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MANN+HUMMEL, a leading global expert in filtration, has implemented a number of initiatives to support the growing battle against coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
While MANN+HUMMEL has been known for its involvement in the automotive, heavy duty and industrial segments, the company also has been committed to growth in Life Sciences & Environment segment. Since 2015, MANN+HUMMEL has acquired air and water filtration leaders including Tri-Dim Filter Corp. and MICRODYN-NADIR, among others. The acquisitions gave MANN+HUMMEL expertise in HEPA filtration, cleanroom filtration and Operating Room (laminar flow) technologies.
“Companies are mobilizing at unbelievable speeds to assist the frontlines in their fight against COVID-19,” said Charles Vaillant, chief technology/digital officer at MANN+HUMMEL. “It’s incredible to see the levels of innovation, the speed at which it’s happening, and most of all, the sincere belief that we can make a difference in this fight. If we can save even one life, it makes these efforts worthwhile, and I am immensely proud of MANN+HUMMEL as we embrace innovation and quickly adapt to help others.”
Production and Supply of Face Masks
At its facility in Fayetteville, North Carolina, two production lines have been converted to produce daily protective grade (non-certified) face masks with a time-to-market of 15 days. Initially, the product will be supplied to MANN+HUMMEL employees to protect those keeping the company moving forward. As production ramps up, the masks also will be sold to customers. Globally, MANN+HUMMEL began 2020 with zero face mask production, and now anticipates that by May 1, more than 5 million face masks will be produced per month.
MANN+HUMMEL also is working on a design to provide highly engineered filtration media inserts that can be used in homemade mask designs. The concept will greatly increase the effectiveness of homemade masks, featuring a thin, breathable media. The company anticipates having the media inserts available within two weeks, available through various e-commerce channels.
“MANN+HUMMEL has repeatedly demonstrated our competence in successfully transferring technology and know-how to new applications. We now use our filtration competence in automotive to build up and drive the production and supply of face masks. We have several groups in different countries all over the world working on this initiative,” said Kurk Wilks, president and CEO of the MANN+HUMMEL Group.
HEPA Filtration and Negative Pressure Machine
The company’s TRI-KLEEN product gives public health officials and hospital staff the ability to turn a COVID-19 patient’s room into a negative pressure environment, providing a tool to help field hospitals, temporary care units, nursing homes or ad-hoc locations to maintain safety for patients and frontline staff. While initially sold by Tri-Dim, the technology has been rapidly scaled through MANN+HUMMEL’s global network to prepare for mass production, which was accomplished in less than 30 days.
Respirator Filtration Device for Hospital Frontline
In support of a major automaker producing respirators to protect frontline health care workers, MANN+HUMMEL will urgently provide up to 5,000 filters per day for the project. The respirator is a collective effort from contributing companies, as it mainly uses off-the-shelf parts to construct a life-saving device – including a seat fan from a pickup truck, a battery from a power tool, and now a HEPA filter supplied by MANN+HUMMEL. The time-to-market for the HEPA filter design for respirator devices from initial concept to full production was only 12 days.