The installation of new equipment has given Interflex the capacity to manufacture half a million face masks every week as part the company’s expansion into the PPE market.
With automotive production still recovering from the measures imposed to manage Covid-19, the company has diversified into other areas that complement their staff skills base and production facilities, with PPE an obvious fit. The PPE production line now supplements the company’s established market in automotive parts production.
Masks that conform to European standards
The purchase and installation of the specialised machinery in September enables Interflex to manufacture three-ply surgical style face masks, types 2 and 2R. The disposable masks conform to European standards and offer 98% bacterial filtration with a 40-hour wear time.
Managing Director Jim Griffin explains that the process of switching parts of the factory to PPE production required additional training, but that it was relatively straightforward to set up a new production line.
“Although we have a well-established staff who are experienced in manufacturing insulation parts, they have had instruction in using the new equipment to ensure safe and efficient operation,” he says. “The machine was bought from China and modified to ensure that the masks meet regulatory requirements as well as the demanding quality standards that we have in the UK.”
Continuing automotive parts production
Interflex is now also fully operational making parts for the automotive industry, including a high-performance range of NVH and sealing solutions for vehicles from door seals to under carpet to reduce the impact of air, water, dust and noise. They are also continuing to coat and cut materials such as the fabric used for arm rests in cars.
As experts in materials manufacture, Jim feels that the expansion into PPE production was a natural fit for the business. He comments: “The selection of materials has been key to ensure that we have a high quality, traceable product, so we have sourced all our materials from the EU. However, as a British manufacturer we aim to source all the materials in the UK over the next few months to ensure a reliable domestic supply chain using British materials, with British assembly to meet UK standards.”
Creating a clean manufacturing area
Interflex has also invested in a new packaging machine and a revamped production area which enables the segregation of mask production from the rest of the factory to ensure a clean manufacturing environment, from production through to sealed packaging.
With the facility to supply printed three-ply masks, Interflex is also looking at producing a seasonal range of disposable masks for Christmas, as well as fashion prints and bespoke corporate branding including logos and sports team colours. Products are sold under the Pinnacle brand which was created especially for the production and distribution of PPE.
Jim reports that now all staff are back from furlough, production of both automotive components and PPE is in full swing. “The diversification into PPE has supplemented our work in the automotive sector and production is currently split 50/50. With the new machine enhancing production capacity, we anticipate this to continue for the foreseeable future.”
For more information, or to visit the web shop, visit www.pinnacleppe.co.uk/.
Innovative NVH for the motor industry
Interflex manufacture innovative acoustic, NVH and sealing solutions for the car manufacturing industry. To find out more, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01949 861494.
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