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Ontario invests in machine retooling to manufacture masks


December 3, 2020
By PrintAction Staff

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The Ontario government is investing $550,000 to help two local manufacturers retool their operations in order to increase the capacity of masks manufactured for both adults and children. Funding is being provided through the Ontario Together Fund.

“Wearing masks has become a new reality, but for kids it is not the easiest or most comfortable adjustment to make,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “By working together with our local manufacturers, we are making available the best-fitting disposable masks in order to make the experience as comfortable and as easy for children, and for parents, as possible.”

The two companies that will be receiving funding are:

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Viva Healthcare Packaging, which will receive $450,000 to retool its operations and begin making three-ply, disposable surgical masks in both regular and children’s sizes at its Toronto facility. The funding will go towards modifying its facility to accommodate new equipment and set up new mask production lines. Production will start at 7.5 million masks per month, and is expected to climb to 22.5 million masks per month by March 31, 2021. The medical-grade masks will be ASTM-rated level 1 or 2 and will be developed using locally-sourced materials.

Ckdpack Packaging, which will receive $100,000 to purchase cutting, fabric welding and sewing equipment for its Straffordville facility in southwestern Ontario to automate and expand its current production of surgical masks and disposable gowns. The funding will help the company significantly increase its capacity to make 300,000 certified surgical masks per month, which is a 900 per cent increase from its current production. The company will also manufacture 30,000 gowns per month, which is a 1,400 per cent increase over its current capacity.

“I am incredibly proud that the provincial government is supporting this made-in-Elgin County contribution to our PPE supply chain,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “It is inspiring to see Arun and the team at Ckdpack pivot to address this important need, and for their dedication to our local business community.”

“Viva is extremely honoured to help support Ontario in making Canada more self-sufficient in PPE,” said James Bokla, CEO at Viva Healthcare Packaging. “We are both excited and proud to apply our manufacturing expertise towards helping ensure that shortages never happen again.”

“Support from the Ontario Together Fund has energized Ckdpack into investing in the modernization of its manufacturing capabilities to pivot and produce PPE products locally,” said Arun Modgil, CEO for Ckdpack Packaging Inc. “This joint investment will boost our efforts to develop technology and manufacturing capability to switch between green packaging solutions and PPE products when needed.”

The $50 million Ontario Together Fund was launched to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to safely reopen. The fund is helping the government deliver targeted investments to increase the province’s stockpile of made-in-Ontario products and PPE.