Growing Manufacturing Capability Through Tech
Pt. 2 Filtration Technology Key to Scaling Up
There has never been a more important time to increase – and maintain – the local and international supply of PPE.
When the impact of COVID escalated in March, Revolution Fibres pivoted its business to accommodate large scale filter media production for N95 face masks to help bolster PPE supply both in New Zealand and overseas.
Filtration for respiratory protection from pollution and viruses is what Revolution Fibres made its name on 10 years ago, leading the commercialization of nanofibre technology in New Zealand with product lines such as air filtration for HRV Next Generation ventilation systems.
Our advanced SETA filter media is able to trap 99% of microscopic particles such as spores, allergens, and bacteria. However, adapting it for face masks required specialist development as well as increased capacity to meet local and international demand.
Being awarded a $960,000 grant from the government’s Covid-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund enabled us to double our R&D team and develop an antiviral SETA filter application.
While we have a range of products in our portfolio, it was filtration and SETA technology that was key to ensuring Revolution Fibres was able to increase production capacity and continue to scale up at a very uncertain time.
These innovation and scale-up efforts also helped Revolution Fibres strengthen New Zealand’s PPE stocks alongside other like-minded Kiwi companies. This will enable the country to respond more effectively if the second wave of COVID or a future pandemic hits.
And with the proliferation of counterfeit face masks globally, Revolution Fibres is also making a concerted effort to ensure full compliance with the most stringent standards including NIOSH, EN, and ASTM (N95 to N99).
Going forward we will continue to leverage R&D innovations undertaken during the pandemic to diversify further into other specialty filtration applications.
Of course, we all hope that a vaccine is found quickly for COVID. However while the debate rages on around the timings of such a vaccine, one thing that is clearly apparent is that the world is now a very different place making high-grade, standards-compliant face masks an essential safety accessory for the foreseeable future.