In an effort to continue to help those at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today announced the ramp up of face mask production, tripling its initial capacity. As previously announced, FCA equipped its Comau manufacturing facility in China to produce over 1 million protective face masks per month. Following the start of production in April, capacity has been increased with a target to produce 3 million masks per month across two lines, with over 1 million masks manufactured in the first 10 days of production.
As a priority, over 200,000 face masks are being donated to India to support those most vulnerable in the community. Shortly, donations will commence in China and the United States, followed by Indonesia, Philippines and Australia. The production of protective face masks at Comau is part of a multifaceted global program being developed by the company through applying manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“We all have a role to play in supporting those people and countries most in need at this time,” said Max Trantini, Chief Operating Officer, APAC Region. “Following an evaluation of the ways that we could rally our internal talent and resources, we quickly identified an opportunity to contribute to the global demand for protective face masks.” The cross-functional project team for China was formed with a plan executed in less than 24- hours. It took less than one month from the start of concept to start of production. During this time, the team procured raw materials and machinery, established an ISO Class 8 cleanroom, coupled with obtaining the appropriate certifications, export licenses and government approvals.
According to third party audits at a product and process performance level, FCA has met the best European and US standards in the medical field. The mask production line is staffed by a team of Comau operators who have each undergone extensive training coupled with understanding lessons learned from other manufacturers in the industry. The production team works in a strictly controlled environment, adhering to the highest safety and hygiene standards. “It has been very pleasing to see how our teams across Comau and the regional headquarters, have collaborated and been able to quickly adapt their skills towards producing and distributing face masks,” said Mr. Trantini. FCA will continue the manufacturing of protective face masks for as long as it’s required to support those countries and communities in need.