In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Michelin and Cooper Tire have both begun working to produce and deliver several types of masks as a donation to health care workers.
Michelin says it will produce about 400,000 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). Michelin says European capacity will be extended in the coming weeks thanks to the deployment of similar initiatives in North America.
Production of a prototype batch of 5,000 units is underway. Michelin says the goal is to produce one million masks per week by May, leading to total production of more than five million masks by end-June – the equivalent of 500 million single-use masks.
At the request of several French hospitals, Michelin says it has also launched the production of sterilizable polycarbonate visors for health workers. As early as next week, Michelin says it will be managing the outsourced production of 10,000 visors.
In addition, the Cooper Tire Foundation is contributing 200,000 surgical masks to help protect medical professionals. The masks are being donated to non-profit hospitals and health care organizations in New York City as well as in its U.S. and Mexico plant communities.