Upright is proud to salute our client, WPT Nonwovens, as they step up and take an active role in the fight against COVID-19. The Kentucky manufacturer of nonwoven fabrics is responding to the national emergency need for COVID-19 related medical supplies with the high volume production of surgical masks and N-95 respirator masks. Upon learning of requests from state and local officials for Kentucky manufacturers willing to assist with the production of much needed supplies for managing the COVID-19 crisis, WPT responded with immediate action.
The company has purchased two fully-automated machines, one for producing surgical masks and one for producing N-95 respirators. 5,000 square feet of their Beaver Dam facility has been dedicated to the set up of these two new production lines. Acquisition of the new equipment was just part of the project. The raw materials needed to produce the masks proved to be an added challenge.
The national shortage of masks currently being experienced by US healthcare agencies has been due in part to extraordinary price gouging on raw materials in normal supply chain channels. Particularly difficult to procure have been the materials required to make the N-95 respirators.
Through the supply chain relationships developed by WPT Nonwovens, the company was able to source the necessary materials from a reliable and reputable supplier at an affordable cost. The company expects to be able to supply needs at a price well below what the current market can offer, and is planning to run 24/7 production to meet volume demands.
If all goes according to plan, WPT Nonwovens will be able to produce surgical masks at a rate of 100,000 per day. N-95 mask production will be 35,000 per day. It is anticipated that the surgical masks will be ready to ship by May 1, and the N-95 masks will be ready by June 1.
WPT Nonwovens has been working with organizations including FEMA, the Kentucky Department of Emergency Management, and others to develop plans for getting the masks where they are needed most.
So far, WPT Nonwovens has invested $500,000 as a private family owned company. According to Travis Robbins, WPT Nonwovens Vice President and General Manager, and the entire WPT Nonwovens’ team is excited to be playing an active role in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.