During these unprecedented times, it is critical for medical professionals and the public to have the appropriate protective gear they need to remain healthy and safe. The Connecting the Dots Initiative (CDI) has partnered with Gerber Technology to leverage its fully-connected Industry 4.0 solutions and decades of expertise to help African manufacturers to quickly, efficiently and sustainably produce the personal protective equipment (PPE) at the speed and quality required. The factory repurposing solution provides the tools and expertise you need for a successful transition to PPE production.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 89 million medical masks and 76 million examination gloves are required for the COVID-19 response each month. The WHO estimates PPE manufacturing needs to increase by 40% in order to keep up with demand.

The CDI-Gerber Repurposing Package

Gerber Consulting Services offer PPE expertise across all of its hardware and software solutions. Specifically, for this period of need, the team has been working to retool customer operations to PPE production in one week or less!

Team Image 1
  • Assess customer infrastructure, capacity and available materials
  • Advise customer on PPE product feasibility
  • Advise on end-to-end workflow changes
  • Using supplier network, assist in procurement of raw material (if applicable)
  • Advise on regulations (e.g., FDA) and labeling
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  • Share Common PPE technical specs (patterns, tech packs, cut files)
  • Assist with pattern creation, grading, tech pack creation.
  • Install/update 120 day software licenses part of conversion package
  • Advise on new spreader/cutter parameters and cutting room optimization
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  • Update spreader/cutter parameters
  • Create test marker/cut file for testing
  • Optimize markers for efficiency (onsite support available)
  • Review hardware consumables and maintenance needs and (where applicable)
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  • Finalize hardwaare and software training, customized to the customer and PPE product
  • end-to-end process training (onsite if required), but leveraging remote tools where possible
Team Image 4
  • Ensure production via parts and service (support contract)
  • Weekly status check with customer to ensure efficiency + continuous improvements
  • Remote in on preventative maintenance, as identified by GerberConnect � hardware

Package Includes

This package includes 30 hours with both CDI/DFS Africa and Gerber consultants. This time can be leveraged for any of the following activities and customized for your particular business needs:

  • Advise on the easiest PPE products for transition.

  • Advise on local PPE regulations and ensure proper testing.

  • Assistance on any PPE pattern provided, examples include grading & converting patterns between different formats.

  • Set up relevant PPE tech packs via YuniquePLM and provide access to the customer.

  • Provide marker file (leveraging AccuPlan/AccuNest) to ensure maximum fabric utilization.

  • Advise on basic cutter parameters, examples include review the cutter consumables, determine if they are appropriate for the materials/ply count/etc & Advise on the vacuum settings for the new material

  • Optimization of overall end to end workflow, from planning to CAD room and cutroom, connecting your business with other third-party partners as needed i.e.:

    • Ensuring that AccuMark configuration allows for efficient nesting (i.e. with PPE, bundles can often be maxed because of small pieces).
    • Ensuring the spreader/cutter ratio is maximized for best fabric utilization/efficiency.

How it works in reality!

Produce 500 Masks in a day with the Gerber Paragon cutter. Watch the video below for a good summary of a generic cutter, software and re-tooling consulting package introduced in the heat of the pandemic

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PPE production through Gerber end-to-end ecosystem!

PPE production

The CDI & Gerber partnership supports garment factories across the continent to repurpose their factories to produce masks, gloves and protective suits. For further information about the technical details involved in repurposing garment factories, please see this presentation

The videos below further demonstrate how leveraging Gerber services and tools through CDI can help customers re-tool:


If you are a supplier who needs help repurposing your facilities, our team will support your journey by converting and scaling your manufacturing capabilities for PPE production. CONNECT WITH US

If you are a supplier who have already repurposed your facilities and have products, you can inform us about your product, prices, lead time, location etc by filling the Supplier Onboarding Form.

Whether you're transitioning to PPE or looking to optimize your existing production capabilities, our mandate is to help you succeed. The CDI team of experts would support you to optimize your production of PPE by advising on cross boarder standards, regulations, sharing of best practices, and providing helpful production-ready ideas and resources to make your transition as efficient as possible. CONNECT WITH US

The DFS Africa are here to help you

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