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Notts automotive manufacturer diversifies into PPE production

Notts automotive manufacturer diversifies into PPE production

A Nottinghamshire company that manufactures parts for the automotive industry has adapted part of its factory to supply specialist PPE for frontline workers in response to the national shortage.

Interflex 2000 in Langar re-opened its site in May in accordance with government regulations, bringing back some of its furloughed workforce. Although the factory is still manufacturing vehicle components, the company has seen a reduction in demand since restrictions around Covid-19 were introduced. However, the requirement for PPE has soared across a range of settings from hospitals and care homes to supermarkets and offices.

The company is now making and supplying a range of protective equipment including recyclable face shields suitable for healthcare staff as well as disposable masks, ear protectors and face visors.

Jim Griffin, MD at Interflex explains that the transition was relatively straightforward. “Inevitably it will take some time for the automotive manufacturing sector to recover from the enforced shut down so although we are still producing NVH components, we have also adapted part of our factory for the specific production of PPE. Fortunately, our staff have the necessary transferable skills and so it seemed a logical step.”    

With other commercial enterprises such as department stores and non-essential shops having re-opened on 15th June and services like hairdressers and beauty salons set to open at the start of July, demand is likely to continue to rise as businesses instigate necessary measures to protect staff and customers.

Jim also believes that it’s important that organisations seeking PPE should be able to source it from the UK. “We have such great manufacturing facilities here in the UK, it seems crazy to hear of health trusts and businesses having to buy from abroad when we can supply so quickly. It’s crucial to support British manufacturing and the UK economy as a whole.”

In normal times, Interflex make and supply a range of NVH and sealing solutions for vehicles including door seals, interior trim, under carpet and boot seals. They also coat and cut materials such as the fabric used for arm rests. 
The PPE initiative has been very successful so far. “We already have orders going out to a range of organisations and have a healthy sales pipeline,” adds Jim. “We are particularly pleased to be able to offer recyclable face shields which offer high levels of protection in health and social care settings.”

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