“The ProtectON face shield can be sterilized and reused, which is a great improvement over other designs”
“The ProtectON face shield can be sterilized and reused, which is a great improvement over other designs, reduces the cost of personal protective equipment and ensures that we are doing our part to protect the environment,” said Donald Champagne. , president of North Bay Plastic Molders.
“Together we’ve designed a product that’s superior to anything on the market… and it’s not made in China,” said Champagne.
The partnership that made it possible was celebrated on Friday at the Champagne plant off Highway 94 in East Ferris, which will begin manufacturing 150,000 units per month as of Monday. Already an international supplier of engineered casting products, he said they have the capacity to make a million shields per month.
The Mayor of East Ferris, Pauline Rochefort, congratulated everyone for joining forces on the project and praised the fact that it is produced locally. She earned laughs and applause by pointing out that the East Ferris logo is missing alongside the Ontario and Canadian made symbols on marketing materials.
Connor Janeteas of Javelin Technologies Inc. described how the product was born at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our team started creating 3D printed prototypes early on in the pandemic to meet the urgent need for locally produced PPE,” Janeteas said. “While additive manufacturing was fantastic for development and initial production, we knew that a switch to traditional manufacturing technology would improve the economics of production and ultimately protect more Canadians.
“Fortunately, Javelin has a 10 year relationship with Canadore College and ICAMP, which has become a force in bringing ideas to market, and they coordinated putting together a team.
He said ProtectON was developed with input from clinicians and frontline workers and manufactured to meet or exceed CSA and ANSI standards. TWG Communications created the ProtectON marketing materials and website.
George Burton, president of Canadore, said iCAMP’s goal is to help companies meet market needs and that they have helped bring ProtectON partners together while supporting them in the design, development and testing. Financial support has come from the province and the federal government, he said, citing FedNor and Ontario’s response to the Innovation Fund as well as client contributors.
The four components that will be packaged for shipping and assembled by the end user, reducing the number of hands on the product and ensuring all materials are clean and safe to use out of the box.
Nipissing MP Vic Fedeli and Nipissing-Temiskaming MP Anthony Rota also spoke at the event.
Rota joined the Zoom teleconference from her Ottawa office.
“It’s really a team effort, with people coming together,” Rota said, noting that the majority of the materials used in the production come from Ontario.
Fedeli highlighted how North Bay Plastic Molders has evolved from producing mining products sent around the world to produce the PPE they so badly need in these difficult times.
“It’s the spirit of innovation… it’s the spirit of Ontario,” Fedeli said.
Peter Chirico, President of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, hosted the event. Chirico concluded the ceremony by highlighting the logos made in Ontario and Canada, emphasizing the need for everyone to recognize how important it is for shoppers to shop locally when ordering their PPE supplies.