YKK adapts production in order to combat COVID-19

Fastener manufacturer YKK has shifted its manufacturing focus from fashion accessories to assist in the production of time-critical solutions in the fight against the coronavirus.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is presenting us with challenges we could not imagine just a few months ago,” said Jim Reed, President, YKK Corporation of America.

The company says its four main manufacturing facilities in the United States have been hot beds for manufacturing ingenuity in light of greater demand for products such as face masks and hazmat suits.

YKK, considered part of the ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Industry’ by the US’ the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, has pivoted production in the wake of the pandemic and used its sites in the states of Georgia, California, Alabama and Kentucky to assist with the production of urgent supplies designed to combat the spread of the virus.

After collaborations between Ford Motors and Tape Craft – supplier of elastic straps and partner of YKK’s – broke down due to supply chain disruption, the Japanese firm stepped in to provide hook and loop fasteners, plastic buckles and cord-stoppers to enable the continued development of face shields.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, production similarly turned to providing snaps, machinery for face shields.

Additionally, YKK is working with several government contractors on mission critical orders for the U.S. Government. YKK USA in Macon, Georgia is manufacturing airtight/watertight and moisture repellent zippers for isolation chambers and hazmat suits for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA to support the fight against the virus.

YKK USA in California is providing airtight/watertight zippers to aid and support in the design of manufacturing negative pressure tent prototypes for those requiring isolation due to coronavirus exposure for the California State government. Moreover, YKK USA in Macon continues to supply key fastening products for the police, fire, and medical support communities.

“As we navigate these unchartered waters, the YKK team is turning to our corporate philosophy for guidance –the ‘Cycle of Goodness’, which teaches us that ‘no one prospers without rendering benefit to others,’ the YKK Management Principle, ‘seek corporate value of higher significance,’ and our Core Values, which emphasize trust, transparency, and innovation,” Reed added. “We look forward to partnering with other organizations to provide much needed assistance to the industries fighting Covid-19.”