Enabling Economic Recovery During COVID‑19 by Developing a Customized and Flexible Automated Bottling System for Hand Sanitizer

Tabata, Naomi | $50,000

British Columbia North Island College 2020 NSERC College COVID-19 Grant

Wayward Distillery in Courtenay, BC, is one of the many alcohol distillers across Canada who have pivoted operations to serve the demand for hand sanitizer production during the COVID‑19 crisis. In recent weeks, the growth in demand has been exponential and the production of hand sanitizer is now the primary activity of the distillery.

While Wayward has been able to scale up the production of hand sanitizer, the filling and packaging components of the production process are more challenging to scale, given current equipment and expertise, and the global demand to purchase similar production equipment.

A partnership with North Island College’s Industrial Automation program will provide Wayward with expertise and the support of faculty and student research assistants to develop a customized bottling line that will meet the needs of the current increase in production and will also enable the line to be re-purposed at a later date to serve the regular operational needs of producing quality spirits.

As Canadians consider how to return to work in a safe way, cleaning and sanitation regimes will be an important element of return-to-work protocols. This project will contribute directly to the safety of Canadians as we enter a prolonged period of pandemic living.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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