Changing Direction: NovaLink PPE Manufacturing Supports Community and Business

NovaLink Begins Manufacturing Production of PPE Isolation Gowns

Like many other manufacturing companies facing the global pandemic of 2020, nearshore manufacturing company NovaLink was feeling the effects covid-19 was having on the business world as some clients reduced their need for manufacturing. 

However, unlike other manufacturing companies, where others saw despair, NovaLink saw opportunity.  

It began with the underlying capability NovaLink had to make Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). In early March, when the pandemic began to take hold and many hospitals and medical facilities were in desperate need to obtain PPE material, a NovaLink client, whose primary product being manufactured at NovaLink’s plants in Matamoros, Mexico was bed sheets, asked if they could take some of the material for the sheets they had on hand and use it to manufacture facemask coverings.  

Owing to the skill and experience of their maquiladora workers and the management staff at the plant, NovaLink was able use the material and the equipment ready at the plant to produce the masks, which they then distributed to local communities in Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas.

With the success of the face covering initiative, NovaLink was again contacted by another current client, inquiring if the company had the capability to make disposable isolation gowns.  The request was a fortuitous one: NovaLink just happened to have stock of the material needed, Tyvek, to make the disposable isolation gowns.  Tyvek, made by the DuPont corporation, is a unique material that helps keep air and water out, while letting water vapor escape.  Tyvek is widely used in the construction industry by helping to protect construction homes against damaging wind and rain.

Recently, Tyvek coveralls, coats or bodysuits are being used during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect health care workers from infection. NovaLink has decades of experience making textiles, and using their experience in producing medical clothing, such as hospital scrubs, NovaLink was able to produce different styles for the disposable gowns (open & closed backs as well as sealed and over-the-thumb cuff options), and get the production started on them very rapidly.  

As the first gowns were being produced and tested in production (the gowns were tested at ANSI/AAMI PB70 Level II) NovaLink’s first concern was with shortages being experienced by the local medical communities in Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico where NovaLink has their headquarters and manufacturing facilities.

“As we did our initial production in gowns for the medical facilities in these towns that were facing severe shortages” said Jason Wolfe, NovaLink CEO, “we wanted to do what we could to help keep our communities safe. 

With production of the single-use, non-sterile, disposable non-surgical isolation gowns ramping up, NovaLink began to realize the full scope of the volume of these gowns that were needed by medical communities across the nation. They took the initiative to begin producing gowns for purchase in bulk to medical suppliers and facilities that may be facing shortages of disposable isolation gowns.

“With the capability to manufacture 100,000 units per day, we felt it was incumbent on us to fulfill a void during this COVID crisis.” said Wolfe. “By having this production nearshore to the US market, it is our intent to continue manufacturing for the long term and help the US and Mexican medical/healthcare industries be less reliant on an overseas supply chain. We will be exploring other areas of PPE over the next few months to provide further support.” 

More information on the specifications for the gowns and how to order is available on their website:

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