Medical supplier Softmed has announced it will manufacture a range of personal protective equipment, for local and export markets, and run an in-house certified testing lab.
The Australian Financial Review reports that Softmed has invested over $30 million in its Campbellfield factory, with capacity for 240 million masks annually. 180 million of these would be three-ply surgical masks and 60 million P2/N95 respirators.
Partner Mick Shaheen said that the plans for the procurement business to move into manufacturing date back to the summer bushfires.
“Australia had a massive shortage of PPE and everything was being imported from overseas. We knew Australia needed to be self-sufficient to sustain the population and the medical industry … and we can manufacture it locally from A to Z,” he told The AFR.
“Mask use will decrease, but we need to be prepared for pandemics and any natural disasters that may happen, so we will have a stockpile of PPE for emergencies.”
The company expects to gain National Association of Testing Authorities accreditation for testing shortly, following CSIRO’s launch of an accredited mask testing facility earlier this month.
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