In the fight against coronavirus, Bosch has now turned its hand to the fully automated production of face masks. Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, on Friday launched the first special production line for face masks at the Bosch plant in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Germany.
The company will operate five fully automated production lines at four Bosch locations around the world to make protective face masks.
“Containing coronavirus is a challenge for society as a whole. By equipping our associates with masks we make ourselves, we are helping to relieve the burden on the market. Moreover, we are doing the groundwork that will enable us to safely resume operations and protect our associates,” Denner says. Following a coordinated ramp-up that will run until the end of June, the company will make over half a million masks a day on five production lines at four locations worldwide. The lines were designed by Bosch’s special-purpose machinery unit. Bosch is making the design plans available to interested companies free of charge. Bosch has already received inquiries from over 30 companies regarding the designs of the special production line.
Developed by Bosch’s special-purpose machinery unit in just a few weeks, identical, fully automated production lines for face masks are now being set up at several company locations. In addition to the lead plant for Industry 4.0 in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, where two lines are planned, mask production will be ramped up at the Bosch locations in Naganathapura, India, and Juárez, Mexico, in successive weeks. A facility at the Rexroth plant in Erbach, Germany, will round off the manufacturing network. Overall, by the end of June, the production volume of the five lines is set to exceed ten million masks a month.
The face covering is primarily intended to impede the spread of pathogens from the wearer’s nose and throat. At the same time, the mask acts as a barrier to bodily fluids produced by people in the immediate vicinity. Bosch is manufacturing surgical mask types I and II, which comply with the European DIN EN 14683 standard, and will use them mainly to protect its roughly 400,000 associates worldwide. Bosch wants to make any excess capacity available to third parties, provided there is demand and the masks satisfy country-specific standards.