Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership launched the Critical PPE Manufacturing Initiative to provide manufacturers with real-time information, resources, and tools to manufacture urgently-needed medical PPE during this evolving global pandemic. Purdue MEP appreciates each of the manufacturers who have offered their services to assist with COVID-19 PPE production. We are engaged with more than 60 companies in a multitude of efforts, including the removal of barriers to PPE production and getting these critical supplies into the hands of front-line healthcare workers.
A few representative successes are outlined below.
Disposable Thermometer Probe Covers:
- A network of medical specialty businesses and physician groups was experiencing difficulty acquiring disposable thermometer probe covers, which are essential for preventing the spread of illness when using oral thermometers. Purdue MEP succeeded in locating a source for the probe covers and connected them with the health care network's procurement department. Using this supplier, the health care system purchased 5,000 probe covers for their facilities.
Face Masks / Respirators:
- Hospitals around the state and nation are continuing to have difficulty acquiring PPE for their employees. Since early March, Purdue MEP has been actively working to identify suppliers with available inventory of medical PPE and equipment. Purdue MEP recently helped a rural Indiana hospital connect with a supplier who provided them with 4,000 medical-grade face masks.
- Purdue MEP is assisting a large multi-state clothing company with Indiana-sourced N95 materials for immediate COVID-19 production PPE response. This assistance will aid the company in producing up to 150,000 masks per day on an ongoing basis. Several similar local supply requests are also being coordinated by the Purdue MEP team.
- Purdue MEP successfully connected an Indiana manufacturer with a distributor that was able to supply them with 400 KN-95 face masks.
- Wabash National is using their production facilities in Frankfurt to make plastic face shields for their community. Purdue MEP successfully connected them with a Central Indiana healthcare network to get thousands of these urgently-needed face shields to the front lines. For more information about Wabash National’s response to the critical PPE shortage, click here.
- Purdue MEP is working diligently with an Indiana bottle manufacturer, to connect them with manufacturers of hand sanitizer. So far, 3 US manufacturers who have a critical need for plastic bottles have been connected to this Indiana company. Purdue MEP anticipates connecting even more companies in the days and weeks ahead, as these plastic bottles are in high demand.
- Purdue MEP was able to connect an Indiana company that is manufacturing critically-needed oxygen hoods with a local tubing supplier to acquire medical-grade tubing. The tubing was greatly needed to ensure continued production of these important devices.
- Purdue MEP is actively working with a local manufacturer in Fort Wayne with newly established access to facemasks, isolation gowns, gloves, and thermometers and assisting with the resolution of downstream supply chain challenges.
- Purdue MEP is working with a Nebraska-based company seeking a supply of infra-red thermometers. Purdue MEP was successfully able to identify and connect this company with a regional pharmaceutical distributor able to supply the urgently needed thermometers.