SA Manufacturing Company supporting health workers in the fight against COVID-19

A Federal and State Government agreement has seen Adelaide manufacturing company Detmold Group switch their focus from food packaging to producing millions of masks to protect frontline medical workers.
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Catherine O’Neill and Darren Tan, former members of the Detmold Group graduate program facilitated in conjunction with Engineers Australia

Though the manufacturing industry, like many others, has been impacted by COVID-19, one Adelaide company has turned their attention to how they can support frontline medical workers and the Australian community.

Detmold Group is a family-owned and operated packaging manufacturer which supplies some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands with premium packaging solutions.

Through an agreement with the Federal and South Australian Governments, Detmold Group will produce 145 million masks: 100 million for the National Medical Stockpile and 45 million for South Australia.

In an Australian first, the project has also seen a face mask testing facility at Adelaide to support the production and ensure products meet strict industry standards.

Quick work from Detmold Group employees and external contractors saw a finished groups warehouse converted to a manufacturing facility, allowing specialised machinery to be installed ahead of schedule.

The agreement will see Detmold Group employ up to an extra 160 staff and invest over $1 million in local supplies that will support other Australian businesses.

According to Detmold Group CEO Alf Ianniello, the company’s engineers were critical to the project, which is progressing well.

“The Detmold Group is pleased to be supporting this project in localising the manufacture of critical supply chains and extending our manufacturing capability to face masks”, said Mr. Ianniello.

“Our engineers, including former members of our graduate program facilitated in conjunction with Engineers Australia, in Darren Tan, Adam Bartrop and Catherine O’Neill, have been instrumental in installing and calibrating machinery.

“This has brought us ahead of schedule in what is already an ambitious production timeline.

“Their qualifications and experience have meant for enhanced key problem solving skills as the Detmold Group takes on this project.”

With companies across the world turning focusing on how they can both support their communities and adjust their business model to ensure viability, the project demonstrates the importance of agility in modern business – something engineers are well practiced in.

The project has also led to the company establishing a new division, Detmold Medical, after the pandemic demonstrated the importance of localising the manufacture of critical supply chains. 

Learn more about the project.

Image: Catherine O’Neill and Darren Tan, former members of the Detmold Group graduate program facilitated in conjunction with Engineers Australia