The Canadian Shield begins selling mask manufacturing system

Canadian Shield

Kitchener-Waterloo-based personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer The Canadian Shield has begun selling its medical-mask manufacturing system on the Canadian market.

The system is one The Canadian Shield has been developing over the last year.

“What started as a response to a critical shortage of PPE for our frontline healthcare workers has transformed into a high-tech enterprise.”

“What started as a response to a critical shortage of PPE for our frontline healthcare workers has transformed into a high-tech enterprise, creating Canadian intellectual property and world-leading solutions for globally competitive manufacturing of medical devices,” said Jeremy Hedges, founder and CEO of The Canadian Shield.

The Canadian Shield was spun out of education technology startup InkSmith in March 2020, when it obtained a license from Health Canada to produce medical supplies. InkSmith develops products like 3D printers, virtual reality kits and headsets, laser cutters, and robotics kits.

InkSmith founded The Canadian Shield to address the shortage of protective gear for front-line staff in hospitals and medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Shield offers disposable masks, PPE face shields, cloth masks, and procedural masks.

The Canadian Shield is selling the medical-mask manufacturing system starting at $300,000. The startup claimed the product can pay for itself in under 10 months.

In June, The Canadian Shield opened a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in order to expand its production capacity. At the time of launch, the company claimed it had grown from a staff of 10 to over 250.

By selling its Medical Mask Automation and Vision Systems, The Canadian Shield aims to compete with overseas manufacturers, which the company noted can have different electrical, safety, and quality standards to those of Canada. The company said it is looking to help build a sustainable medical device manufacturing industry in Canada.

“In many cases, new manufacturers relying on imported equipment have quickly realized that these seemingly cost-effective systems are expensive to modify and maintain, and yield high scrap rates in production,” the company said in a recent statement.

The startup claimed the system’s performance metrics beat out those of typical imported systems. The Canadian Shield reported its system operates at 90 parts per minute, generates less than four percent scrap, and 91 percent overall equipment effectiveness, which is a measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilized compared to its full potential.

“This cutting-edge technology enables The Canadian Shield to compete penny for penny with overseas manufacturers, and sell their turnkey medical mask manufacturing lines and vision systems to other producers around the world to improve their operations,” the company added.

Image source The Canadian Shield.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.