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Supplier Stories for the Week of April 26

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of April 26, with many suppliers responding to needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Celestica Inc.

    Celestica Inc. has announced a collaboration with Medtronic to produce subassemblies for Medtronic Puritan Bennett 980 (PB980) ventilators, which are designed for critically ill patients in high acuity settings, including those with severe respiratory illness such as COVID-19. 

    “We are committed to supporting Medtronic with critical manufacturing and supply chain support for high grade ventilators that are in urgent demand for COVID-19 patient care,” shared Kevin Walsh, Vice President, HealthTech, Celestica, in a news release. “This agreement takes our decade-long collaboration to the next level and is a reflection of the trust that Medtronic has placed in Celestica to help them meet unprecedented global demand in these challenging times.”

    Celestica offers support to medical device manufacturers for every stage of product development, including design, manufacturing, hardware platform, and supply chain solutions. Celestica reported that its collaboration with Medtronic is just one example of how the company is enabling its customers to increase production of critical medical devices and equipment to help improve the outcome for COVID-19 patients. Celestica provided the following examples:

    • Increasing production of a portable ultrasound device used by doctors to quickly perform lung scans of patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Scaling to meet increasing demand for automated blood analyzer devices used in the testing process for COVID-19.
    • Adding additional capacity to support the immediate production for a range of products including respiratory monitors and diagnostic systems that will be delivered to hospitals and temporary medical facilities.


    [Image courtesy of CELESTICA INC.]

    Celestica Inc.
  • Keystone Solutions Group

    Keystone Solutions Group has designed and produced disposable face shields and passed part of such production to Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan. Goodwill will directly sell the face shields under the brand 420 EAST, while Keystone will continue to act as the distributor, Keystone reported in a news release.

    Offering medical device companies engineering, product development, and manufacturing services, Keystone provides complete and scalable solutions from development through manufacturing. Keystone and Goodwill have enjoyed more than a decade of partnership.

    “We are grateful to have a partner to help us produce this highly in-demand product,” said Vaughn Gerber, director of central engineering at Keystone, in a news release. “Together, we can help supply healthcare and other workers with the equipment needed to keep them safe.”

    The partnership will increase the manufacturing capacity of the face shields, while also providing an opportunity for the Goodwill workforce, Keystone reported. The face shields can be purchased in cases of 50 at $3 per piece, and orders can be placed through Goodwill or through Keystone by emailing [email protected]

    [Image courtesy of KEYSTONE SOLUTIONS GROUP]

    Keystone Solutions Group
  • West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.

    West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. is donating $1 million across multiple organizations contributing to society during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, West is making a $200,000 donation to the American Red Cross (ARC) and $100,000 donations to each of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO (World Health Organization), American Nurses Foundation, No Kid Hungry, and Philabundance.

    “A defining characteristic of West is our commitment to put people first—our customers, their patients, our team members and others in need—and these donations are one way we can demonstrate that ‘we are by your side’ during these challenging times,” said Annette Favorite, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at West, in a news statement. “In addition, we’ve been working to provide a steady supply of products for customers, including those who are working hard to bring diagnostics, anti-viral therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19 to market. This has been an incredible effort by our teams worldwide.”

    West offered additional details about the donations as follows:

    • The donation to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, a global effort led by the WHO, supports WHO and the work of its partners to track and understand the spread of the virus, to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information, and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments.
    • West’s donation to ARC will support its national healthcare and emergency response efforts. This donation adds to West’s 2020 commitment to ARC, which has included the purchase of an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) to be deployed in response to COVID-19.
    • Other organizations being supported through West donations include: the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses; No Kid Hungry, supporting food-insecure children during the pandemic; Philabundance, a member of Feeding America; and additional local support in the markets where West employees live and work including food pantries and organizations providing community services.



    West Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
  • Superior Felt & Filtration

    Superior Felt & Filtration LLC, a sub-component filter manufacturer for disposable surgical hood, N95 mask component, BFE/VFE, and ventilator filter applications, has tripled capacity over the last 2 months and will be expanding to meet global needs for PPE and medical filtration. Superior Felt & Filtration utilizes Technostat electrostatic filter media from Hollingsworth & Vose and has partnered with Honeywell, GM, Ventec, and Philips in the fight against COVID-19.

    To meet the growing need for PPE and filtration for first responders and hospitals, Superior Felt & Filtration is expanding its operations to include new facilities and highly advanced manufacturing equipment. It has recently invested in five new pieces of manufacturing equipment that will allow more capacity for media collating and slitting as well as the manufacturing of sub-component filters and other nonwoven technology. And in June 2020, Superior Felt & Filtration will expand into an additional 75,000-sq-ft control room facility.

    With a collaborative research and development team, Superior Felt & Filtration is contributing to more efficient and versatile designs to meet the needs of an ever-expanding filtration market.

    Said Frank Porto, director of sales, in a news release: “We are incredibly proud of our dedicated employees at Superior Felt & Filtration LLC, who have been working tirelessly day and night to fight this pandemic. We can all take pride that our hard work and sacrifices are saving lives on a global scale.”

    [Image courtesy of SUPERIOR FELT & FILTRATION LLC] 

    Superior Felt & Filtration
  • Dukane

    Dukane was enlisted by Esys Automation, a JR Automation company, to supply ultrasonic bonding systems to produce masks. Under an aggressive timeline, Esys and JR Automation were building an assembly line for General Motors capable of producing 50,000 masks a day, and GM needed the equipment running in less than one week.

    The Dukane team met March 22 to discuss the project, which entailed delivering two of the first five systems by Wednesday, March 25 and the remaining be delivered by Monday, March 30. To design and manufacture a bonding system for this application, Dukane needed to complete:

    • Custom designed tooling
    • Modeling of the tooling
    • Manufacturing of the tooling
    • Testing the tooling
    • Virtual 3D Design Review


    Dukane shipped the first two systems on March 24 and the three remaining systems three days ahead of schedule on March 27.

    "Dukane is proud to do our part to support the health care heroes and combat this pandemic, alongside Esys Automation, JR Automation, and General Motors. Dukane believes that “It’s the connection that counts”, this connection we know will make an impact both big and small," the company stated in a news release.

    [Image courtesy of DUKANE]


  • Metro Mold & Design (MMD) is molding components for disposable face shields, helping to quickly build the country’s supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining the Stratasys 150-company coalition, MMD has successfully adapted Stratasys’ 3D-printed visor frame for injection molding to accelerate the ability to meet the PPE requirements needed to begin reopening America, the company shared in a news release.

    Stratasys's coalition was launched to digitally print face shields, each consisting of a visor frame and a plastic protective shield that are packaged with elastic bands and distributed to hospitals and healthcare facilities. But high demand pushed Stratasys to find an injection molding partner that could scale production, MMD reported.

    Receiving an order for 100,000 components, MMD engineers needed to build a tool and move it into production in just nine days, dramatically shrinking what was a six-to-eight-week process. MMD partnered with Maple Grove, MN-based Tooling Science to build the tool in days, not weeks.

    “We were all-hands-on deck, working nights and weekends to make this happen,” stated Ben Lampron, MMD vice president, in the release. “I am so proud of the MMD team who was relentless in meeting this goal. I specifically want to thank Tony Hanson, project engineer, who retrofit the tool design, and Pat Bell, process engineer, who completed the press set-up – both in record time – as well as Rob Hendel, director of operations, for his leadership on the floor." The goal was to produce 20,000 visor frames per week.

    “PPE supply is one of the gaps states have to close to safely reopen their communities. We were privileged to join Stratasys’ efforts,” added Lampron. “This is real American ingenuity at work, with companies coming together with a common goal of beating the virus and getting America back to work.”

    [Image courtesy of METRO MOLD & DESIGN]


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