2020 was a year unlike any other. At OPHARDT Hygiene, we had the privilege of being a part of the way front line workers, hospital staff, and facility managers responded to the coronavirus. Meeting the demand created by the pandemic took incredible effort and a transformation unlike any in the OPHARDT’s history.
As COVID-19 increased the need for hand hygiene equipment, we made a series of unprecedented investments which more than doubled the number of employees at OPHARDT. We permanently added more than 100 manufacturing machines and 65,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. This enabled us to produce 3x the amount of pumps, more than 7x the amount the cartridge dispensers, and 3.5x the amount of ingo-man® dispensers.
These investments and the hard work and ingenuity of the OPHARDT team led to points where we had increased production more than 3-5 times globally.
This was by far our busiest year, partly because we had many significant product launches. On top of products that had been in development for years, we were able to quickly react to the immediate needs of the pandemic by launching the ER10, our emergency response dispenser.
OPHARDT Hygiene has long been an internet-connected dispenser pioneer. The ingo-man® smart dispensers have been solving hygiene professionals need for accurate dispensing data for around a decade now.
This past year, we took everything we learned from making healthcare-focussed smart solutions and brought that expertise to help manage public washrooms.
This was made possible with the launch of OWMS, the OPHARDT Washroom Monitoring System (new name: Kanary). OWMS allows facilities managers and janitorial staff to increase efficiency, decrease costs, and get realtime data that was previously impossible to get.
As key part of this “Hygiene Made Digital” focus, we launched our SanTRAL Plus Washroom Series with six new devices including 600ml touchless and manual soap/sanitizer dispensers.
This new focus on public washroom monitoring did not mean that our healthcare-focussed intelligent solutions stood still. OHMS, the OPHARDT Hygiene Monitoring System (new name: Kanary), saw major changes inside and out with a refreshed user interface, the launch of alerts and hygiene targets, and a new backend that will enable greater integrations this year.
Our belief that healthcare providers can make better decisions and form healthy habits when they have good data and timely feedback led to a revolutionary new product with on-device feedback. The ingo-man® plus SmartNose E dispenser, which includes a visual alert once the correct amount of disinfectant has been used, is a glimpse into the future of data-driven hand hygiene.
Capping off this year of major products launch was the X10, our next-generation custom dispenser system. The culmination of years of research and investment, this system was designed to be the world’s best foundation for custom dispensers. Packed with our latest innovations, the X10 manual and touchless systems solve the hardest, most time-consuming challenges of making a custom dispenser.
In any year, having these many product launches would be noteworthy, but this is especially true in a year that brought about great disruption and the challenges of remote work.
As the pandemic continues and, in many countries, worsens, we know that we cannot stand still. The year ahead will bring continued investments, including large expansions at some of our manufacturing plants and the continued growth of our workforce. In our Canadian plant alone, our $9 million investments will grow our facilities and workforce permanently. In Europe, our stainless steel production capacity is improving from a 2x increase in 2020 to a 5x increase by the end of February. Another helpful product during the pandemic, our table-top foam pump, BTF, will enter mass production scale, making it more available to deliver market-leading soap and alcohol foam.
In 2021, we’re taking a leap forward by introducing smart products across all our major product categories. You will now be able to get connected devices for euro bottle, cartridge, and refillable dispensers.
Shipping soon, the KX Smart will bring digital hygiene features to one of our most customizable and flexible devices. The internet-connected transformation of our product lineup continues with the launch of new SanTRAL Plus 1200 ml touchlesss and manual dispensers, as well as smart toilet paper dispensers, paper towel dispensers, and waste bins. This year will also bring the launch of our second revolutionary dispenser with on-device feedback, the ingo-man® SmartNose T.
These smart hardware launches will be complimented by a series of aggressive software upgrades. Our NFC installation app will make it possible to setup and diagnose all of our smart devices by holding your smartphone close to the dispenser. Setting up even large fleets of dispensers will become a simple task. The launch of our OIT Core API will allow our smart devices to deeply integrate with a wide range of services. This will be especially useful for OEM partners who want to use our smart devices with their own software.
This year we will be completing the flexible and economical RX family of products, by offering the RX10 which holds 1 litre bottles, making it possible to build a whole dispenser program around the RX product line. The Praesidio® lineup will grow with the addition of the slimmed-down Praesidio® X. Importantly, the Praesidio® lineup will also include the unveiling of one of our most innovative and game-changing technologies.
Powered by the future
Years in the making, we are excited to introduce our fuel-cell powered Praesidio® dispenser in 2021. Working prototypes are currently being tested and we expect to ship a commercial product by the end of the year.
Touchless dispensing has become more important than ever during the pandemic, but it offers no advantage over manual dispensing if the batteries are not replaced on time and the device cannot operate. Dispensers powered by fuel cell technology, running on the isopropanol found in disinfectant, solve this problem. These always-on, battery-less dispensers will have more than enough power to operate its sensors and motor. This development marked a massive leap forward in the dispensing industry. Fuel cell powered devices demonstrate OPHARDT Hygiene’s relentless focus on research and innovation. We cannot wait for you to get your hands on this revolutionary product.
Whatever 2021 brings, it will be our privilege to continue to be your hand hygiene partner, doing our part to help keep you and those you love healthy and safe.