Gentex Awarded $1.5 Million Contract by U.S. Air Force for the Patient Isolation Unit (PIU) Program

December 21, 2006

Carbondale, PA (December 21, 2006) – Today, Gentex Corporation was awarded a $1.5M Contract for the System Development and Design (SDD) Phase of the Patient Isolation Unit (PIU) contract along with three Production Options by the U.S. Air Force. The successful award was a joint effort of the company’s four business units – Respiratory Products (Rancho, Cucamonga, CA), Performance Materials (Carbondale, PA), Electro-Acoustic Products (Manchester, NH) and Helmet Systems (Carbondale, PA) – contributing research, development and product engineering experience and expertise related to respiratory products, advanced chemical-biological self-detoxifying textiles, and communications.

The combined technology applications of Gentex Performance Materials and Respiratory Products companies has produced a low risk, high performing, mobile patient and caregiver protection system to meet FDA medical device application and USAF Air Mobility Command’s Aeromedical Evacuation mission requirements. This is slated to be a 21-month program that will be spearheaded by Gentex Respiratory Products, the company’s Southern California facility.

“The PIU Program is an outstanding opportunity for Gentex to combine and leverage the experience and expertise of all four of our Business Units to deliver a product that will meet the needs of the USAF’s Aeromedical Evacuation personnel fighting the global war on terrorism, ” stated Robert McCay, Vice President/General Manager of Gentex Respiratory Products.

The contract is dedicated to the development, verification, testing and production of multiple representative PIU systems, while implementing sound and robust engineering principles that are required to meet defined military specifications, as well as U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifications. More specifically, the PIU system will be designed to provide patient comfort and medical care, while preventing the spread of infectious biological pathogens from inside the PIU to the outside environment. Such a system will allow the aeromedical evacuation of a contaminated patient for definitive care, while protecting military air transport and medical personnel. The design will also allow for use across a wide array of existing USAF fixed and rotary wing aircraft platforms including the C-17, C-130, KC-135, KC-10 and H-60 to name a few. The overall goal of the successful development of a PIU system is designed to reduce the size and increase the portability of these isolation units over the current military AE system.

Barry Shope, Gentex Respiratory Products Director of Business and Concept Development explained, “With the award of the USAF’s PIU Research, Development Test & Evaluation contract Gentex will be able to demonstrate additional capabilities by building on the design evolution of our existing Casualty Care System product.”

“The U.S. Air Force’s PIU Program is an excellent platform in which to demonstrate Gentex’s capabilities in multi-functional materials, and to leverage the advances we’ve made in textile systems offering high-efficiency filtration and biocidal efficacy,” said John F. Pullo, Vice President/General Manager of Gentex Performance Materials.

For more information about the PIU, please contact

Respiratory Products:
Brenda K. von Kleist
(909)481-7667 x116 /

Corporate: Ken Lee
(570) 282-8209 /