A few months ago, I posted about US Medical Glove after their presser about acquiring a few million square feet of the old Caterpillar complex about an hour outside Chicago. I posted about well over a year ago, when the first press release came out about them. Truth be told - Most of us (so called ppe warriors) laughed it off at the time
I had been speaking with the founders periodically going on a year or more – the brain thrusts that are spearheading this enormous undertaking.
Last week, I was invited, to be the first “outsider” to take a tour of what I can only describe as a shock & awe experience!
A reader’s digest bullet list on the backstory –
The team secured funding from the US Government to build the largest Nitrile Factory in the United States. The company & glove name was to be - U.S. Medical Gloves (USMG for short)
Once they had the funding, they realized that in order to USE the funds & qualify for ongoing support, they would not be allowed to import ANY of the required parts to build their nitrile lines - from any foreign country. Every nut, bolt, screw washer, former, stanchion, control panel, etc. – would need to be MADE IN THE USA! FYI – there has NEVER been a nitrile glove line manufactured in the USA – EVER!
Most people would have given back the money & called it a day. But instead, USMG hired a group of engineers who studied the most modern nitrile lines functioning today – & were tasked with building something new & much improved - from the ground up! CHECK!
Next, they financially stood up dozens of fabricators, tool & die factories & manufactures in the rust belt - & they began.
They developed a nitrile glove production line that has never been seen before. One that takes up 1/3 of the footprint, uses 1/3 of the water & 1/3 of the electricity. A machine that requires absolutely no human hands to touch anything on the line – thus, making all their gloves sterile by default.
They replaced the normal convection ovens with infrared that enables them to pinpoint the heat differently at every point of surface on the gloves.
They even made their own proprietary formers from Aluminum instead of porcelain / ceramics – making it possible to go from a 2mil, 4mil, 6 mil, 8 mil & 10mil thickness without ever changing a former!
Then they negotiated a 15 year lease on an amazing facility that once housed a virtual city of manufacturing for the Caterpillar br& – about an hour outside of Chicago.
They have their own power generator for electricity, their own water filtration plant & TWO FRIKKEN RAILROAD TRACKS coming off the Burlington Line that will bring NBR by railcars - right into the factory for robotic offload! I KNOW – RIGHT?
They have long term contracts with LG & Sinopec for raw materials – but someday I reckon they will manufacturer their own NBR supply – because – WHY NOT?
They are currently installing eighty (80) production lines with more then 3600 formers per line & will be operation around the end of December – with full ramp up during the first qtr of 2022
They are fully funded now by the Federal Government – & have HUGE support for Federal, State & Local Contracts across the country.
They will be very competitive against overseas pricing – with lots of advantages - & will have the ability to flex up or down on pricing - depending on market conditions.
They will employee over 1400 people in this massive 1 million plus square foot facility & even before all the sterile production line bays have been built out – they have spared no expense for their employee break areas, free cafeteria, free medical clinic, fitness area & even quiet rooms for their team members.
There is so much more to talk about – but I will save some of my reporting for future posts & questions that might come up.
The place was simply amazing. From the Security Protocol to enter, to their “WAR ROOM’ lined with 120-inch big screens, to the gr& tour using golf carts, I had to clench my teeth to keep my jaw from dropping on the floor!
This is an AMERICAN TRUE GRIT STORY – START TO FINISH. These folks are going to change the landscape! They are part of something that is going to make massive change & will have a cause an effect throughout the world! We should all be very proud!
I know a lot of folks said this story was “rubbish” – & there were times I think even the founders were not sure they could pull this off – BUT THIS IS FRIKKEN HAPPENING! It will be - by all accounts – the MOST nitrile production lines under one massive roof – making it THE LARGEST NITRILE FACTORY IN THE WORLD!
About 100 million boxes a year – almost 10 billion gloves annually!
& they just signed a lease for an even bigger facility in a second state that will be even bigger than this monster! So not letting the NBR dry before scaling & sailing!
Based on a normalized volume of between 30 to 40 million boxes of nitrile imported in the US per month – USMG will eventually be able to supply close to 35% to 40% of the need if necessary
This is a real success story that has come out of a dark time over the last 2 years. I am a huge fan of this story & am so glad they invited me to peek behind the curtain!