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As is the case with Lamborghini in Italy and Mahindra in India, General Motors will be using its facility to create surgical face masks for front line workers in the medical industry to combat the current Coronavirus outbreak. With 20,000 masks set to be delivered by 8th April, General Motors is estimated to produce 1.5 million surgical masks a month once operating at full capacity.
“Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our talents and resources to help in the shared fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Thom, GM vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering. “Working around the clock, our team rallied with incredible passion and focus to come up with a plan to produce masks that will help protect the women and men on the front lines of this crisis.”
Over 30 engineers, designers, buyers and members of the manufacturing team were asked to help with product development, sourcing materials and equipment, and planning the production process. Raw materials were leveraged from GM’s existing supply chain, such as metal nose pieces, elastic straps and blown, non-woven fabric filter material. The team managed to create the first prototype off the production line in just one week.