Photo credit: Nikki Wesley, Oakville Beaver

Oakville Businesses Respond to the Call for PPEs

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Oakville businesses dedicate talent and resources to address the national crisis for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. 

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Canada, there is an urgent need to address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers. The federal and provincial governments have released a call to Canadian companies to provide supplies and innovative solutions to support Canada’s pandemic response.

Oakville businesses are rising to the challenge, dedicating talent and resources to address the national crisis. The following companies have scaled operations, retooled production, and worked in partnership to find innovative solutions to respond to the call:

  • ASTOUND: Created plexiglass screening to protect frontline healthcare workers during patient intake at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
  • Ford Motor Company of Canada: Donated 80 N95 masks to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and 2,900 pairs of Nitrile gloves to Brampton Civic Hospital. Ford has retooled a portion of its Windsor Engine Plant to produce 100,000 plastic protective face shields to be donated to healthcare workers in Ontario and across Canada. Engineers from the Oakville plant are assisting other manufacturers of PPE in Canada and dedicated teams will continue to monitor the COVID-19 impact and explore new solutions. 
  • Promation: Several employees, on their own initiative, began printing face shield frames on their own 3D printers. This evolved into a re-design using mass manufacturing technology to reduce production time. Promation then partnered with a local laser cutting company to manufacture 650 face shield frames per day using 3D printing technology. They are also partnering with University of Waterloo to evaluate face shield visor materials as current materials are being depleted. To meet Canada’s urgent need for ventilators, the company is also working with the University Health Network, Canada’s largest research organization, to design and produce a scalable working ventilator prototype. Promation has mobilized support from industry partners to begin production once the prototype is approved.
  • Virox Technologies Inc.: Scaled operations to produce disinfectant solutions, protocols, and education to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Virox is running production 24/7 to meet demand.

Oakville’s international community has also come forward to provide support. The town’s Chinese Sister City of Huai’an has generously donated 12,000 masks to the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, delivered by Mayor Burton on April 8, 2020. The town formalized a Sister City agreement with Huai’an in 2015 with a view to promote friendship and economic development.

This is an overview of first steps taken by the Oakville business community to work collaboratively to combat COVID-19. Good news stories are emerging daily - to stay informed and explore opportunities to participate in Canada's response to the pandemic, visit Invest Oakville's Business Resources.