Novation Produces Record PPE Volumes to Meet COVID-19 Demand

Novation Industries®, a McHenry, Illinois-based injection molding and product production company, received increased production orders for personal protection equipment (PPE) and rapidly responded. 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 a global safety products company which contracted with the US government to provide safety products to meet the spike in demand for healthcare, laboratory and industrial work environments. Scott Baxter, president of Novation Industries, commented about the suppler partnership, saying: “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.”

The global product manager for the safety products company offered insight on the partnership with Novation. “For the initial order of products, we received a call directly from the federal government to produce as many face protection products as we could and ship them directly to government locations across the country for distribution to health crisis hot spots,” said the company product manager. “Novation is a fantastic partner. We met with them within days of the call from US federal government to get production started and strategized how to significantly increase production volume, and Novation was able to immediately respond.”

Around-the-clock operations were required to keep up with demand, stated Baxter. “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.”

In addition to face shields, Novation produces safety goggles, welding masks and hard hat helmets. With extensive experience in engineering and producing chemical and environmental safety products, the company was able to ensure delivery of a high level of quality and integrity during the health crisis.

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, Illinois 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 it could procure upfront for production through September. 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 will continue to produce PPE products beyond the September deadline to assist with future stockpiling and to ensure supplies are available for 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,” said Baxter.

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