Rising to the challenge in the fight against COVID-19

Case study


Riverside Medical Packaging – Rising to the challenge in the fight against COVID-19




Riverside Medical Packaging Company Ltd were given the opportunity and challenge of producing over 6 million face shields between August and December 2020 to meet small and large customer orders.


Ramping up the production of face shields meant Riverside Medical Packaging Ltd needed to design and build 2 brand new Face Shield Manufacturing Machines and give commitment to the meeting the demand of the largest customers.


Shawpak is the engineering division of Riverside Medical Packaging Ltd and led the design and build of the Face Shield Machines. With the dedication of the design, manufacturing and engineering teams the two machines were completed and in production within just 6 weeks. This is a phenomenal achievement and one that has shown the grit and determination of the whole team when faced with such a huge challenge.


In such extremely challenging times the design team have had agility, flexibility and speed to create such unique and important machines.


“Starting from a blank sheet of paper, everyone worked as a team to pick up the challenge to design and build two new machines and complete the job in record time – just six weeks. The result has been extremely impressive and one that we are all proud of – the machines are running reliably 24 hours a day, with higher production rates than forecast, whilst producing high quality face shields to meet the demand of both small and large orders in the fight against Covid19.” Ivor Rowe the technical manager at Shawpak.  


After the face shield machines were designed these were then manufactured in house at Shawpak’s extensive machine shop. The recent investment of over £2m in the facility and machining centres including the five-axis Chiron milling machine and two high speed flat-bed router cutters meant our experienced workshop engineers could meet such complex designs and the high volume of parts required in a short space of time.


David Shaw, CEO of Riverside Medical Packaging Riverside Medical Packaging Ltd has always invested in the engineering side of the business and understood the importance of this to support our customers, it has helped us grow from a small medical pouch making business in the 1980’s to the business we are today supplying millions of pouches to the medical industry along with high quality contract packing, medical device manufacture and more recently in the design and development of the revolutionary shawpak medical thermoform packaging machine range.


When tasked with supplying millions of face shields with a very short lead time I felt confident that the team at Riverside Medical Packaging Ltd and shawpak would  succeed in sourcing the raw materials to make the shields as well as developing the equipment to manufacture them. Producing the machines and sourcing all materials in order to meet the high demand in 6 weeks is veryimpressive”-


The capacity of both shield machines means Riverside are able to produce 1 ½ million shields per month. Thousands of shields have already been made and sent out to various customers.


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