Shawmut Corporation creates Health & Safety business unit
Posted February 17, 2021
WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Shawmut Corporation announced the creation of a new Health & Safety business unit that will apply the company’s trademark advanced materials, textile manufacturing and process innovation techniques to producing high-quality, U.S.-made, health and safety products, including its Protex™ line of U.S.-made PPE.
A fourth-generation, family-run, global company with locations in North America, Europe and Asia, Shawmut specializes in manufacturing high-performance advanced materials for a wide range of industries, including automotive, medical, industrial and military applications. Shawmut had historically produced medical-grade barrier fabrics and certain inflatable and orthopedic medical devices but broadened its medical focus in Spring 2020 to include PPE for the COVID-19 pandemic. Shawmut now manufactures medical isolation gowns and surgical barrier fabrics and rapidly developed an N95 particulate respirator that will be available for sale in the coming weeks.
“This is a very exciting time in Shawmut Corporation’s 105-year history, as we delve deeper into the healthcare solutions space,” said CEO James Wyner. “We’re making a significant, long-term commitment to developing innovative U.S.-made health and safety products not only for this period of great need but well beyond so that our country never faces a critical PPE shortage again.”
As part of Shawmut’s commitment to growing this Health and Safety division, the company retrofitted nearly 70,000 square feet of space in its West Bridgewater, Mass., manufacturing facility to produce isolation gowns and N95 respirators. The company also acquired nearly 60 tons of specialized, high-precision meltblown machinery from Germany, installed a fully automated and flexible production system to support its N95 particulate respirator line and installed roughly 50 new assembly lines for gowns and masks, some of which are augmented with advanced robotics capabilities.
A key component of Shawmut’s rapid development process is an expanded materials testing lab and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that will allow Shawmut to test its products on site. The facility’s expansion is expected to create roughly 300 new jobs upon completion.
In addition to the multi-million-dollar facility investment, Shawmut has made several executive expertise hires to support the new business unit, including hiring a veteran of the PPE industry, Steve Walley, as vice president of Sales. Walley will be responsible for the sales growth of the company’s health and safety unit with an immediate focus on scaling its Protex™ medical isolation gown and N95 particulate respirator products.
Shawmut also hired meltblown material manufacturing expert Matthew Lee as plant manager of its meltblown and mask manufacturing operations. Lee has over 20 years of high-end meltblown and nonwoven finishing management experience. Additionally, the company has made key executive investments in marketing, product management and engineering expertise, drawing from major PPE, industrial safety, and healthcare companies to rapidly deploy this new business unit.
“When we started working with the state of Massachusetts and the Federal government back in the spring to provide much-needed medical isolation gowns, we were happy to do our part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,“ Wyner said. “What we’ve learned is our deep background in advanced materials and process innovation makes our team uniquely suited to continue responding to and expanding production of this critically needed solution with a larger and more dedicated business unit. We look forward to helping healthcare and industrial supply chains with a new source of innovative, quality PPE solutions.”
Since its founding in 1916, Shawmut Corporation has been molding the future through advanced materials, textile manufacturing and process innovation across the automotive, medical, protective, performance wear, filtration and defense verticals.
Source: Shawmut Corporation