Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario expanding capacity with provincially-made respirators and masks

Manufacturing personal protective equipment and medical devices will create almost 100 jobs

December 10, 2020  by CM Staff

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing more than $5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to help three companies produce respirators and surgical masks for frontline and healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19.

O2 Canada is getting more than $1.8 million to design double-filtered, soft-sealed and reusable respirators that will filter particulates, bacteria and viruses. The project will create 50 jobs in Kitchener and 25 at Barrie, Ont.-based Jomi Technical Services, who partnered with O2 to manufacture the respirator.

Almost $1.5 million is going to RONCO, a Concord, Ont. manufacturer of personal protective equipment, to increase capacity to manufacture surgical masks and respirators currently produced in China. The company will establish three production lines to make more than 3 million masks each month and add one N95 respirator production line to make up to 260,000 respirators.

Ontario is also investing $2 million in Swenco Ltd., a Waterloo, Ont. manufacturer of safety products to establish a new production facility to make ASTM level 1, 2 and 3 surgical masks. The investment will lead to 24 jobs.

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Swenco’s facility will house eight machines to make the masks with nano fibres. The project will also add testing machinery to conduct filter testing and equipment for bagging, boxing and laser marking.