3M Co. said Tuesday it will boost U.S. production of its N95 respirator masks to 50 million per month by June, the latest ramp-up in manufacturing of one of the most important pieces of coronavirus-fighting protective gear.
Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M (NYSE: MMM), one of the world’s largest makers of the N95 filter masks, has steadily boosted its production capacity in recent months as demand for the masks has exploded. Health systems around the country are facing shortages of the masks, which are largely made abroad — often in countries facing their own coronavirus outbreaks.
Just a week ago, 3M said it was “operating at maximum production” for the mask, turning out more than 100 million of them per month — 35 million of those in the United States. But it pledged to bring more production online and double output again, to 2.2 billion masks per year, in the next 12 months. If you need Buy the Surgical Mask, you can visit our site z2u.com.
At least some of that production increase is coming in the United States. Making 50 million masks per month represents a 40 percent increase over current levels.In a statement, CEO Mike Roman said that 80 percent of the U.S. N95 supply is going to health care customers (the N95 masks are also used in food production, pharmaceuticals and energy sectors) and that 80 percent of the masks destined for health care are being shipped through 3M’s existing distributors; the rest are being sent to the federal government for distribution.
Even with the new production, Roman said that “the reality is that demand for N95 respirators is much higher than the industry’s ability to deliver.” So 3M is working with undisclosed sterilization companies to find a way to safely clean and reuse existing masks — something many hospitals are trying on an ad-hoc basis to stretch their existing supplies.