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Energize Critical filtration material for PPE
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Critical filtration material for PPE

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To date, Cummins has provided more than 14 t of its filtration media to mask manufacturers across the globe, which has been used to produce more than eight million masks, reports Amy Davis, the vice president of Cummins Filtration.

On 6 April, Cummins announced plans to use its filter technology to supply critical materials for N95 respirator masks, an essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line healthcare workers.

Following the N95 announcement on 14 April, Cummins announced an additional partnership with 3M to include the utilisation of equipment typically used for producing diesel engine filters to manufacture high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M’s powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs).

Cummins Filtration’s core expertise is designing, manufacturing, and selling air, fuel, hydraulic and lube filtration, as well as chemical technology products for diesel and gas-powered equipment around the world.

“The need for masks, especially N95 respirator masks, skyrocketed in March and April in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We learned that many of the world’s leading mask manufacturers needed the critical materials to assemble masks and were struggling to meet demand,” comments Davis.

“We realised that the NanoNet and NanoForce media technology typically found in filtration products for diesel engines could also be used in surgical masks and N95 respirator masks worn by healthcare professionals to help stop the spread of Covid-19. Once we made that connection, we began exploring partnerships to apply the filter material to masks,” explains Davis.

Cummins Filtration saw an opportunity to use its existing workforce at its Neillsville, Wisconsin facility to meet this demand. It acquired, commissioned, and tested a new pleater in a matter of weeks, and has already produced more than 41 000 filters for 3M’s PAPRs since mid-April.

To date, six tons of the complete composite multilayer media that can be used in N95 masks has been supplied, and eight tons of a simpler polypropylene media that can be used in surgical masks has been shipped. “We have added manufacturing capacity and capability to our plants and plan on continuing to supply media for masks as long as there is demand and a need to protect our communities from Covid-19,” affirms Davis.

It only took one month to go from concept to production on the project. Cummins Filtration employees across the globe have taken immense pride in being part of the solution to help their communities. “The entire initiative is a great example of how Cummins embodies our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world,” highlights Davis.

The company, which employs more than 60 000 people globally and is headquartered in Columbus, plans to being distributing the masks to employees from 1 August. Company officials said they plan to produce enough masks for every employee to receive at least two during each shift.

Contact Deepa Rungasamy, Cummins, Tel 011 589-8512, deepa.rungasamy@cummins.com

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