Canadian Manufacturing

The Canadian Shield launches medical mask manufacturing automation and vision systems

The Canadian Shield has partnered with local automation companies to design and manufacture proprietary medical mask production cells and vision systems

March 16, 2021  by CM Staff

WATERLOO — The Canadian Shield has announced the launch of their newly designed Medical Mask Automation and Vision Systems. This technology enables The Canadian Shield to competitively compete with overseas manufacturers, and sell their turnkey medical mask manufacturing lines and vision systems to other producers around the world to improve their operations.

“What started as a response to a critical shortage of PPE for our frontline healthcare workers has transformed into a high-tech enterprise, creating Canadian intellectual property and world-leading solutions for globally competitive manufacturing of medical devices,” said Jeremy Hedges, Founder and CEO of The Canadian Shield, in a prepared statement.

In March of 2020, Canada and other nations around the world faced the harsh reality of being dependent on global supply chains for critical pandemic supplies. As a result, countries across the globe have invested in domestic PPE manufacturing capacity to ensure supply and production capabilities in the event of future crises. To make these investments sustainable, domestic manufacturers need to be cost and quality competitive with overseas manufacturers. The Canadian Shield’s Mask Automation and Vision Systems solutions make that possible, according to a company statement.

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Related: A COVID Hero: Canadian Shield’s Pandemic Journey


The manufacturing machinery required for producing PPE, like medical masks themselves, were previously made almost exclusively in countries like China and Malaysia. These countries have different electrical, safety and quality standards, which fail to meet Canada’s requirements for safe use. In many cases, new manufacturers relying on imported equipment have quickly realized that these seemingly cost-effective systems are expensive to modify and maintain, and yield high scrap rates in production. Typical imported systems cost between $70,000 and $85,000 depending on the upgrades and rework required to bring them to Canadian standards. These systems, though advertised at much higher speeds, cap out at around 75 parts per minute, have large downtimes and scrap rates between 15 and 30%, not to mention high maintenance costs for replacement parts. The Canadian Shield alternative is intended to save on both cost and time required to produce PPE.