Local company takes on mammoth challenge to produce hand sanitizer

May 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A local company has switched gears mid-stream to step up operations and help with the current need for hand sanitizer by re-tooling their facility to produce a huge amount of the germ and virus killer for the province.

Applied Lubrication Technology, located on French Drive in Mono, is a leading producer of lubricants for conveyor systems in industry.

The company has clients world-world including manufacturing, mining, and related industries that require specialized lubricants for high intensity operation.

The company has been operating in the Orangeville area for 20 years.

When the call went out from the Ontario government for someone to manufacture hand sanitizer, most companies balked at the idea given the large scale of product needed.

“I don’t think anyone really wanted the contract,” said company CEO John Schippers, of the work involved and the sheer volume of product required. “We had the time and we knew the local hospital, for example, needed it.”

While keeping their current line of product running, the company had to re-tool their operation to start producing the hand sanitizer.

“We already had some of the chemicals we needed to make it,” explained company development manager, Jon Joel. “We had to re-tool and then find people to work here. We have hired 17 new people.”

Company engineers quickly formulated what was needed to make the new product.

The company has been running two shifts as well as working weekends to keep up with production demands and produce the hand sanitizer within the needed time-frame.

They will be producing 640,000 litres of the product which will be distributed around the province. That’s around 80,000 litres per week that is coming off the production line.

“We have a year and a-half’s worth of business and eight weeks to do it,” Mr. Schippers said of the effort the plant will be putting into the project.

The new product line will not only benefit a lot of people in the health care industry, it has helped quite a few local people find employment during a time when a lot of companies have been forced to shut-down and lay people off.

Mr. Schippers said he appreciates the effort his new employee have been putting into the project.

“The people we have hired really want to work,” he said of the enthusiasm displayed by the new hires.

As a thank you, the company is providing some extras for employees to show their appreciation.

While the current COVID-19 pandemic is requiring extra caution and increased awareness in health care facilities, nursing homes, and seniors facilities, the hand sanitizer produced at Applied Lubrication Technology will help stop of the spread of viruses and germs to the most vulnerable members of society.

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