Laboratory and hospital supplier Westlab has moved to automate manufacture of hospital gowns as it extends its range of locally-made personal protection equipment (PPE).
The company, which is also planning for continued competitiveness with imports in a post-Covid-19 business environment, is working on a number of fronts to develop automated production facilities to manufacture isolation gowns level three and four, and sterile gowns level three and four.
The company said: “With the current ability to manufacture gowns by hand, we feel this is a very slow procedure and the pricing will not work in a post-Covid market.
“Westlab have engaged machine engineers to develop a fully automated gown manufacturing facility that will produce a high quality gown with bonded seams with zero tolerance and the ability to manufacture up to 10 gowns per minute.”
Target production is 15,000 isolation gowns and 5,000 sterile gowns per day.
Westlab’s daily production is already 25,000 reusable face shields, 35,000 disposable face shields, 10,000 disinfectant wipes, 35,000 litres of hand sanitiser gel and 9,500 litres of surface disinfectant spray.
Westlab said that bringing manufacturing back to Australia was one of its ‘core motivations’ following the supply chain shock that had made the provision of essential medical products increasingly difficult.
“A critical aspect of local manufacturing is ensuring you have a very reliable source of raw material to enable no hold ups in the production process.
“The supply chain team at Westlab had a distinct focus on sourcing material locally and we are proud to announce each of our Australian Made products rely on raw material from within Australia.”
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