Canadian Manufacturing

North Star Windows manufactures PPE for frontline workers

The face shields were made to Federal Government Guidelines for both material and size

June 5, 2020  by CM Staff

PHOTO: North Star

ST. THOMAS, Ont. – A local window and door manufacturer, North Star Windows & Doors, has shifted production to include production of personal protection equipment (PPE) that has been in increased demand since COVID-19.

With locations in St. Thomas and Woodbridge, North Star has partnered with various vendors to design and source the materials required to produce face shields for frontline workers in the community, such as medical practitioners, personal support workers,and even factory employees who have close human contact.

With the reported difficulties of securing PPE for frontline workers and employers who are bringing their workforces back with the phased lifting of distancing restrictions, North Star has expanded current production capabilities at their St. Thomas plant to enable up to 3,000 high-quality face shields to be manufactured per week.

“North Star has been supporting the COVID-19situation by repurposing some of our assembly lines into producing facial protection equipmentfor the community,” said Glenn Schmitchen,engineering manager, in a prepared statement. “At the start of the outbreak, the Engineering and Maintenance team began to brainstorm how we could support frontline efforts by leveraging new capacitiesin cutting,existing raw materials, and like-minded suppliers to quickly produce a good that was in need.The result is a PPE product that is effective, affordable, and easily accessible.”

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After a series of prototypes, the team created a face mask that features Lexan,the clear plastic for the shield, manufactured in Ontario and supplied by Polymer shapes, a headband made from SuperSpacer, a silicone product for energy-efficient windows,supplied by Quanex IG Systems in Cambridge, Ohio, and a forehead pad from modified patio door roller shim, purchased from Adev Profom Inc. in Laval, Quebec.

The face shields were made to Federal Government Guidelines for both material and size. The design was finalized based on feedback from a local hospitalto ensure usability and comfort.

“Safety, innovation, high quality products, and social responsibility are all values that North Star Windows & Doors lives by every day of the year,” said Sheldon Dyck, general manager of North Star, in a statement. “We are proud of our team and our partners for coming together to produce a product that will keep our hardworking frontline workers and their families safe.”


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