Spec Helps Increase Nationwide Supply of Hand Sanitizer
Spec Engineering, a Gray company, has joined the nationwide effort to increase production of FDA-approved, alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Motivated by rampant COVID-19 infections along with the shortage of PPE and disinfectants for healthcare workers during the pandemic, Spec partnered with Sweet Solutions, a neighboring confectionery manufacturer and Sandymount, a revolutionary process technology company in the brewing industry, to quickly fulfill this need. Within days the wheels were in motion to convert space in the Sweet Solutions FDA contract manufacturing facility into a bottling line for hand sanitizer production.
“The rollout for the project had to be faster than we have ever mobilized before,” said Brian Bernard, president of Spec Engineering, a Gray company. “However, we are grateful for this opportunity to help.”
Utilizing partners such as food, beverage, and flavor solutions company, Flavorchem, to review our alcohol safety protocols, Spec assisted Sweet Solutions to take additional safety measures including masks, gloves, and static-control lab coats for employees to wear during production.
In the first 3-4 days, the production process was mostly manual and very slow. It started as a four-person operation, only making 100 bottles an hour. This system was not efficient enough to complete the order; Sweet Solutions turned to Spec to commission a bottling line, high-efficiency labeler, and heat sealer to automate the process. After the changes were made to the process line, it became a 14-person operation running 2 shifts, yielding 30,000 bottles a day.
“Sweet Solutions is blending, filling and packaging 450,000 bottles for this order. They began production at the end of March and went from making a few hundred bottles an hour to over 15,000 per shift. In addition, they hired over 28 new employees to be able to meet this demand,” said Edel Rodriguez, National Sales Manager at Spec Engineering, a Gray company.
As this contract nears completion, Spec will continue supporting companies like Sweet Solutions to offer services in mixing, blending, bottling, and packaging of hand sanitizer.
AD Process Equipment is a Gray company.
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