Blown film processor Petoskey Plastics has shifted some of its capacity to make non-surgical isolation gowns to support healthcare workers and patients during the COVID-19 crisis. Initial capacity for this new product is 10,000 gowns/day, with plans to increase production at its plant in Petoskey, Mich.
“In less than five days, we’ve gone through conceptual designs, samples, re-tooling of equipment, and now we are ramping up for production to support our medical friends in need,” said Jason Keiswetter, Petoskey Plastics president, in a press release.
Keiswetter said that Petoskey will be collaborating with other blown-film processors around the world to help them make a similar transition. The production line had been making protective car-seat covers for automotive OEMs.
“In less than five days, we’ve gone through conceptual designs, samples, re-tooling of equipment, and now we are ramping up for production to support our medical friends in need.”
In a press release, Petoskey Plastics said it worked closely with infection- prevention experts at McLaren Health Care to develop the prototype. Said Todd Burch, CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan, “This urgent, proactive action by Petoskey Plastics will help maintain the safety of thousands of patients and staff across the state of Michigan. Petoskey Plastics is setting an example for what Michigan manufacturers can do to support health-care institutions during this crisis.”
Keiswetter added, “Once we identified the apron as a potential fit, we immediately came together as a company. I’m very proud of our engineers, plant associates, and sales team for quickly identifying a workable solution.”
Petoskey Plastics is no stranger to making film products for medical applications. It makes blood and viral barrier protective film (ASTM F1671), as well as autoclave and biohazard bags for large national accounts and distributors.
Film for the non-surgical isolation gown is a three-layer, PE-based barrier blue structure. Available in a one-size-fits-all apron design, isolation gowns are essential to the medical field, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, because they help protect healthcare workers and patients from the spread of illness and transfer of potentially harmful microorganisms.
Due to the heavy volume of support and urgent needs, and in order to adhere to company standards, Petoskey is asking anyone inquiring about isolation gowns to visit here, then click on links to submit an email and complete a new supplier packet. Petoskey says an associate will be in touch within 48 hr. Keiswetter noted, “Our goal here is to make sure gowns get to the right people without wasting valuable time.”