Illinois-based Novation Industries reaches unprecedented production volumes for face protection products in response to increased demand due to COVID-19

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Novation Industries works around-the-clock producing face protection products during Covid-19 health crisis.

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Novation Industries

“Novation is a fantastic partner. We met with them within days of a call from the US federal government to get production started and strategized how to significantly increase production volume and Novation was able to immediately respond.”

Novation Industries®, an Illinois-based injection molding and vertically integrated product production company, received increased production orders for personal protection equipment (PPE) and rapidly replied to demand. Increased order volume, which started in April and will continue at least through September, includes molding and complete product assembly of face protection products.

Novation produces the PPE for an existing customer, a global safety products company, which recently contracted with the U.S. Federal Government to provide an array of safety products to meet a nationwide spike in demand for healthcare, laboratory and industrial work environments. Scott Baxter, president of Novation Industry, commented about the supplier partnership, “Our company’s longstanding 10-plus years of working together helped to provide for a rapid deployment and production response time. Without the tools and production processes already in place we couldn’t have achieved the rapid ramp-up period and turn products around so quickly.”    

The global product manager for the safety products company offers insight on the partnership with Novation. “For the initial order of products, we received a call directly from a Federal Government agency to produce as many face protection products as we could and ship them directly to government locations across the country for distribution to health crisis hot spots,” stated the company product manager. “Novation is a fantastic partner. We met with them within days of a call from the US federal government to get production started and strategized how to significantly increase production volume and Novation was able to immediately respond.”

Around-the-clock operations were required to keep up with demand, states Baxter, “We had three shifts dedicated to producing products to fulfill these critical shipments. During the initial weeks of startup, all of our employees, including engineers, administrative staff and even the CEO could be found on the production floor ensuring that our shipments were on time.”

Novation has produced safety products since 2011. In addition to the face shields, Novation produces safety goggles, welding masks and a large line of hard hat helmets used in a variety of applications. With longstanding and extensive experience in engineering and producing chemical and environmental safety products, including impact-resistant resins and specialty materials, they were able to ensure delivery of a high level of quality and integrity during the health crisis.

Novation’s commitment to on-time delivery included an immediate investment in tripling its production labor pool and an additional investment in new injection molding tools to allow for concurrent production lines. Novation also capitalized $120,000 in automation, including labeling and packaging equipment, to ensure a high level of throughput. According to Baxter, the project has had a positive impact on local employment and around the McHenry, IL area.

With a weekly production volume of tens of thousands of personal protection products, combined with the anticipation of shortages of specialized safety resins and parts, Novation saw a need to finance the procurement of as much raw materials as they could procure upfront for production through September. Company personnel at Novation preordered the full supply of production and raw materials to avoid any shortages and mitigate risks that could delay delivery of products to health networks.

Novation commented that they will continue to produce PPE products beyond the September deadline to assist with future stock piling and to ensure national supplies are available for both the healthcare and industrial segments in case of another unexpected crisis. “We don’t see the long-term forecast for these safety products going back to where they were. They won’t be at pandemic level but certainly at two-to-three times where they have been.”

Novation Industries was established in 1967 and specializes in injection molding and manufacturing services including design, sourcing, contract manufacturing, and logistics. The company’s core ideology drives innovation, efficiency and a customer-centric focus. Novation Industries has considerable expertise within diverse markets and has worked with major consumer products, medical, automotive and merchandising manufacturers to provide product development solutions.

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Kate Feuling
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