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Breathe Safely Alberta masks created by local Airdrie company

I had the pleasure of speaking with Brett Darichuk, owner and general manager of Alta Injection Molding about their new product created to help supply Canadians with medical-grade face masks.

Can you tell me more about your business Alta Injection Molding?

We are a family-owned contract manufacturer for plastics, mostly injection molding. We moved to Airdrie over six years ago and we manufacture parts for over 500 companies from mom-and-pop shops working out of their garage to large companies. We guide clients through the process of plastic design, to prototyping, to full production including packaging and distribution. We make peoples widgets! We work with universities and different groups on the development of new resins and materials. We create new plastics that are properly recyclable or biodegradable.

How did this venture start?

We work with innovators and companies that are developing a technology, that usually needs a plastic component or assistance in some areas. In this case, it was a collaborative effort of university groups and doctors. They asked us if we would help get them masks. It was an incredibly quick effort with an idea and moving forward.

On the Alta side of the project, we saw our supply chain deteriorating rapidly. We jumped ahead and purchased enough material to manufacture a lot of masks. Our team worked around the clock, quickly manufactured six sets of stainless steel, medically approved molds, within three and a half weeks, which normally would take eighteen weeks. I'm incredibly proud of my team for their hard work.

Our designing and tooling team, and doctor's group, created a mock-up prototype mask that is easy to use, washable, reusable, and made from food and medical grade materials. This mask can last for years, although it if needs to be gotten rid of, it can be properly recycled. It is extremely important for us to utilize and avoid waste of materials.

Our partners involved in this project include Alberta Garments, Alta Injection, Curve Distributing, Inno Tech Alberta, Alberta Innovates & a packaging team.

When are masks set to go out?

We are making masks right now, we have palette loads already committed to food banks, essential workers, charity groups, among others. We are manufacturing for Breathe Safely Alberta (BSA) and we have distributors lined up to get the masks out to essential workers.

Do you foresee this being a long term change to your business?

I think in general manufacturing people are starting to see weaknesses in the global supply chains and we see a shift back to the national supply chain. People are losing their control over their parts and source of production. The silver lining is that this will bring back manufacturing and control to Canada and Western Canada. We see in general manufacturing, from going overseas and global supply chain, now we see the weakness of global supply chains, we see a shift back to the national supply chain. Now they cannot get their parts and the chain falls apart, losing control over where their production is. The silver lining is bringing back manufacturing and control to Canada. We see that moving forward.

How can people find more information about the mask and AIM?

Head to our Breathe Safely Alberta Mask website or our Alta Injection Molding website for more details.

This Good News Story was proudly supported by the City of Airdrie

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