Before COVID-19, the activities of UK-based injection moulder Denroy Plastics were mainly focussed on sectors such as aviation, medical and the automotive industry. When the outbreak struck, the company turned its capabilities to designing and manufacturing clinical grade personal protection equipment (PPE). Today, they have already supplied over 1 million units of their HeroShield visor to NHS frontline staff.
Designing and developing their own tooling, Denroy have produced the 100% recyclable visor at their Co. Down manufacturing site. 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 their capabilities has actually 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.”
The company has already added a second product innovation to the collection, a recyclable, clear TPE, sterilisable mask with changeable filters designed for use by the general public.
The clarity of the new Denpro Bubl 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,” added Irwin.
Prior to these developments Denroy already had a strategy to replace existing moulding machinery with more energy efficient & technologically advanced ENGEL injection moulding machines. They currently have ENGEL machines ranging between 50 – 900 tonnes. As part of this existing replacement plan, Denroy has a 600 duo machine on order.
However, in order 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 are rapidly manufacturing in the quantities they need.
As Irwin pointed out: “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, he said, there is a drive for self-sufficiency in the manufacturing of these products within the UK.
"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.”