In the face of the pandemic’s rapid spread and the need for large quantities of protective equipment, Michelin and its teams are doubling down. Initiatives include the development and manufacture of several types of mask, as well as an active part in many other projects involving medical device components and patient-positioning cushions*, and some of these projects have leveraged Michelin’s 3D printing expertise. “We are mobilising our metal and plastic 3D printing production tools and know-how not only to manufacture certain types of mask, but also to offset the shortage of essential equipment and design components that will facilitate treatment of the disease,” said Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux. Michelin is also helping to produce hand sanitizer, which is vital to the Group’s operations. Production will take place in five plants, in compliance with the relevant WHO protocol.
We are mobilizing our metal and plastic 3D printing production tools and know-how not only to manufacture certain types of mask, but also to offset the shortage of essential equipment and design components that will facilitate treatment of the disease.
Surgical masks made in 10 European plants
Some 400,000 category 1 surgical masks are to be manufactured weekly, either in the Group's own workshops or in coordination 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. “We have already secured the supply of raw materials in order to manufacture 16 million masks of this type,” explained Mr. Menegaux.
We have already secured the supply of raw materials in order to manufacture 16 million masks of this type.
* Modelling and manufacture of patient-positioning cushions featuring a novel design that facilitates moving COVID-19 patients.
An FMP1 or FMP2 reusable face mask
The OCOV® FMP1 or FMP2 mask, entirely developed and manufactured in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is affordable, sustainable and can be produced in large quantities. With its snug fit, the facepiece minimises leakage compared to FFP1 and FFP2 filters and other washable masks. It can be reused up to 100 times thanks to five washable, interchangeable filters. The goal is to produce one million masks per week by May, leading to total production of more than five million by end-June.
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 of this week, the Group will be managing the outsourced production of 10,000 visors.
Through this 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. At the same time, as Mr. Menegaux points out, “The Group has also ordered tens of millions of units to be delivered around the world progressively, depending on when operations resume and each country’s health situation.”
Further actions to support local health authorities and communities
Equipping Red Cross vehicles in Italy
Michelin is also leading initiatives in all the countries where the Group is active. In addition to financial support, it is offering free services from its local distribution networks along with the supply of free tyres to companies specialising in transportation and logistics, as well as to health-care professionals. China, the Gulf countries, Germany and Italy are just a few of the countries that have already benefitted from these initiatives.