Clermont-Ferrand, France – Michelin has mobilised 10 of its European production plants to manufacture masks and visors to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the French group announced 9 April.
Michelin said it is tapping into its “research, materials, manufacturing and scientific” knowhow to produce and deliver several types of masks “in large quantities and within extremely short timeframes.”
Following the initialisation phase currently underway, Michelin will produce some 400,000 category 1 surgical masks weekly, either in its own workshops or in collaboration with partners or subcontractors.
In addition to the European capacity, Michelin said similar programmes will be deployed in North America to produce face masks "in the coming weeks."
Michelin announced earlier last week that it had joined an initiative led and coordinated by the Grenoble-based collective VOC-COV, in the design and large-scale rollout of a reusable mask.
The OCOV mask, entirely developed and manufactured in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has been billed as “affordable and sustainable”.
The mask can be produced in large quantities and reused up to 100 times, as it had five washable, interchangeable filters, Michelin said.
Production of a prototype batch of 5,000 units is underway.
The goal, Michelin said, is to produce one million masks per week by May, leading to total production of more than five million masks by end-June, the French group added.
In addition, Michelin has also launched the production of sterilisable polycarbonate visors for health workers in hospitals.
“As early as next week, the group will be managing the outsourced production of 10,000 visors,” said the 9 April statement.
The 10 sites enlisted in Europe are: Bamberg in Germany; Bourges, La Combaude (Clermont-Ferrand), Golbey, Joué les Tours and Ladoux (Clermont-Ferrand) in France; Alessandria and Cuneo in Italy; Olsztyn in Poland and Zalău in Romania.