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Canadian company converts food packaging lines to make face shields


May 8, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Novolex, a Canadian company that develops and manufactures diverse packaging and food service products, has announced it will be making more than two million medical face shields in Canada for use by Health Canada and other potential customers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shields will be used to fulfill the need for more than four million face shields over the next couple of months.

Since March, Novolex has been rapidly converting certified food grade packaging lines to make personal protective equipment (PPE) at more than seven locations in North America, including Polar Pak’s Brampton, Ont., facility that employs more than 800 people.

To date Novolex has launched new COVID-19 face shields and (ASTM) Level 1, 2 and 3 isolation gowns. Novolex expects to be shipping more than six million gowns and two million face shields per month once additional lines are converted to PPE production. This capacity will remain available for the duration of the emergency in North America.

“It has been absolutely amazing to see our engineering, manufacturing and marketing team develop, trial and launch new products in a matter of weeks,” said Adrianne Tipton, Novolex’s senior vice president of innovation. “These are processes that can take months or years but have been achieved in a much shorter timeframe.”

The rapid development of the face shields that will be distributed to front line healthcare workers in Canada involved review of multiple design concepts. To manufacture the final design, the Polar Pak team applied state-of-the-art tool and die technology to create the moulds for the headgear while colleagues cut the visor components from plastic sheeting also produced on the Polar Pak campus.

“Everyone at the Novolex Polar Pak facility is tremendously proud to be contributing to our country’s response to COVID-19,” said Samir Parikh, director of product development at Polar Pak who led the face shield product development team in Brampton. “Converting our technology and know-how to help meet this enormous public health need has provided a tremendous source of satisfaction for all of us.”

Novolex operates 61 manufacturing plants in North America and Europe, including two world-class plastic film recycling facilities.


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