Hand in hand with nature
The quality of our disposable gloves is based on natural rubber, mainly produced in plantations in Malaysia. A cut is made in the tree bark, and the liquid latex is gathered in a collecting cup. As a natural raw material, natural rubber has crucial advantages compared to artificial alternatives: It is significantly more elastic and resilient, making it ideal to meet the standards we require for our premium products.
We have had our own company in Malaysia for manual production since 1988. It has always been important to us to be directly responsible for product quality, and also for staff safety and satisfaction. We started with just one production line, but now we have several double lines. We distribute our products to more than 50 countries.
Focusing on people
We employ around 700 staff at our plant in Malaysia. We are glad to say that many of them have been with us for a long time. This shows that safety in the workplace, fair wages, and a high level of autonomy encourage people to identify with our company, and also help ensure shared success. Across the whole UNIGLOVES® organisation, we currently employ around 800 people, who all aim to guarantee top quality. We employ ten permanent staff just in our warehouse in Germany (5,500 square metres). They organise around 5,000 pallet bays and ensure our high delivery capability.
Every day we ask ourselves the question: How can we improve? That is why we always focus on our customers and their needs. That means we don't just need our gloves to fit. They must meet the highest individual requirements, because every person and every task is different. We produce the best, most suitable product for virtually all sectors. We are also the only brand that can supply disposable gloves in such a large range of colours.
We are dedicated to constant innovation, to prevent cross-infections, for example. We also offer silicone-free gloves for the automotive market, and the “Zero” line of sulphur- and zinc-free gloves.
Quality in seconds
The actual production of our disposable gloves is highly digitalised and fully automatic. Skilled teams monitor the entire process. There are several production lines at our Malaysian plant, working around the clock to produce the large quantities required. One line alone is around 100 metres long, with a chain of 22,000 hand moulds.
The ceramic hand moulds (formers) are thoroughly cleaned before dipping. To ensure that the liquid latex (or nitrile) that has been prepared sticks to our formers, every mould must first be positively charged. We do this using a coagulant. This ensures that the negatively charged material is applied homogeneously and without faults. The length, thickness, requirements, and also the colour of the relevant batch are determined during the dipping process.
When the ceramic formers are fully covered with the rubber, which is still in liquid form, they quickly progress to the heating chambers for drying – an important, multi-stage step. The heat there starts the polymerisation, leading to the crucial vulcanisation.
When the hand moulds have passed through several oven stations, and the gloves have reached their individual, pre-determined strength and elasticity, then comes “stripping”. A compressed air lance is used to removed them quickly but gently from the former, and direct them on to the packaging station. The “empty” hand moulds are then once more thoroughly cleaned, rinsed, dried, and sent back to the production cycle.
Get the best
Many disposable gloves are exposed to particular demands, be it in a medical or surgical setting, or for demanding tasks in various trades. These are the products that are manufactured or processed using the “offline” process. Double chlorination (rinses in chlorine/water mixtures) makes them exceptionally supple and especially easy to put on. They are then washed thoroughly to remove any residues and eliminate allergenic substances.
Certified tests and checks are integral to our production process. Our goods undergo consistent and targeted screening, carried out by machine and also manually. In the offline process, we even inspect every individual glove. We test for tensile strength, seal, and the material quality to be achieved. Protein tests are also regularly carried out. Gloves that have the most minor fault or deviation, and may not meet our high standards, are immediately taken out of circulation. Around 17,000 units per day are examined and checked by 30 specialist staff.
Pure and simple
Water treatment plant
We work with a high level of environmental awareness. We have set up certified water treatment plants for all our manufacturing operations in Asia, so our process water contains fewer contaminants and is well below the prescribed standard values. This makes us pioneers in our sector. Exhaust air from the production process is also filtered and cleaned. Our CO2 and fine dust emission values are well below the required limits. Also, our packaging is made from 100% recyclable material, and therefore biodegradable, so it can feed back into the recycling system.
Sustainable production also involves acting in an environmentally friendly way across processes. We make an important environmental contribution by implementing comprehensive energy recovery measures. This includes waste disposal: When rubber waste is produced, it is re-used, and it may be sent on to other industrial sectors for further processing, for example. Unusable waste is disposed of at certified disposal sites in accordance with regulations.