SHOWA Group opens expanded Fayette plant

The expansion increases the plant’s capacity to 1.2 billion nitrile gloves a year.

Two of the new nitrile glove production lines are already operational, with another two lines expected to be running soon.

SHOWA Group celebrated the opening of its expanded facility in Fayette as accelerated production comes online.

The decision to invest $35 million in the Alabama facility occurred before the pandemic, but the need for single-use personal protective equipment soared due to COVID-19. The 40,000-square-foot facility houses four new high-speed monorail lines, increasing SHOWA’s capacity from 400 million to 1.2 billion nitrile gloves a year. Two of the lines are already operational.

Mike Kimple, director of manufacturing for SHOWA Americas, said the local politicians supported the expansion, especially the utility companies. “Obviously we are the biggest natural gas user and water user in the county, but when we told them we were expanding they were all on board and willing to work with us to make whatever accommodations that we had they were willing to meet,” Kimple said.

Two of the four new production lines at SHOWA’s Fayette facility.

Since inventing single-use nitrile in 1991, SHOWA has become a global authority in PPE production. This expansion will help the company continue to work to meet the rising needs of businesses, healthcare organizations and government entities. SHOWA is an end-to-end integrated manufacturer with nitrile sourced in America.

“This is a big moment for Fayette, Alabama, as we safeguard America’s supply of critical PPE,” said Richard Heppell, SHOWA’s president and chief operating officer of Americas, Oceania & EMEA. “Our U.S. workers can take pride in the fact that they’re producing superior gloves to protect their fellow Americans.”

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