FAYETTE, Alabama – For Mike Kimple, director of manufacturing at the SHOWA Group factory in this northwest Alabama city, the mission is clear for the nation’s only domestic producer of single-use nitrile gloves.
“We’re just trying to get every single glove we can out the door to fight this pandemic,” Kimple said.
Every day, SHOWA’s Alabama facility produces around 1 million gloves made from a hypoallergenic synthetic rubber that serves as an alternative to latex. Thanks to an expansion project now nearing completion, that figure will double.
Launched in late 2019, before COVID-19 emerged as a global threat, SHOWA’s expansion project triggered the construction of a new, 40,000-square-foot factory on its Fayette production site. After the six-story structure was completed last October, the company began building two high-speed production lines to crank up the output of PPE.