As news broke in March 2020 about the shortage of PPE, DuPont received several inquiries about purchasing DuPont™ Tyvek® roll stock from companies looking to make additional PPE to meet the needs for the pandemic response. In April 2020, DuPont launched the #TyvekTogether program, making available a limited-release Tyvek® fabric – Tyvek® 1222A – to help increase the overall supply of Tyvek® to the front lines.
To make this new supply chain option feasible, DuPont needed to collaborate with a converter that could convert master rolls of Tyvek®, which are 120 inches wide, and 39-inch OD rolls, and slit and rewind them to a smaller package size that could be handled easily by the new companies looking to make PPE.
DuPont reached out to Material Concepts to help fill this very important role in the value chain. Material Concepts has been a long-term customer and converter of Tyvek® for over 21 years, supplying Tyvek® for archival, art, graphics, consumer jackets, and packaging applications.
“DuPont needed to quickly identify partners to help manufacture PPE from this new Tyvek® material. Gerber Technology had formed a PPE task force to help bring together companies with converting capabilities and hospitals and facilities looking for PPE. We collaborated with Gerber Technology as the PPE matchmaking clearinghouse and advisor, and Material Concepts as the converter and sampling engine for the #TyvekTogether project,” said Elizabeth Briggs, North America Marketing Leader for DuPont Personal Protection.
“We started with over 100 inquiries for Tyvek® material and we sent sample rolls for evaluation to these potential PPE manufacturers. Each one of those leads was treated as a top prospect. Ultimately, we had eight customers that became domestic PPE suppliers for the COVID response. We converted the master rolls of Tyvek® to 1000-yard rolls that could be handled by the customers,” according to Doug Kohn, President of Material Concepts.
Left to Right: Joseph Palentino (Warehouse) / George Kohn (CEO) / Douglas Kohn (COO)
"When the pandemic first hit, we were concerned that our business would slow down. However, through our involvement with the #TyvekTogether project, our team was busier than ever. During the program, we processed over 37 truckloads of Tyvek® material in 5 months. We were committed to keeping our team safe during this time, so we implemented all of the safety protocols set by the CDC. I am really proud of our team as they all stepped up to convert an amazing amount of Tyvek® material while also dealing with the personal concerns of the COVID-19 crisis.”
William Hildebrand (Sales)
“Our team of 23 employees was proud to be making a difference in helping produce additional Tyvek® PPE to support the needs of the frontline workers. We helped support the production of over 4.5 million Tyvek® garments as part of the #TyvekTogether project,” said Kohn.
“We are extremely grateful for the long-term relationship we have with Material Concepts and we appreciate their willingness and strong collaboration in supporting the needs for Tyvek® rolls during the pandemic response. Both Material Concepts and Gerber Technology demonstrated excellent teamwork, speed, and dedication as we worked together to meet the needs of frontline responders. They are truly heroes in the process of supporting the PPE needs of our frontline heroes!” said David Domnisch, Global Business Director, DuPont Personal Protection.
For additional information about Material Concepts or to purchase Tyvek® roll stock, contact MaterialConcepts.com
To meet the growing need for PPE in the fight against COVID-19, we’re increasing capacity of Tyvek® protective fabric and working with our partners to get it to the front lines quickly.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, we're working around the clock to deliver solutions that help with prevention and control, while keeping our employees safe.
Tyvek® for PPE delivers comfortable and durable protective garments that protect against a wide range of chemical threats and hazards.