Supply chain platform Suuchi Inc. and mattress maker Eclipse International are shifting some of their operations to manufacture masks and other protective gear for health care professionals as New Jersey companies mobilize to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suuchi Ramesh, the founder of Suuchi Inc., said the company is “re-purposing as much of our available capacity as possible for mass production of materials that are desperately needed.”
The Carlstadt-based company is producing personal protective equipment materials: N-95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, and gloves. Ramesh said she is adding more to this list as she and her team are able to configure more of their network to the production of these supplies.
Meanwhile, North Brunswick-based Eclipse, which has been making mattresses since 1866, on March 24 started producing its first batch of 38,000 face masks to be donated to health care professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first run of masks will be donated to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and the company said it is committed to producing more as needed.
The three-layer masks are being made from two materials Eclipse currently uses to make mattresses. The company has shared its mask pattern, specifications and source information for the elastic bands with its network of 17 domestic licensees. Some of these licensees have already begun their own mask production programs.
“When I first learned about the shortage of medical masks, we started looking at what solutions we could provide. When I started seeing the hoarding and price-gouging going on in the marketplace, I was taken aback and we fast-tracked our own production,” said Stuart Carlitz, president and chief executive officer of Eclipse, in a statement. “No healthcare professional in this country should go without proper protection and once we determined we had an adequate solution, we put the gears in motion to make this happen.”
Ramesh told NJBIZ that she believes her company has a responsibility to assist health care workers during the crisis. “As the world continues to navigate these dark times, we want to be the light that helps medical professionals be able to keep our communities safe and healthy without having to sacrifice their own well-being and safety.”
In the last few weeks, Carlitz noted he’s seen a number of companies step up to manufacture PPE. “That’s what our industry does. We jump in and help when there’s a crisis,” he said.
Eclipse distributes mattresses under six brands, including Eclipse, Eastman House, Ernest Hemingway, Pure Talalay Bliss, Velika and BIA.