Cadillac Products Manufacturing Medical PPE to Fight COVID-19

Michigan-based packaging and automotive component group companies utilize resources to manufacture and donate PPE gowns for local hospitals.

Stephen Moore

April 15, 2020

3 Min Read
Cadillac Products Manufacturing Medical PPE to Fight COVID-19

Cadillac Products Automotive Company and Cadillac Products Packaging Company have launched an effort to fight COVID-19 by combining workforces, capabilities and factories to manufacture medical personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line doctors and nurses. The Cadillac Products companies produce films that are comparable to specifications required for protective medical gowns used by doctors, nurses and technician treating those infected by the devastating Coronavirus.

This effort began when Robert Williams Jr, President and CEO of Cadillac Products Packaging Company, heard from his daughter, Maggie Williams (a certified registered nurse anesthetist), that she and other health care professionals at Grace Sinai Hospital, were running dangerously short on disposable medical gown PPEs.

Cadillac Products is manufacturing PPE gowns for local hospitals at multiple Michigan sites. Image courtesy of Cadillac Products.

Tooling and other needed equipment was designed and manufactured, taking into consideration the challenge of the sizing mismatch between machinery and gown dimensions. “I'm extremely proud of how quickly our team responded to this manufacturing challenge,” said Mike Williams III, Cadillac Products Automotive Company’s General Manager. “All our team members were excited to help, working through the weekends to bring our capability online. It’s great that we have such a capable team that can make a difference in this time of need.”

Currently utilizing volunteer labor to produce over 300 finished gowns per hour, the first run of 500 gowns was completed and sent to Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit on April 5; to date, the company has delivered 2,600 gowns. More than 11,000 gowns will be produced initially, and improved tooling and equipment is expected to help the companies continue to increase output volume of the PPE gowns in the weeks ahead.

  • Multiple Cadillac Products facilities are involved in this production.

  • Polyethylene film is being produced at Cadillac Products’ Paris, Ill. plant.

  • Multiple plants around metro Detroit are involved in the conversion of film to finished good.

  • Gown shapes are cut out on a repurposed production machine in Roseville, MI, and taken to Troy, MI to have the sleeves heat-sealed and the gown packaged in boxes

“This would have been a lot harder without the support of our key suppliers,” said Michael Williams, II Chairman of Cadillac Products Automotive Company. “Asking for help once, and help arriving right on time is exactly what these companies do for us normally. Having them step up and deliver in this difficult time doesn’t surprise me—these are great family owned companies.”

Key suppliers include:

  • Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) donated resin for making polyethylene film

  • Universal Container Corporation (Ferndale, MI) donated boxes.

  • Stevens Custom Fabrication (Alpena, MI) donated custom heat-seal bars

  • Rupp Engineering (Fraser, MI) worked on design and fabrication of tooling

Should a continued need for gowns exist after the automotive industry returns to work and the Cadillac Products factories be needed once again to produce their normal production, manufacture of these gowns can transfer entirely to the Troy site, which is now being prepared for such a move.

Additionally, Cadillac Products has donated 180 N95 respirators from inventory to Sinai Grace Hospital. These respirators are normally used in the companies’ manufacturing processes, however, because normal production has been suspended due to the pandemic, leadership felt the respirators should be further used to help the cause.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking is bike on overseas business trips, and proud dachshund owner.

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