Firm uses expertise to mass produce much-needed face masks - The Rugby Observer

Firm uses expertise to mass produce much-needed face masks

Rugby Editorial 15th May, 2020   0

AN AUTOMOTIVE supplier in Rugby has used its expertise to develop and supply much-needed face masks.

Autins Group, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of acoustic and thermal insulation solutions for the automotive industry, re-tooled its production processes to produce the new line following factory closures in the region.

The mask has been manufactured to a ‘medical’ standard and is currently in the process of testing, attaining safety approvals in both Germany and the UK so it can also be used by key workers.

Company spokeswoman Dr Kathy Beresford said: “At first we looked at replicating what others do in terms of face masks, but we couldn’t source the standard material. Capacity was sold out everywhere, and we tried across Europe.




“We then looked at using our own, non-woven material that we make. We always knew it had filtration properties, but with our day-to-day work in the automotive sector keeping us very busy, we had never really explored its potential any further. The car industry has taken a big hit during the Covid crisis with multiple factory shutdowns, so we found we had the time to develop this further.”

In a matter of weeks, workers at the Central Park Drive company have gone from establishing a design and a concept to starting up production and getting its first orders – a process that normally takes anywhere from three months to more than three years.


Dr Beresford added: “The small team who are working at Autins during this challenging time have been researching everything from testing regimes, EU regulations and product design, to learning how to use e-commerce and sourcing products we have never used before.”

The face masks are currently being supplied to the general public as well as to nursing homes, care organisations and businesses looking to protect their workers from coronavirus as they return to work.

So far orders have exceeded 120,000 masks and the team is now gearing up to produce up to 100,000 per week and assessing the potential to do more.

 

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