Partnering up for better safety products

Since its foundation in 1991 in the Czech Republic, Vochoc has become a leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment for health and safety in the workplace. In recent years, it has integrated Teijin Aramid’s materials to deliver higher standards of protection to end users. The collaboration between Vochoc and Teijin Aramid has so far proved successful, and in May 2017, Vochoc joined Teijin Aramid’s Value Partner Program.

Protection as core business

Michal Homolka

For over 20 years, Vochoc has produced a wide range of personal protective equipment in Pilsen, Czech Republic, including gloves, helmets, and working clothes. “Since the very beginning, we‘ve focused on protecting against heat risks through our own brand, GoodPRO,” says Michal Homolka, Sales Manager at Vochoc. “These suits are suitable for industrial use, such as in foundries, refineries, and other workplaces, and by firefighters facing extreme conditions. To be able to deliver high-quality products to our customers, we need to use high-quality materials to start with. Teijin Aramid’s Teijinconex®, Twaron® and Technora® fibers allow us to offer products with higher temperature resistance, superior weight-to-strength qualities, and improved durability.”

Tougher materials for extreme conditions

Vochoc products are now sold in over 50 countries, and are even used in the Toughest Firefighter Alive competition, where very durable materials are necessary for the extreme races. “Having to operate at high temperatures in high-risk circumstances, firefighters have to face some of the most extreme conditions imaginable,” says Michal Homolka. “We’re participating in the development of a new outershell for firefighter suits that will contain 100% Teijin Aramid fibers, which will ensure top protection for firefighters without compromising on weight and user mobility. We invest strongly in research and development, and we aim to offer our customers products that are suitable for increasingly tougher conditions.”

Ground-breaking technology

This focus on R&D has led to some highly innovative products. Together with two universities and several other companies, Vochoc has developed a new generation of “SmartPRO” firefighter suits, which integrate Teijin Aramid fibers and are additionally equipped with a sophisticated electronic system consisting of sensors, an active light system and an SCU (Suit Control Unit). “The system can continually monitor and evaluate the safety of the environment in which a firefighter is operating,” says Michal. “This includes temperature inside and outside the garment, moisture, humidity, toxic gases, as well as providing information about the position and physiological functions of the user. The system automatically activates acoustic and visual alarms if critical values are exceeded, and also alerts the coordination officer on a Commander Control Unit (CCU). We believe such ‘smart’ solutions, which can communicate with other devices, are the future of protection for firefighters, as well as for the industry.”

Better together with the Value Partner Program

In May 2017, Vochoc became a member of Teijin Aramid’s Value Partner Program, which aims to leverage synergies within the Heat & Cut application area, and create technical, commercial and marketing benefits for all parties throughout the value chain. Specifically, members of the Teijin Aramid Value Partner Program can enjoy a wide range of benefits, including free-of-charge access to laboratory facilities, active downstream support, lead generation through Teijin’s global network, free entry to trade shows, and extensive joint marketing opportunities with Teijin “For us, this is the beginning of something great,” says Michal Homolka. “We’re proud to further intensify the cooperation with Teijin Aramid, and bring our relationship to the next level. Like Teijin Aramid, we believe in quality, top protection, integrity and developing new products. The Value Partner Program is a great step forward – watch this space!”

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