Mike Roman, chairman and CEO of 3M explained that the company would deliver over 500,000 N95 masks to health care providers in Seattle, Wash. and New York.
According to Roman’s blog post the company was expanding its capacity dramatically in response to the outbreak, “Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve ramped up to maximum production levels of N95 respirators and doubled our global output to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month. In the United States we are producing 35 million respirators per month; of these, more than 90% are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies. As a global company, we also manufacture respirators in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and our products are being similarly deployed to support the COVID-19 response in those respective regions.”
In an interview on CNBC yesterday, Roman explained that during normal times, 90% of its N95 mask production was destined to commerical customers.
“While 3M is currently operating at maximum production, we have accelerated investments to expand our global capacity even more. We anticipate being able to nearly double our capacity again, to almost 2 billion respirators globally, within the next 12 months. We are working with the U.S. and other governments, investigating alternate manufacturing scenarios, and exploring coalitions with other companies to increase capacity further. We’ve also maximized production of a wide range of other solutions being used in the response, including hand sanitizers and disinfectants,” Roman continued.