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      Aprons: Thanking Our Suppliers

      PFF employee packing products

      PFF would like to express special thanks to the suppliers who have enabled our business to manufacture disposable aprons. They will be used by NHS frontline workers and carers across the UK.

      When PFF was selected by the UK Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to manufacture disposable aprons for the NHS, we got in touch with suppliers who could support us with the contract and our exciting new venture.

      We needed to order machinery, source materials and plan the logistics for the new line. Our Group Supply Chain Manager, Lee Wilkinson said: “It was a big ask. But we enjoy a challenge at PFF – that is what we are all about. The fast response of our suppliers meant that we were able to set everything in place to begin and then ramp-up production.”

      PFF has worked with SME funder Simply Asset Finance for many years. Our thanks go especially to John Wiles, Managing Director at Simply who arranged a vital credit line that enabled PFF to fund the purchase of newly manufactured machines from the Far East.

      Unfortunately, the machine components were packed and ready to be air freighted just when global logistics became severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Delivery of the machinery was critical to our operation and we chose Lila Logistics to manage this. They understood the urgency and provided a much valued personal service. Through the challenges presented during the shipment, the team at Lila were on hand to help, day and night.

      We have a long-standing relationship with Cirrus Plastics based in Portadown, Northern Ireland and Coveris who have multiple sites across the UK and Europe. Both companies supply the specialist latex-free film which we use to manufacture the aprons.

      The aprons are output to rolls during PFF’s 24/7 production and packing process at our Washington site. Each roll is hygienically wrapped and sealed before being packed into boxes. For this process, we purchased an industry-leading horizontal flow wrapping machine from Norwich based Redpack Packaging Machinery. Located in Bradford, National Flexible is the UK’s largest plain film slitting and printed film distributor. A new supplier to PFF, they provide pre-printed single web 35mic polypropylene film which is fed into Redpack’s machine inside which the rolls are wrapped, sealed and separated.

      We welcomed another new supplier, Northern Packaging, to supply our boxes. They are an independent, integrated corrugated packaging business with manufacturing sites in Skelmersdale.

      Our appreciation also goes to Tyne & Wear family business, The Fresh Freight Group (FFG), for transporting our palletised loads to the DHSC’s appointed product distribution centres in Daventry.

      As a UK company, it is gratifying to unite and work with other UK businesses. Our suppliers have helped PFF to diversify and offer a new line, at an expeditious pace. And, they have done so at a time when Covid-19 has and continues to impact on the economy, our businesses, our communities and our families and friends.

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