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Fareham: Manufacturer repurposes to produce hand sanitiser

By Dan Teuton
23 June 2020

Contact lens manufacturer CooperVision has repurposed part of its R&D and production facilities in Hampshire to enable it to produce bottles of hand sanitiser. The move was designed to support its own requirements, but also has benefited the wider community.

CooperVision manufactures and packages a range of brands across its production facilities in Hampshire, including Biofinity® and MyDay® contact lenses. Following UK Government guidance, the company has continued to produce the lenses that many people rely on to see each day. With employee safety the priority, the manufacturing team came up with the idea to produce bottles of hand sanitiser – thereby being self-sufficient and freeing up stocks for use elsewhere.

Following a re-design of a laboratory in order to be able to handle the chemicals involved in the production of hand sanitiser, the project team repurposed machinery and composed new operating procedures. The outcome was that in just three weeks, the company was able to produce bottles of hand sanitiser in limited volume – and do it safely, efficiently and in line with the World Health Organisation’s formulation and UK Government regulatory guidelines.

Reducing the need to source much-in-demand product from the marketplace, CooperVision has also been able to provide its hand sanitiser to numerous parts of its local community, including areas of the NHS, schools, community facilities, care homes and charities.

“As a manufacturing organisation with an innovative in-house design team, we were keen to take on this challenge and contribute to supporting not only our own requirements for hand sanitiser, but also see if we could support the community in some way”, said Steve Mathieson, senior vice-president, European Manufacturing. “Whilst we are unable to supply unlimited volume, we hope that we have been able to release some of the burden on the frontline local organisations who we have been able to support.”

The hand sanitiser project is one of a number of CooperVision initiatives aimed at supporting its local communities. The company has also provided 3,000 face masks to Southampton General Hospital and made a significant contribution to the Hospital’s staff welfare fund.

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