Molded Precision Components (MPC) has spent $8 million to retool to build the first Canadian-made face shields in collaboration with Sterling Industries of Toronto, a medical device manufacturer.
MPC is an engineering and injecting moulding company that manufacturers for the automotive industry but business dried up with the COVID-19 outbreak, so company president David Yeaman went to work on finding a new product to make that would also keep his staff employed.
MPC and Sterling design and develop the face shield together. The packing and distributing is done in Toronto to government agencies and others who need the shields.
“We are experts in plastic injection moulding and not medical device manufacturing. Working together allowed each company to use their expertise.” said Yeaman.
The face shields have the stamp of approval from Health Canada.
When production is ramped up in the next few weeks, Yeaman expects to produce 300,000 face shields a day.
His goal is to continue producing face shields as a post-COVID business.
“As a country, Canada is sourcing globally for personal protective equipment (PPE) that is important to us,” said Yeaman. “We need to be more self-sufficient within our country, have more cost control on what’s coming in and which will allow us to continue post-COVID with this business.”
If Canada continues to allow China to be delivering PPE’s post-Covid, then Yeaman said it would be very difficult to continue producing face shields and be profitable business afterwards.
Yeaman said he is banking on Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that post-COVID the business will be long-lasting.
“The investment was truly massive.” said Yeaman. “I am expecting a post-COVID business, but we are going to need that government support to do that and to ensure that the Canadian government themselves is at least buying from Canadian companies instead of overseas.”
By producing face shields, Yeaman has kept his 55 employees on the job and has added 15 positions since then. He expects to add another 25 people and another 20 positions will be available at Sterling.
“There is strict protocol in place to protect our staff. The first priority in-house is to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.”
Yeaman said the employees are excited about contributing to the battle against the virus.
“We have bonded together like no other. We are looking forward to post-COVID. The relationships and bonds knowing we did this together. It’s phenomenal and amazing what they’re doing. It’s all about the people.”