WPT Nonwovens 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. According to company Vice President and General Manager, Travis Robbins, the decision to act was made following requests from state and local officials looking for Kentucky manufacturers willing to assist with the production of much needed supplies for managing the COVID 19 crisis.
WPT Nonwovens has purchased two fully-automated mask-making machines, one for producing surgical masks and one for producing N-95 respirators. We have dedicated 5,000 square feet of our Beaver Dam facility to these two new lines, and are now ready to hire 30 new employees to staff this new production.
Following the acquisition of the new equipment, procuring 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 is due in part to extraordinary price gouging on raw materials in normal supply chain channels. Particularly difficult to procure are the materials required to make the N-95 respirators.
Through the supply chain relationships developed by WPT Nonwovens, we have been able to source the necessary materials from a reliable and reputable supplier at an affordable cost. Robbins says that he is confident WPT Nonwovens will be able to supply needs at a price well below what the current market can offer. Our plan is to produce surgical masks at a rate of 100,000 per day and N-95 masks at 35,000 per day. Production will be operating 24/7 to meet volume demands.
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. We are currently 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, the company has invested $500,000 as a private family owned company. The entire WPT Nonwoven team is proud to be playing an active role in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.