A pandemic is probably the worst time to produce your own brand of facemasks. We know, because we went through the hoops to create our first batch of world-class 3-ply masks!
The pandemic is a time when the demand for medical supplies soars incredibly. It is also a time when parameters of quality, logistics and price fluctuate wildly. Under such severe conditions HEAL ME Solutions saw an ideal opportunity to revisit the highly fragmented supply chain with a view to produce its own brand of masks.
The problems were manifold. Raw materials were in short supply. Typically, a 3-ply mask comprises two primary materials in a combination of three layers– Spunbound, Melt-blown and again Spunbound – commonly called SMS. With unprecedented demand for facemasks, the supply of Melt-blown fabric was dwindling. We had to find reliable producers of the raw material, lock down pricing and then connect them to the manufacturer.
Logistics posed another challenge. The number of cargo flights reduced drastically. In-country movement took days. With borders closing across the world, we had to find legitimate ways to transport the finished materials to our desired destination. Additionally, countries began to reclassify medical products and devices under different government departments with new sets of regulations – making the process of export and import more time consuming.
Products with poor quality began to surface in several markets. A characteristic example of poor quality in a mask is when the GSM (or weight) of the Melt-blown fabric is reduced to save costs. This severely impacts the capacity of the mask to function reliably.
Within all this, we were able to produce and deliver our first batch of facemasks. The HEAL ME Solutions 3-ply masks are CE and FDA certified, and produced in an ISO-certified factory with over 25 years in the business. Our masks have a Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) of over 95% – which means it restricts particles and droplets in the air of size 2.5 PPM and above. Each of the three layers of the 3-ply is strictly of 25 GSM in weight – together creating the internationally approved combination of Spunbound and Melt-blown materials.
In tandem with our logistics partners, we ensured that our products were delivered in reasonable time to our clients, without compromising on international and country regulations for logistics and distribution. While we continue to manufacture and distribute, the supply chain is still disrupted – and we learn new things every day!