French tyremaker Michelin has recently opened a new automated mask manufacturing workshop at the Combaude plant near Clermont-Ferrand. Some of the machines used in the EUR3.5 million investment- facility are from the Villars-based company CERA. and will be producing 3 million standard type I or IIR single-use surgical masks per month. Production will ramp up to include 1 million FFP2 masks per month from summer 2021. The masks produced from the facility are for Michelin’s 68,000 employees in Europe as well as for sale.
The new facility is equipped with a level 9 room on the classification scale for air cleanliness by particle concentration (ISO Standard 14644-1). During the development and certification phases, Michelin sought assistance from a French laboratory affiliated with Inserm, the Icare laboratory for biocompatibility and the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Spanish innovative fashion brand Ecoalf has teamed up with Michelin for its collection of sustainable loafers, which feature soles made from recycled rubber and knit-fabric made with Ecoalf’s Ocean Yarn, made from used plastic bottles collected from the ocean.