A few highlights of news and analysis in the personal protective equipment industry:
- Some “temporary” business adaptations became permanent. Cadillac Products, a film extruder and converter that had been focused on the automotive industry, began making protective gowns in the spring of 2020. Since then, the company decided to make this a part of its permanent business operations, not only helping establish a US production base for these gowns but also diversifying Cadillac Products’ customer base. The company expects to offer a full line of medical gowns, expanding beyond Level 3 types, by February 2021. It won’t be the only company to find the PPE market profitable and remain there.
- COVID-19 outbreaks in manufacturing plants still hurt deliveries. In November, Top Glove Corporation of Malaysia – a major global supplier of rubber gloves – announced that it would have to close some of its 36 gloves factories for a few weeks after thousands of its workers tested positive for the coronavirus. Although the company noted that it will shift orders to some unaffected factories, delivery of existing orders could be delayed by as long as four weeks, with new orders pushed even further back. Such outbreaks are still common, so buyers of PPE still need to keep their options open and their supply chains diversified, buying in bulk or in advance whenever possible. The need for refilled national and local stockpiles of gloves and other emergency equipment remains.
- Single-use PPE leads to a lot of w Some creative entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas to keep discarded PPE items from landfills or from showing up elsewhere as litter. For instance, Binesh Desai – known as the “Recycle Man of India” – has developed a brick product made with discarded nonwoven masks, gowns, and other PPE. Expect other eco-minded innovators to create similar offerings as well.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Global Disposable Medical Gloves: COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Global Disposable Masks & Respirators: COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Global Spunbond Nonwovens: COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Global Meltblown Nonwovens: COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Global Nonwovens, US Nonwovens, US Medical Nonwovens, and Global Disposable Medical Supplies. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.