide for a rapid deployment and production response time. Without the tools and production processes already in place we couldn’t have achieved the rapid ramp-up period and turn products around so quickly,” said Scott Baxter, president of Novation Industry, about the supplier partnership.
Around-the-clock operations were required to keep up with demand. “We had three shifts dedicated to producing products to fulfill these critical shipments. During the initial weeks of startup, all of our employees, including engineers, administrative staff and even the CEO could be found on the production floor ensuring that our shipments were on time,” said Baxter.
Novation’s commitment to on-time delivery included an immediate investment in tripling its production labor pool and an additional investment in new injection-molding tools to allow for concurrent production lines. Novation also capitalized $120,000 in automation, including labeling and packaging equipment, to ensure a high level of throughput. According to Baxter, the project has had a positive impact on local employment and around the McHenry, Ill., area.
With a weekly production volume of tens of thousands of personal protection products, combined with the anticipation of shortages of specialized safety resins and parts, Novation saw a need to finance the procurement of as much raw materials as they could procure upfront for production through September. Company personnel at Novation preordered the full supply of production and raw materials to avoid any shortages and mitigate risks that could delay delivery of products to health networks.
Novation commented that they will continue to produce PPE products beyond the September deadline to assist with future stock piling and to ensure national supplies are available for both the healthcare and industrial segments in case of another unexpected crisis. “We don’t see the long-term forecast for these safety products going back to where they were. They won’t be at pandemic level but certainly at two-to-three times where they have been.”