Competitors no longer: Windsor companies team-up to build domestic PPE industry
WINDSOR, ONT. -- MD Masks Inc. and Harbour Technologies are sharing their experience, engineering and knowledge to protect Canadians.
“We all felt that the PPE marketplace is taken advantage of and it’s time to pull it in and create jobs,” says Andrew Glover, engineering manager for Harbour Technologies.
“We're not competing here, we are trying to manufacture PPE and equipment in our own country, for our people and whoever else needs it,” says Maggie Gurun, owner MD Masks Inc
Gurun and her husband Dario, started their business in mid-2020 after months of research into medical masks.
She left retirement to start the business “he said why is it that we have to import them, we can do it here.”
They worked with Harbour Technologies, on the manufacturing side.
Harbour has been in business for 45 years, initially in the automotive sector but in recent years diversified to the nuclear and aerospace industries.
“Most of the equipment came from overseas and we realized that there was definitely a need for high-volume manufacturing within Canada.”
The company makes medical masks, N95’s, surgical gowns and is currently testing the equipment to make face shields.
According to the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation, more than 50 local companies are working on the pandemic response.
“Companies that are making molds for faceshields, and molds for ventilator parts, companies making hospital beds,” says Wendy Stark, manager of business retention for WEEDC.
Of those companies, Stark says more than 60 per cent plan to continue this line of work after the immediate threat of COVID is gone.
“This is going to be for decades. We need PPE manufacturing within our own countries,” says Glover.
Gurun too says they are in this business, for the long-term.
“We didn't get into this to compete,” says Gurun.
Both companies sell their masks online at www.atmis.ca and Harbour is even offering free, local delivery to companies in need of masks.