Garner Startup Pivots To Face Mask Production

Masks roll off the assembly line at Sanctuary Systems.

A Garner-based startup company, Sanctuary Systems, is doing its part to help protect local employees against COVID-19.

Sanctuary Systems recently has pivoted its non-woven textiles company to produce face masks for companies in the Triangle area. The startup originally was spun out of North Carolina State University and still keeps its close ties with the NCSU Nonwoven Institute.

“This was a great way for us to use our decades of non-woven experience to help keep employees safe,” said Stephen Sharp, the company’s director of operations.

The company is able to produce 3,500 to 3,600 masks per hour on its one machine. It plans to add more machines to keep up with demand.

“Continued demand will come from a change in protocol in industries that did not use PPE in the past but will use it in the future—industries such as nursing homes, law enforcement and dental offices,” Sharp said.

“While face masks are not our primary product, we see them as becoming a regular part of someone’s attire and a common courtesy, as is seen in many other cultures,” Sharp added.

You won’t find Sanctuary Systems’ masks in stores. Currently, the company is only selling its masks directly to other businesses.

“Seeing companies like Sanctuary step up and pivot to manufacturing a new product so quickly is inspiring,” Garner Economic Development Director Joe Stallings said. “This company is not only adding new equipment and jobs, they are helping to keep our community and the people who work in it safe.”