As health care workers and other frontline responders across the United States face personal protective equipment shortages, General Motors is stepping up to expand the country’s supply. It is increasing its own production capacity for face masks at its Warren, Michigan, facility. And to ensure that as many manufacturers as possible can ramp up production, GM has shared its mask manufacturing blueprints with its suppliers, as well as the Michigan Manufacturers Association (MMA) and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). MMA is a state partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, and OESA is a member of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations.
“Our ultimate goal is to get more masks to the people who desperately need them,” said GM Vice President of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Shilpan Amin. “And we recognize it would be counterproductive for GM—or any other manufacturer—to compete for supplies with existing medical mask companies. By making GM’s production processes available to the OESA and the MMA, we hope to facilitate other companies’ efforts to bring more materials, more equipment and ultimately, more face masks to the community.”
GM has already donated 500,000 face masks manufactured at the Warren facility to Detroit hospitals. At that facility, GM is adding two new lines—another to make face masks and a new line to make N95-style filtering masks.
“The Michigan Manufacturers Association has 1,700 companies across all industries, and many are looking for ways to help during this crisis,” said Michigan Manufacturers Association President and CEO John Walsh. “GM’s production plans and their willingness to share design specifications will be extremely appreciated as our members accelerate their own efforts to help during this crisis. GM’s efforts are a strong symbol of how manufacturing is driving solutions to solve this crisis.”
As COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the United States, manufacturers nationwide have repurposed existing processes and innovated to develop new ones in order to produce equipment and treatments that will combat the virus and support health care workers.
“Throughout history, the men and women who make things in America have worked to keep our country moving forward,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “In this time of crisis, manufacturers are answering the call.”
Manufacturers can request the Face Masks Informational Blueprint here.