3M Doubles Respirator Output


Company will expedite shipments across the statement to aid in fight against Covid-19

Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak, 3M has ramped up to maximum production levels of N95 respirators and doubled its global output to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month, according to chairman of the board Mike Roman. In the U.S. the company is 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, 3M also manufactures respirators in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and its products are being similarly deployed to support the COVID-19 response in those respective regions.

“Like everyone, I see the pleas from our heroic doctors, nurses and first responders for the respirators and other equipment they desperately need. I want people to know we are doing all we can to meet the demands of this extraordinary time and get supplies from our plants to where they’re most needed as quickly as possible,” he says. “As I write this, more than 500,000 respirators are on the way from our South Dakota plant to two of the more critically impacted areas, New York and Seattle, with arrivals expected starting tomorrow. We are also ready to expedite additional shipments across the country.”

While 3M is currently operating at maximum production, it has accelerated investments to expand the global capacity even more. The company anticipates being able to nearly double our capacity again, to almost 2 billion respirators globally, within the next 12 months and is 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,” he adds.

Roman also commends the American federal government for their expansion earlier this week of the U.S. PREP Act. This helps ensure that all N95 disposable respirators can be used in healthcare settings, and has enabled us to increase distribution to those workers beginning this weekend. “We call for additional legislation to ensure all critically needed reusable respirators are equally available, which will help conserve the supply of N95s,” he adds.

3M is working proactively and is well-prepared to protect our employees, maintain business continuity and sustain our operations. Its crisis response team is overseeing all aspects of its strategies and is collaborating with business partners across industries to prepare for any and all scenarios that may unfold.

3M employs 96,000 employees around the world. This includes the 50,000 people who, in these most challenging circumstances, come to work in our plants and distribution centers to support making and delivering the products that are critical in this fight. Across all sites 3M has established robust protocols for safety, cleaning and medical screening and is working closely with local communities and health authorities to ensure safe workplace environments. 3M also continue to support employees impacted by COVID-19, which includes a new pandemic leave policy in the United States.