Effort to support COVID-19 response highlights role of American Manufacturing
SEATTLE, Wash. (March 30, 2020) Outdoor Research, LLC. (OR), a leading brand in the outdoor and tactical apparel industry, is converting its onshore manufacturing facility in Seattle to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the medical community in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This will enable Outdoor Research to produce upwards of 200,000 masks per day.
This commitment includes adding additional manufacturing capability within the Seattle plant as well as installing advanced medical manufacturing lines, allowing OR to quickly pivot towards becoming an FDA- approved Class II medical mask maker. Over the past month, the company has invested in high-speed equipment and employee training that will result in the following production capability:
1. Surgical Masks: OR will be manufacturing ASTM level 3 masks in April/May. Production will ramp up to the rate of 140,000 masks/day
2. N95 Respirator Masks: OR will be making N95 masks by May/June. Production will ramp up to 50,000/day
3. Fabric Face Masks: OR is immediately beginning the manufacture of ASTM Level 1 face masks (without flame resistance), which provide basic bacterial filtration and sub-micron particulate protection. The company will be able to produce thousands per day.
“Our 39-year history of rapidly developing cutting-edge Outdoor, Military and Tactical products provides Outdoor Research the ability to quickly shift to supporting the personal protective needs of the medical community,” said CEO Dan Nordstrom. “Our entire company is fully committed to ensuring that doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders have the personal protective equipment they require to effectively care for their patients. We are working with state and local officials to better protect our employees in this environment as we ramp up production in the following days and weeks.
Highly respected in the outdoor industry for developing functional solutions for extreme environments, Outdoor Research has a history of successfully leveraging the best commercial market technologies to serve the needs of the armed services and first responders. Over the past two years the company has conducted a comprehensive review of the U.S. supply chain and is in active development with textile mills and materials providers to expand and elevate the capabilities of products that are 100-percent American-made.
Over the last two years Outdoor Research has made significant capital investments designed to improve and modernize its Seattle factory. These investments allow Outdoor Research to take advantage of the company’s global knowledge of design, materials, and innovative manufacturing techniques while producing the next generation of outdoor and tactical products at its facilities. OR has continued to accelerate its product- development cycle, allowing the latest innovations to be rapidly fielded to the end user, helping increase the mobility and protection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, first responders, outdoor enthusiasts, and now the medical community.