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March 31, 2020

Lear adds face masks; face shields in development

Seating and e-systems supplier Lear Corporation said it had added capacity at its AccuMED production facility, which specialises in the manufacturing of medical products, to produce protective masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Olly Wehring

Seating and e-systems supplier Lear Corporation said it had added capacity at its AccuMED production facility, which specialises in the manufacturing of medical products, to produce protective masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donations of masks were made recently to the Detroit Medical Center, the largest health care provider in southeast Michigan, and the City of Detroit for use by the police and fire departments.

"We are proud to support pandemic relief efforts in the communities where we live and work," said Lear president and CEO Ray Scott.

"Protecting hospital staff and public safety officers has never been more important as they continue to go to work every day during this crisis to help others in need."

In February, the supplier's Mocksville, North Carolina, facility designed a face mask in response to a shortage of personal protective equipment in China.

It next added production capacity for masks in less than 72 hours.

With cases of COVID-19 rising in other areas of the world, the operation has expanded from three production lines to seven, and now employs 200 people. Total capacity is 25,000 units per day, based on availability of raw materials.

In addition to the donations made recently in Detroit, masks have been delivered to other global locations based on the employee and community need for personal protective equipment.

Lear is also moving to start production at plants in Mexico and Europe to manufacture protective masks. Once fully operational, it will have dedicated about 1,200 workers and will have the daily global capacity to produce 125,000 masks for local communities.

Mocksville also is currently designing and developing full face shield visors for production to support the health care response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are committed to making donations of personal protective equipment until this situation improves," Scott added.

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