SHOWA Group, which made industrial household and medical PPE gloves in Fayette, announced plans today to triple production capacity.
“The phased buildout of two additional facilities will increase SHOWA’s annual domestic production capacity to 1.2 billion gloves by the end of 2022, and 2.8 billion gloves once the buildout is complete,” the company said in its announcement.
Before the pandemic, the company notes, much of the U.S. supply of nitrile gloves came from overseas. SHOWA stepped up to increase production immediately.
Today, with new U.S. Department of Health & Human Services contracts valued at $81.3 million, the company announced plans for two additional facilities in Fayette.
“SHOWA has operated as a profitable PPE glove manufacturer with roots in the U.S. going back 50 years, and today we have more than 6,500 employees across 8 locations worldwide,” said Richard Heppell, president and COO, Americas, Oceania and EMEA at SHOWA Group. “Nitrile glove manufacturing is a complex, resource-intensive multi-year process, one that SHOWA is uniquely positioned to execute with unmatched production capacity, a proven track record and robust financial resources.”
SHOWA invested $35 million in Fayette so that the 40,000-square-foot plant now has four more high-speed lines, bringing production to 1.2 billion single-use gloves by the end of 2022. With the DHHS funding, SHOWA plans to add two more facilities — one operational in June 2023 and one in September 2024 — with a total capacity for 2.8 billion gloves annually.
Heppell adds, “The growing U.S. prioritization of re-shoring PPE demands industry partners that not only talk the talk, but who have truly walked the walk. SHOWA is the first company to produce a PPE nitrile glove on a line built before and during the pandemic, and the only PPE glove manufacturer with the long-term domestic supply arrangements as specified in domestic procurement legislation and Acts, such as the Berry Amendment and Make PPE in America Act.”