Ever since the beginning of WHO pronouncing the COVID-19 situation as a pandemic, a lot of industries have stepped in to assist through various measures including the production of ventilators and face masks. The automobile industry has come a long way with some companies working on developing more affordable ventilators and enabling quicker production of them as well. In its bid to assist in the combat against the coronavirus, Michelin has announced that it has begun production fo face masks at several of its manufacturing facilities. The group is also active in other projects involving ventilators, medical device components, patient-positioning cushions, and hand sanitisers.
Through its initiative, Michelin is playing an active part in the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, both by increasing the number of masks it donates to health-care workers in the countries where it operates and by protecting the health and safety of its own employees by providing them with masks.
Production of face masks
Following the initialisation phase now underway, Michelin will produce some 4,00,000 category 1 surgical masks weekly, either in its own workshops or in collaboration with partners or subcontractors. Ten sites in Europe have already been selected, including La Combaude in Clermont-Ferrand (France), Olsztyn (Poland) and Zalău (Romania). European capacity will be extended in the coming weeks, thanks to the deployment of similar initiatives in North America.
In addition, Michelin has joined other companies, led and coordinated by the Grenoble-based collective VOC-COV, in the design and large-scale rollout of a reusable mask.
The OCOV FMP1 or FMP2 mask, entirely developed and manufactured in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in record time, is affordable and sustainable. It can be produced in large quantities and reused up to 100 times thanks to five washable, interchangeable filters.
Production of a prototype batch of 5,000 units is underway. The goal is to produce one million masks per week by May, leading to a total production of more than five million masks by end-June – the equivalent of 500 million single-use masks.
Sterilisable polycarbonate protective visors for hospitals
At the request of several French hospitals, Michelin has launched the production of sterilisable polycarbonate visors for health workers. As early as next week, the Group will be managing the outsourced production of 10,000 visors.
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