Textile manufac-turer Orvec has diversified and adapted its production lines to meet the UK demand for PPE.
The business has been manufacturing woven and non-woven products for airlines in high volumes for over 45 years. It established a sister brand Orvecare eight years ago, which offers a niche range of healthcare items, including recyclable patient specific ambulance packs and linens, and the Orvewrap – a passive warming medical device for use in elective surgery. As Covid-19 became prevalent in the UK at the start of the year, the company rapidly expanded its healthcare production line. Over the past three months Orvecare has manufactured over 50,000 coverall garments and gowns for frontline healthcare workers in the UK and mainland Europe.
The company is now making a strategic £250,000 investment to custom build a high-volume production line specifically to produce Type IIR Surgical Face Masks. Orvecare will be able to manufacture up to 50 million of the medical-grade masks per annum, which will be certified to the EN14683:2019 standard.
“Having quickly expanded our medical production line in Hull to manufacture PPE garments for the NHS and other frontline workers, we have been inundated with enquiries for Type IIR Surgical Face Masks,” said Will Meddings, managing director of Orvecare.
“Customer’s supplies of PPE from overseas companies have proven to be unreliable since the onset of Covid-19, both in terms of lead-time and quality. We therefore took the strategic decision to bring manufacturing into Hull and are in the process of installing an entirely new production line to enable us to manufacture millions of masks per month.”
Orvecare introduced Covid-19 safe working practices in March 2020, ensuring staff could work in a socially distant manner and wear PPE where appropriate. Other measures have included adaptations within the factory, such as the installation of Perspex work pods, staggered start, finish and break times, hand sanitising stations across the site with washing advice, a one-way system throughout the site, temperature monitoring of all staff and visitors, safety guidance signage updated regularly, and all touch points cleaned frequently have ensured that production can continue responsibly and safely.