Oct 01, 2022

Revamping Supply Chain in the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • By John Smith,
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Revamping Supply Chain in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 global pandemic made a ripple effect for United States manufacturers that showed the lack of redundancy in the supply chain as well as the lack of transparency. When the pandemic struck the world, the global demand for the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) increased and many necessary material and equipment costs hiked at a soaring rate. The PPE supply chain in the United States needed some reinventing apparently.

The short supply of PPE and N95 masks needed immediate response for finding the ways to make the supply fulfil. So, Manufacturing USA network was given the task of reconstructing the PPE supply chain which consisted of 16 manufacturing innovation institutes and their sponsoring agencies which are the Department of Commerce, Defense and Energy.

They received the funding from the CARES Act to make ways for the nation’s future emergency responses.

The response provided by the institutes in various areas leading the PPE supply chain are as follows:

PPE Production- DIY Face Shields

The pandemic struck the U.S. creating a ripple effect on the U.S. manufacturers. The supply chain was unstable as manufacturers did not have any adequate backup sources meaning that they were not able to mitigate the disruptions.

As the pandemic was getting on its peak, the Manufacturing X Digital Institute (MxD) made a procedure with step by step instructions for manufacturers to make face shields for their employees and potentially for their communities as well.

Compliance Testing and Product Lifecycle Management

The manufacturers jumped into the supply chain or in other case expanding their presence needed capital investment and most importantly it was required to meet the legal compliance standards, like the standards set by the CDC and FDA. Another institute, AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America), started working with its partners for creating a regional network of testing locations for meeting the required demands.

Next-Gen Masks

The institute, NIIMBL (National Institute for Innovation Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals), partnered with the Nonwovens Institute to develop the next generation materials and manufacturing processes for face masks.

Advanced Manufacturing

The manufacturers have got to learn that there is a clear ROI in manufacturing PPE in the USA.

As the manufacturers were dealing with the risks of cost-driven outsourcing like poor quality, theft of IP, any kind of shipping delays or lack of control, but, the pandemic proved to be a tipping point for reshoring. The emerging technologies are concentrating on the demand to create new possibilities for domestic manufacturing in the United States.

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