Freudenberg, the global technology group, has started producing mouth-nose masks for end-consumers. The masks under the brand name “Collectex” are available in the Vileda online shop and from retail partners of the Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions (FHCS) Business Group – initially only in Germany.
In the past weeks, three Freudenberg Business Groups – Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions and Freudenberg Performance Materials – have combined their expertise in technical nonwovens, filter media and distribution. Together, Freudenberg specialists have set up in-house mask production in a very short period of time, initially delivering the needed volumes to Freudenberg sites. “Our objective was to fulfill our responsibility to our employees and society. We acted quickly, expanded our capacity and invested in production equipment for the manufacture of mouth-nose masks,” says Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of the Freudenberg Group.
In addition to mask quality, the fair and needs-based distribution of the masks is important to Freudenberg. Limiting sales on the Vileda online shop to a maximum order of two boxes per online customer will help ensure fair distribution and guarantee a wide dispersion that will benefit as many people as possible in the time of crisis. Mask production is located in Germany and has been up and running since late April. Freudenberg Home and Cleaning Solutions is selling the masks under the name “Collectex”. In contrast to the now common industrial and privately sewn cotton masks, the Freudenberg masks are made from a high quality, triple-layered filter medium.
This filter medium is made from a high-tech nonwoven, which is also manufactured in Germany. The materials are processed into masks in newly acquired production lines launched in phases at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies – at first for the German market. Freudenberg is planning to expand capacity in the next few weeks to the point where roughly a million masks can be produced a day in four shifts around the clock seven days a week. The technology group will also continue to deliver media for the production of facemasks to professional converters and existing customers.
“We have succeeded in expanding our capacities for respiratory mask media in the shortest possible time and have put our own mask production facility into operation. Such a project requires a high degree of agility.” Dr. Andreas Kreuter, CEO of Freudenberg Filtration Technologies
Currently, efforts are also underway to produce masks in North America for the local market. Japan Vilene Company – a Freudenberg Business Group – has been producing masks for the Asian market, primarily Japan. However, these products are subject to individual countries' Covid-19 export restrictions.