SC Johnson converting line at Mount Pleasant plant to make hand sanitizer

Last updated on April 23rd, 2020 at 05:41 pm

Racine-based SC Johnson is shifting a line its Waxdale plant in Mount Pleasant to make 75,000 bottles of hand sanitizer per month.

The company plans to donate 100% of the hand sanitizer it produces to health workers, first responders and its own production employees. SC Johnson will work with the DCD Foundation to determine where to distribute the sanitzer.

SC Johnson employees who have been working from home and do not normally work in production are volunteering to help make the project happen, staffing the line with appropriate social distancing and other safety precautions.

The line SC Johnson is using is normally reserved for testing new products. To ramp up production, SC Johnson is partnering with Dow. The Michigan-based materials science company will contribute enough sanitizer to produce 25,000 eight-ounce bottles. SC Johnson will return 12,500 bottles to Dow for use at its production sites and then manufacture enough sanitizer to fill 75,000 bottles itself.

“Ensuring those on the front lines of the pandemic remain healthy is essential to society’s ability to help flatten the curve,” said Jim Fitterling, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow. “We commend SC Johnson for converting its operations to produce hand sanitizer for health care professionals in need and are grateful for the opportunity to partner together to enable this effort.”

SC Johnson has committed a total of $10 million to support public health needs during the coronavirus outbreak.

The global consumer packaged goods company of course is not the only southeastern Wisconsin company contributing to the COVID-19 fight.

Trevor, Wisconsin-based Vonco Products LLC said Wednesday it is looking to hire 20 to 25 new employees as it ramps up production. The company is producing 24-hours per day for 13 of 14 days to stay ahead of demand.

Vonco biohazard transport bags.

Vonco, which moved operations from Illinois to Wisconsin in 2016, is a contract manufacturer of liquid-tight medical fluid bags and components for medical device applications. The company adapted its facility to produce personal protective equipment.

Vonco also launched new products including hand sanitizer in stand-up spouted pouches, isolation gowns, food service gloves and shoe covers. Those products are in addition to its standard infection prevention products, including form-fitting medical device covers, specimen collection bags and biohazard transport bags.

The company plans daily production of 50,000 spout hand sanitizer pouches and 250,000 PPE units by the end of April to meet demand from existing and new customers. Vonco also intends to work with the federal government to restock the national stockpile of PPE.

“It’s amazing how we, as Americans, pull together during times of crises,” said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Vonco Products. “Our associates were eager to adapt our production facilities to produce the essential infection prevention and PPEs that are desperately needed across the United States. I am so thankful to them for their support, dedication, and effort to help our country in this time of crisis.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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