Simply funds face shield production for Covid-19 frontline staff
Specialist SME funder Simply Asset Finance has helped a packaging manufacturing customer adapt its business model to create face visors for frontline nursing and care home staff as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Enviropax, which employs 40 staff and is based in Merseyside, UK, has announced the delivery of 25,000 complimentary visors to key workers in the North West of England.
Enviropax is a specialist thermoformed packaging manufacturer designing and producing 100% recycled food packaging for supermarkets.
As soon as news of the continued lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for essential services hit the headlines, the business decided to invest in the equipment it needed which would enable it to broaden its offering to produce the i-Visor, a 100% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) face visor for staff on the frontline.
It took four days for Enviropax to create the design and receive feedback from Preston Royal Hospital. The i-Visor was then modified and within three days of receiving the new machinery, the initial 25,000 items were manufactured and have been distributed to frontline staff across the region.
Enviropax was able to obtain the tooling for the machinery required thanks to a financing package that Simply, a non-bank owned funder, arranged.
As an existing customer, Simply was able to put the funding in place to enable Enviropax to manufacture PPE for frontline staff during the pandemic.
Mike Randall, chief executive of Simply, said: “We contacted Simon because we wanted to do something constructive to help the relief effort and came up with this plan together.
We were able to fund the machinery requirements quickly and remotely through our digitised system, making it very simple for the Enviropax team to make the purchase and start production immediately.
Simon Malcolm, director at Enviropax, said: “The current environment has resulted in less demand for our normal offering, so it made sense for us to diversify and do something positive in this current environment.
"The fact that we were talking to Simply at the same time indicated right away that with their invaluable support, we could create something very useful. Everyone at Enviropax is very excited that we are helping in such an innovative way and we hope that we can meet demand.”
The i-Visors are designed for single-use and, because they are made from 100% PET, they are fully recyclable. They are currently undergoing formal BSI testing for certification and CE marking to make them suitable for NHS use.
The visors are also sold for commercial use, the company said.
Enviropax can now produce up to 500,000 i-Visors a week for frontline staff.