Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day


St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and you should stock up on disposable gloves in addition to green apparel, decorations and beer. Gloves will be out in force as much as the parade-goers March 17 – and the day after.

Many revelers will be dying or painting hair, paper mache decorations and other items green, and they need gloves to keep the chemical dyes off their hands.

After getting their emerald apparel and decorations together, many Americans will have a hankering for corned beef and cabbage, keeping restaurants and pubs across the nation busy on St. Patrick’s day. As customers crowd into these venues, food service workers will need an ample supply of barrier protection on hand.

While corned beef and cabbage is a staple of St. Paddy’s Day cuisine, it is not the only common sight around the holiday. Many cities, food service venues and others will be cleaning up after all the festivities and will need ample supplies of gloves for the task. For instance, Chicago, which has an iconic celebration that includes dying the Chicago river green, expects 500,000 people to attend the festivities, according to Medill Reports Chicago, and cleanup crews will need the right supplies, including gloves, to pick up behind the revelers.

Many will claim the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but certain things should not be left to chance. Make sure you have the gloves you need.

AMMEXGear up for St. Patrick’s Day
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AMMEX: From Start-Up to Industry Leader


Where a company goes all depends on where it starts, and we at AMMEX come from one man’s goal to provide comprehensive barrier protection to the world. Expanding from a small office to a headquarters in Kent, Washington, production facilities in Asia and distribution centers in Toronto and Atlanta, AMMEX is one of the fastest-growing glove suppliers.

How it all began
Like many businesses that started out small, AMMEX had inauspicious beginnings. Fred Crosetto, a 24-year-old law student from Seattle, started the company in March 1988. While Crosetto had a clear goal in mind, which was to address a growing demand for industrial barrier protection and infection control products, he did not understand what it would truly take to build an international company between the U.S. and Asia.

Rapidly expanding into a leading glove supplier
The spring of 1990 began a string of firsts for AMMEX.

Crosetto opened the retail business in May 1990, sold 50 cases during the first month and did all this by making deliveries with a borrowed van. He also ferried gloves in a 1989 Nissan Sentra, 17 cases at a time.

AMMEX’s first office/warehouse opened in early 1992, and in early 1993, AMMEX received the delivery of our first full ocean container

Where AMMEX lives today
In July 1994, AMMEX acquired Sime Health, a 12,000-square-foot facility located in Seattle. Not only did business double overnight, but this first acquisition lead to what would become our first headquarters in Kent.

While our headquarters is in Kent, AMMEX now has an international presence. With Crosetto leading the way with an attitude of “it can be the right time and the right place, but you still have to do something about it,” AMMEX opened warehouses in Atlanta in 1996 and another in Toronto in 2009. AMMEX continued to grow internationally when we opened our Shanghai operations, which included Shanghai Intco Medical Supply, in January 2005. We also have our AMMEX Weida Health and Safety Supply business Xiantao, Hubei, China.

“AMMEX has grown from a small operation to an international business.”

AMMEX is now a leading distributor in health, hygiene and safety supplies in the China market. Further expansion has included production, procurement and other facilities across Malaysia and the Philippines. One of AMMEX’s strengths is a deep and extensive network of suppliers across China and Southeast Asia. These relationships have and will continue to play a key role as the global growth of this market is only increasing.

AMMEX has grown significantly since our small office in Bellevue, Washington. We have been listed on Washington’s 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies an astounding eight times; are one of the largest privately held companies in the state of Washington; and have been voted one of Seattle Business magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for. However, we have not forgotten our founder’s initial mission. In these past 27 years, we expanded our product lines and international presence and are proud suppliers of a wide selection of disposable gloves and personal protection equipment to thousand of distributors in a variety of industries around the world.

AMMEXAMMEX: From Start-Up to Industry Leader
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March Madness: Team Vinyl


Do you want a disposable glove lineup with the balanced stats you need to score a bucket for barrier protection every time? If so, look no further than Team Vinyl. These gloves know how to play the game from inside and beyond the arc as well as on offense and defense to keep harmful chemicals and pathogens at bay.

Here is our starting lineup for Team Vinyl:

“The star players for Team Vinyl are great for food service and janitorial-sanitation applications.”

Antimicrobial
This player is all about containing the offense, as it inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Antimicrobial Vinyl Gloves, which are a fan favorite in food service and janitorial-sanitation, help prevent cross-contamination by double teaming pathogens on the court.

Stretch synthetic
These gloves, which are also great for food service, have the feel and fit of latex without the allergy concerns. Plus, Stretch Synthetic Vinyl Gloves are a low-cost solution, leaving more in your wallet to bet on brackets.

Blue vinyl
When the defense has a player wrapped up, it can be hard to see an open player for the pass. That is not the case with Blue Vinyl Gloves. With the vibrant color, you will always be able to spot a glove.

With Team Vinyl, you get an all-around lineup of barrier protection superstars.

AMMEXMarch Madness: Team Vinyl
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West Coast Ports Reach Tentative Labor Agreement


Following weeks of negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the two organizations have finally reached a tentative five-year agreement. The tentative agreement will allow large backlogs of cargo containers along the West Coast to unload their shipments.

In Seattle ports specifically, the backlog will clear within three weeks, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. However, the West Coast ports and the global supply chain are far from operating at normal activity. Containers shipping from the United States back to foreign ports will take time. The backup caused by the lack of containers in China and Southeast Asia is significant. Analysts are predicting that it will still be at least eight to 12 weeks before the supply chain will normalize, at the very minimum. This will be a welcome return to normal activity, as some industries lost millions of dollars because of the labor dispute. These losses were particularly felt in the agricultural business, which had shipments rotting in the ports.

As the situation continues to unfold, AMMEX is well stocked with inventory to support our clients and prospects. With that said, delays are still possible, as negotiations, which shut down ports several times, will not be complete until the union ratifies the agreement, an endeavor that could take a few months, according to the source. The tentative agreement is a sign of positive movement, but unpredictable changes in the situation could still occur.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXWest Coast Ports Reach Tentative Labor Agreement
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March Madness: Team Poly


March Madness is about to begin, and some of the best disposable gloves are ready to make a slam dunk for barrier protection. The first team on the brackets is Team Poly. 

These gloves are known for having a strong bench, with many fresh gloves waiting to be called into the game when a current pair is worn out. This makes them great for food service, where gloves are changed frequently for short duration tasks.

Here’s our starting lineup for Team Poly:

“Stretch synthetic and traditional poly are the all stars of Team Poly.”

Stretch Synthetic
Stretch Synthetic Poly Gloves are the starting point guard for Team Poly because they offer exceptional dexterity compared to regular poly gloves. Plus, they have a light texture for great grip.

“These gloves have combined unique characteristics of conforming fit in a low cost poly glove,” one commentator said.

These features make the Stretch Synthetic Poly Glove a star player.

Traditional Poly
Traditional Poly Gloves score points by focusing on the fundamentals, but this does not mean they do not stand out on the team, as they are heat sealed rather than dipped like other glove types. They also show off a little style with an embossed texture for additional grip.

Team Poly has the players to defend food products against cross-contamination.

AMMEXMarch Madness: Team Poly
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HACCP without the Hiccup


Disposable gloves come in a variety of colors, but this is not simply for wearer preferences. Some colors are more common in one industry than in another. Automotive technicians, for example, are fond of black nitrile gloves because the color seems suitable for their job, but the color has no bearing on the gloves’ usefulness.

In other industries, however, colors serve a greater purpose. This is because of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules.

“HACCP provides strict oversight at each step of food production.” 

What is HACCP?
This regulation includes a set of guidelines to ensure that food processing occurs in a safe manner from start to finish. HACCP provides strict oversight at each step of the production process to make certain consumers get food products without physical, chemical or microbiological risks. Using scientific and logical strategies, regulators identify hazards, put controls in place to limit those hazards and conduct tests to ensure those controls are effective.

This control method came from Pillsbury microbiologist Dr. Howard E. Bauman and other researchers in 1959. The company worked with NASA under contract to develop a food that would not crumble or contain pathogens or parasites in spacecraft with the astronauts. The formal presentation of HACCP came a little over a decade later in 1971 at the National Conference on Food Protection in Denver.

Through the years, HACCP grew from three principles to seven, reaching its current framework in 1992. The seven principles include:

  1. Conducting hard analyses: Plants identify hazards.
  2. Determining control points: This principle involves identifying steps in the production cycle where plants should implement preventative measures.
  3. Setting critical limits: Plants determine the extent to which they must control identified hazards.
  4. Implementing monitoring procedures for each control point: Plants establish procedures to ensure workers implement controls at control points.
  5. Creating corrective actions: If monitoring reveals critical limits are not met, plants must enforce corrective actions.
  6. Implementing record-keeping procedures: Plants must keep record of all information relating to the aforementioned principles.
  7. Verifying that HACCP is working effectively: The final principle ensures a plant’s HACCP plan works through inspections.

From its inception to now, HACCP has expanded to a number of industries, including canning and meat processing.

What does HACCP check?
While HACCP is a detailed process that implements numerous assessments and controls along the food processing cycle, it is not completely comprehensive. However, it does indicate food producers are taking the most extensive measures possible to ensure food safety.

The International HACCP Alliance noted the brunt of attention goes toward microbiological hazards, which require a microscope to detect and include listeria and E. coli. Chemical hazards, such as antibiotics and pesticides, are also present and feared by some consumers.

“Color coding gloves helps with HACCP compliance.”

Where do disposable gloves fit in?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already requires glove use in food processing, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires HACCP for meat processing plants in the U.S. Plus, HACCP is required for seafood and juice. With these controls already in place, some may wonder what else gloves will do to further assist in compliance.

That is where the colors become important. One of the biggest issues with food safety hazards is cross contamination. If workers do not change gloves between tasks, there is risk of a transfer of microorganisms. For example, contamination occurs if workers switch from working with raw meat, which contains harmful bacteria, to handling cooked meat. The same is true of the transition between cleaning and processing fruit, respectively. To address these issues, food producers use color coding for their disposable gloves.

Another example of a HACCP principle in use is of a plant that processes both meat and seafood. Blue vinyl gloves could designate seafood products, while managers could limit translucent vinyl gloves to meat. While a seemingly small difference, the color coding can go a long way toward ensuring workers remember to change gloves when switching between tasks.

HACCP includes a wide range of checks and balances, of which gloves are only a small part. However, they are no less important than any other preventative measures because they help reduce possible food recalls and improve food quality.

AMMEXHACCP without the Hiccup
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Why Nitrile Gloves are Best for Dairy Farming


Disposable gloves have many uses in agriculture, especially when it comes to dairy farming. Nitrile gloves, for example, are perfect for this application.

According to Progressive Dairyman, gloves have experienced increased usage in this industry over the past ten years. This is because of a need for improved worker and animal health – not to mention, a desire to produce higher-quality milk. In fact, nearly 50 percent of all dairy farms use gloves because of these reasons.

Nitrile gloves in particular provide several benefits:

  • Cleaner milk due to less bacteria transferred from hands to the milk, as the bacteria does not adhere to the nitrile as easily as to the crevices of your hands
  • Protection against repeated exposure to teat dips
  • Superior resistance to iodine used to prevent contamination between cows, a resistance not found with latex gloves

Progressive Dairyman noted this sanitation practice is crucial for dairy farms. If cows become infected, they represent lost revenue. This problem becomes worse if an infection spreads between cows. Rather than risking lost profits and low-quality milk, dairy farmers should be sure to replenish their nitrile glove supplies to get the appropriate level of barrier protection.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXWhy Nitrile Gloves are Best for Dairy Farming
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How Nitrile and Vinyl Gloves are Made


Unlike latex gloves, nitrile and vinyl gloves do not come from natural rubber. These gloves come from synthetic materials, but the manufacturing process is not too different from latex glove production.

Here is an overview of how manufacturers create these gloves:

Creating the synthetic materials
The processes for creating the nitrile and vinyl materials is similar.

The nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) used for nitrile gloves is a copolymer, which is a substance derived through the bonding of different molecules. In the case of NBR, the two parts are butadiene and acrylonitrile, which chemists combine using a process known as copolymerization. These molecules provide specific advantages for the gloves: Acrylonitrile enhances the chemical resistance, while butadiene creates flexibility and tear resistance.

Vinyl gloves come from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) monomers alone. Because chemists use only one species of monomer to create PVC, the material is known as a polymer. Once they have polymerized the substance, the chemists add a chemical called a plasticizer to the PVC. The plasticizer makes the material flexible – otherwise, the PVC would be rigid, as it is when used to form pipe. PVC is inexpensive to create, making it a cost-effective alternative to latex and for applications where glove changes occur frequently.

“Chemists combine molecules to create PVC and NBR for disposable gloves.  For easier donning, nitrile gloves undergo chlorination or polymer coating.”

Producing the gloves
Once the synthetic materials are available, they go to the factory for production. With a few exceptions, this process is mostly the same as the steps for manufacturing latex gloves:

  • The manufacturing equipment first runs ceramic, hand-shaped formers through water and bleach to clean them and remove any residue from the previous run. The formers then dry to remove all the water. Then, they dip in a mixture of calcium carbonate and calcium nitrate, which helps the synthetic materials coagulate around the formers. Afterward, the formers dry again.
  • The equipment dips the formers in tanks full of NBR or PVC. The following step involves heating the materials at a high temperature to form the gloves as they dry.
  • For easier donning, nitrile gloves undergo one of two processes: chlorination or polymer coating. Chlorination involves exposing the gloves to chlorine – as an acid mixture or gas – to make the material harder and more slick. Polymer coating lubricates the glove surface by adding a layer of polymer.
  • Finally, in what is known as the stripping phase, the gloves are removed from the formers. This is called the stripping phase.

Checking for quality
The last steps of the manufacturing cycle include testing the gloves and shipping them.

The quality control process, which is based on standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), includes the pinhole leak test. While all gloves have some pinholes, this test tells manufacturers whether a glove has enough pinholes to lead to a noticeable leak.

After filling the gloves with 1 liter of water, the workers hang them upside down for two minutes to see if the gloves can hold the water. Exam-grade gloves undergo more intensive testing than industrial-grade gloves – the latter is composed of gloves that meet basic quality tests but not the higher standards for exam grading.

These tests adhere to acceptable quality limits (AQLs), which are percentages indicating how many gloves in a batch must fail the test to determine if the entire batch fails.

The final step is for workers to package and pack the gloves. Then, the gloves ship from the manufacturing facilitates in Southeast Asia via ocean freight to their final destinations. With this journey, the gloves have taken the final step from being molecules to effective barrier protection.

AMMEXHow Nitrile and Vinyl Gloves are Made
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Creating a Customer-Focused Experience


Selling disposable gloves is an endeavor that focuses on prospective customers and putting the experience in their hands. Often, salespeople will spend most of their time demonstrating a product and explaining features without actually getting customers involved. Whereas, engagement and paying attention to customer needs are keys to growing business.

Product demonstrations show your expertise as a glove salesperson and give customers the opportunity to see the gloves in action, but you must direct your knowledge toward their needs. This starts with determining which glove types would work best for a prospect. The next step is letting customers feel the difference with glove samples.

Asking the right questions
Product demonstrations show your extensive knowledge of glove materials and features, but how do you prove that you understand your customers? You must tailor the products displayed in your demos to a prospective customers’ needs.

This is why it is important to ask the right questions before you start pulling out a bunch of glove samples. For instance, what do prospective customers need from their gloves? Do they need to change gloves quickly between customers or need a thicker glove for longer duration use?

Asking the right questions is also a good way to overcome common objections that come with glove sales. Doing so allows you to listen to a prospective customer’s concerns, show you empathize and pinpoint past customers who benefited from your products.

“Your Sales Acceleration Solution® comes with all the glove samples you need for demos.”

Using glove samples
If you want to convince customers to purchase your products, you must give them something to experience. This is why it is essential to bring glove samples when talking to prospects.

Wearing gloves is a tactile experience, so customers should try them on to get a full understanding of what each glove type has to offer. Customers can examine the feel, fit, material, thickness and sizing. Plus, the gloves are available for on-site testing with chemicals and solvents. If customers try the gloves before they buy, they will know the products they select are the right gloves for the job and fit well. These benefits reduce returns.

Samples also allow you to save money. AMMEX sends these samples in master bags of individually packaged pairs. Instead of opening a box of gloves from your inventory – thereby losing the ability to sell that box – you will have the samples on hand.

Keeping the customer in mind
Remember that you want the future customers to feel involved. The more you empathize, listen and make the demo interactive, the more they will have that feeling of confidence.

Contact an AMMEX representative today or contact us on our website to get started on becoming a distributor. If you are already a distributor, speak with your salesperson to discover more about what AMMEX can offer for you.

AMMEXCreating a Customer-Focused Experience
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West Coast Ports Shut Down During Labor Negotiations


A labor dispute between shipping employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on the West Coast has recently shut down operations due to the two parties failing to reach a compromise. Ports were closed Feb. 12 and will be closed Feb. 14-16.

This has noticeably crippled U.S. shipping, particularly for Asian imports, Reuters reported. In fact, these ports handle 70 percent of imports from Asia. With most of the world’s rubber coming from Asia, the shutdowns will impact supply chains for rubber products, including disposable gloves.This labor dispute has affected 29 ports on the West Coast, and freighters are backed up in each of these locations. The unloading of these freighters, which are stocked with countless containers full of products ready for distribution, will be delayed until the union and shipping employers have reached an agreement. Currently, the tension between these two parties remains high.

The National Retail Federation has appealed to the White House to help end the dispute, as the issue is hurting many businesses and consumers, The New York Times reported. As this situation develops, distributors must remain aware that the disagreement will impact supply lines for products and materials from Asia, leading to unforeseen delays in deliveries.

The situation not only impacts importers, but exporters as well. Containers sitting at the port full of goods, destined for the United States, cannot be unloaded and refilled with goods destined for Asia. Even after the two parties have reached an agreement, it will take several months for shipping and port times to normalize.

AMMEX has bolstered its supplies in anticipation of a strike. However, the length of this situation is unpredictable and may affect our inventory down the road.

For more information, follow this link.

AMMEXWest Coast Ports Shut Down During Labor Negotiations
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