Glove maker Maxxim Medical Inc. and Dow Chemical Co. have created a polyurethane-based examination glove that Maxxim believes will have a major impact in the market for synthetic personal-protection products. The glove, trademarked SensiCare Advantix, does not contain natural-rubber latex. It was unveiled Jan. 18 and is one of two gloves Maxxim will put on the market this year. The other is a duplicate SensiCare dental examination glove the company expects to introduce soon, Maxxim Product Director Tom Kennedy said.
Maxxim produces the glove at its Eaton, Ohio, plant.
Dow Chemical provided material expertise and developed the new Intacta-brand performance polymers contained in SensiCare Advantix at its Freeport, Texas, plant, a Dow Chemical spokeswoman said. Maxxim brought medical-market knowledge to the table; it also designs, manufactures and distributes the product, she said.
"Some experts think polyurethane-based medical gloves will grow to 10 percent of the market," Kennedy said. "Right now the medical-glove market is about 20 billion pieces."
He predicted the new glove will improve the privately held company's sales dramatically, but he did not disclose annual sales or project growth.
Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Maxxim disclosed sales totaling $524.4 million for the year ended Aug. 1, with $110 million generated from its glove business. The company also has glove-making facilities in Honea Path, S.C.; Los Gatos, Calif.; Mississauga, Ontario; and Aalst, Belgium.
Clearwater, Fla.-based Maxxim Medical and Dow Chemical "worked side by side over the last few years" on the project, Kennedy said.
Maxxim Medical also makes barrier protection products such as custom procedure trays, gowns, drapes and assembled packs for use in operating rooms.
The firm's Argon division provides sterile, single-use diagnostic instruments for cardiology, interventional radiology and critical care. Its Case Management unit makes scrub brushes, connectors and electrodes.
Maxxim Medical expanded its product line further in January 1999 when it acquired Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Circon Corp., a global manufacturer and distributor of endoscopy systems.