During the COVID-19 pandemic, injection moulder Denroy Plastics has employed all its expertise in aviation, medical and automotive thermoplastics to design and manufacture clinical-grade PPE, supplying over 1 million units of its new Denpro HeroShield visor to NHS staff.
Designing and developing its own tooling, Denroy Plastics has produced the 100% recyclable visor at its Co. Down manufacturing site in Northern Ireland. Manufactured from polypropylene and PETG sheet, it is a light, clear, antifog visor which protects the whole face, including the eyes. The HeroShield is a CE certified product to BS EN166:2001.
Denroy Managing Director, John Irwin explains how this expansion of Denroy’s capabilities has led to the establishment of a new brand for the company: “Denpro is our first proprietary brand. For almost 50 years we have used our innovation skills in high-tech, critical polymer components for the aerospace, medical, automotive and defence industries and for our sister company Denman, who produce iconic hairbrushes. We will utilise these established technical abilities to manufacture a range of PPE products under the Denpro brand, available to everyone.”
He goes on to explain the second product innovation in the collection. “The Denpro Bubl mask is a recyclable, clear TPE, sterilisable mask with changeable filters with the target market being the general public. The clarity of the mask makes it ideal for those with impaired hearing as it allows for lip reading. We have designed it to be one size fits all, with adjustable elastic straps creating a seal around the face and allowing the Bubl mask to be certified as Type II BS EN14683:2019.”
Prior to these developments, Denroy already had a strategy to replace existing moulding machinery with more energy efficient & technologically advanced ENGEL injection moulding machines. The company currently operates ENGEL machines ranging between 50 – 900 tonnes.
As part of this existing replacement plan, Denroy has a 600 duo machine on order. However, to meet the demand for the new PPE products, Denroy has also invested in 3 more ENGEL tie-bar-less injection moulding machines. At 80, 120 & 160 tonnes, the standard machines are being supplied with fully integrated ENGEL Viper 6 robots, under ENGEL’s Fast Track quick delivery system, which will ensure that Denroy is rapidly manufacturing in the quantities they need.
John Irwin continues: “Without plastics, the medical response to COVID-19 would have been very different, and the situation may have been a lot worse. Plastics enabled protection to be provided very rapidly. It continues to be extremely valuable, but now the requirements of organisations like the NHS have become more demanding.
“Recyclability and the reusability of high-quality products have rightly, become important as the immediate pressure has lessened. In addition, there is a drive for self-sufficiency in the manufacturing of these products within the UK.
“Denroy is rising to this challenge. It has been crucial to us to not only source our injection moulding machines rapidly but also to be assured of their efficiency, economy and service support. Engel continues to be Denroy’s valued partner in this regard.”
Denroy is anticipating that as the number of contracts for the provision of its products increases, the company may be creating a significant number of new employment opportunities at its site in Bangor, Northern Ireland.