The market for personal protective equipment—or PPE—continues to grow in the current age of coronavirus. There are many companies involved in PPE production, from dominant manufacturers that have lead the health and safety equipment market for decades to small and medium-sized manufacturers who have retooled to contribute to the supply effort. There is an inherent difference in the way these companies operate, and it can help to understand these differences when looking for a PPE vendor to meet your needs.
By understanding the fundamental differences between the huge, dominant players, and the small private labels, you can narrow down your potential candidates to what suits your company best.
Established PPE Industry Leaders
Companies like 3M, Ansell, and Honeywell are among the most established and dominant in the market. These companies typically focus a lot of their time and money on innovation. By focusing on research and development, they can bring new and improved PPE products to the market.
The big players still account for most of the market when it comes to fulfillment, but even they can’t meet every need in this time of heightened demand. They tend to have the highest end innovations and materials, but if you’re trying to source loads of KN95 masks or even simple cotton masks with carbon filters, there are a slew of providers offering the same quality at competitive price points.
Small and Medium-Sized PPE Suppliers
Companies like these often focus on providing lower price points for tried and true PPE models rather than R&D for product innovation. Many companies have stepped up their manufacturing to fill gaps and match needs for facemasks and related PPE to keep all industries stocked and protected.
If you’re looking for quality, established PPE at competitive prices, a small or medium company may be the way to go.
Types of PPE
There are various categories within the PPE market, from disposable items such as shoe covers and latex or nitrile gloves to re-usable items like gowns and face shields. There are also more complicated PPE products like respirators, which are considerably more expensive.
Companies will typically specialize in particular types of PPE, so doing your research on which companies specialize in the products you need will help to avoid things like inferior quality products and fulfillment issues.
Let’s take a look at some of the leading suppliers in the PPE market and what you can expect to find in their product line.
3M can be thought of as a catch-all supplier. There are very few forms of PPE they don’t sell. They do have some focus on the traffic safety and civil security solutions markets. And, of course, commercial solutions.
From Honeywell, you can find PPE equipment for protecting eyes, faces, hearing, hands, and heads. They also sell first-aid equipment and fall protection and are the leading manufacturer of PPE designed for electrical safety.
Moving into a more severe and industrial part of the industry, DuPont handles PPE products such as body armor, flame-resistant clothing, chemical protection, and related items for high-risk environments.
MSA Safety specializes in fall protection, fire and rescue helmets, and other related items such as portable gas detection instruments. They also have a secondary product line that contains things like thermal imaging cameras, respirators, and eye and face protection.
We are uniquely positioned to provide high performing PPE products on a massive scale. Through our vast sourcing network of domestic and international manufacturers to supply high demand PPE products in the following areas:
- KN95 mask
- ASTM level 1-3 masks
- Cloth & poly masks
- Safety goggles
- Gowns & coveralls
- Hair caps
- Shoe covers
As of March 2020, we’ve achieved a production capacity of over 100,000,000 PPE products, and that number continues to grow as we expand our partnerships. If you’re looking to source PPE in any of these areas, we encourage you to check our catalog of PPE products and get in touch!