Rising to the occasion

Technical Textiles

In the wake of the virus pandemic, Gujarat-based Autotech Nonwovens utilised all its resources to shift to the production of nonwoven PPE coverall fabric and is now confident of catering to export orders too

Based in Surat, Autotech Nonwovens is an IATF 16949:2016 certified nonwovens manufacturer with supplies to automotive, filtration and the pharmaceutical industry. The company’s quality-focused team has developed and continues to supply requirements across various industry verticals. Following the lockdown in the wake of the virus pandemic, Autotech Nonwovens’ team decided to develop a nonwoven solution using its existing capabilities. Once a plan was drawn up, the city’s administration led by District Collector Dr. Dhaval Patel and his team immediately provided the permission to start.

“We also received tremendous support by the Industries Commissioner Office in Gandhi Nagar. The IC team immediately telephoned to check whether we were having any issues to start our manufacturing facilities,” a company spokesperson states. To fight the battle against corona virus, the company embarked on manufacturing PPE coverall fabric. This fabric can be manufactured using woven as well as nonwoven fabrics. It is further classified into breathable and non-breathable type. “Taking into view the urgency of the requirement, all our resources and experience were put to use to make these products for frontline healthcare workers. The process was started in the shortest span of time and we were able to meet the demand,” the spokesperson states.

PPE coverall fabric is an impermeable product and has passed the government’s test for synthetic blood penetration resistance. This fabric is disposable, cost-effective and manufactured in bulk quantities to meet the production demand against woven coverall fabric which is expensive and handicapped by low volume of production. Some applications of Autotech Nonwoven’s fabric include PPE coverall, medical gown, shoe cover, buffocant cap, isolation ward bed covers and pillows, quarantine facility curtains, tabletop cover, etc.

Autotech Nonwovens is also developing a breathable product for nonwoven PPE coverall fabric which will find vast applications in the future. This fabric will be more comfortable and has potential for huge demand since currently it is in short supply due to the restricted number of manufacturers across India. In addition, the company has also pivoted its nonwoven manufacturing lines to produce selected components for the N 95 masks. “Our products are used as an intermediate layer for providing dimensional stability, comfortable fit and support to the mask manufacturers and end users,” informs Ankit Desai, Director, Autotech Nonwovens.

“We are proud of our team’s efforts to develop PPE materials in a short period of time. Our people rose to the occasion in order to meet the need of the hour and support requirements to fight the virus pandemic. As a first priority, we intend to take care of the domestic requirements.  However, we do believe that given the capacity of the Indian technical textile industry, there is a huge potential for export of such products. We hope the government will lift the export ban as soon as the domestic requirements are met as there are countries where there is still a huge shortage of PPE materials,” he adds.

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