Prior to the pandemic, the commercial market for personal protection equipment, PPE, was mature and complacent, but that has all changed now. A look at what has transpired in the past year will be the topic of a May 12 webinar.
“Experiences in the U.S. PPE Market – Lessons and Challenges” is a webinar hosted by the Center of Excellence for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense Center, CBTS, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.
The free program will begin at 11 a.m. Registration is available https://bit.ly/3nOPUmf.
“This two-and-a-half-hour panel discussion will be about the experiences of and lessons learned by new domestic mask manufacturers,” said Greg Pompelli, director of the Texas A&M AgriLife-led CBTS.
The CBTS is tasked with maintaining a portfolio of research, development, test, evaluation and transition programs that target improving the resiliency of supply chains and the homeland security enterprise, Pompelli said.
The panel includes speakers from two manufacturers who launched their operations in 2020, a U.S. manufacturer of nonwoven fabrics, representatives from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and third party certifiers, and academic speakers who will provide an overview and background on the national stockpile.
The panel will include seven 15-minute individual presentations and will close with a moderated 30-minute Q&A session.
“You can expect that many of the key take-aways from this panel will foreshadow issues other firms face as interest in on-shoring, reshoring and near-shoring industries heightens,” said Matt Cochran, CBTS research director.
Leading up to the pandemic
Pompelli said by studying what happened with the PPE situation, they can analyze and target other supply chains that might suffer similar consequences and outcomes should they be interrupted for whatever reason.
He said over the years, all PPE production had been concentrated in a few countries. Then the pandemic hit and resulted in a worldwide scramble for product.
Over the past year, the sudden surge in demand globally attracted new buyers and sellers in the marketplace, with major competition for the limited supplies.
“With this panel discussion, we want to offer insights into the experiences of our domestic PPE producers and manufacturers of the critical inputs used in those products,” Pompelli said.