The grave nature of COVID-19 has made for a seemingly endless cascade of heartbreaking and concerning headlines and news coverage. But behind the scenes of an increasingly successful fight against the virus are stories of compassion, care, and action on the part of the industry. This includes contributions from the tire industry and its leading members like Michelin.
Tires are immensely complex, a composition of approximately 200 raw materials expertly engineered and manufactured. The process requires considerable technical know-how, diverse, and significant manufacturing capabilities.
Beginning last month, Michelin began to marshal much of its technical and manufacturing resources to fight back against COVID-19. Unsurprisingly to those familiar with the organization and its track record of innovation and success, the outcome of that rededication has been quite incredible.
“In the face of the pandemic’s rapid spread and the need for large quantities of protective equipment, Michelin and its teams are doubling down.” – Michelin.com
Michelin is making a difference in the fight against COVID-19 by producing masks.
Mask shortages have been a well-known problem since day one of the pandemic, and as mask-wearing has become an element of preventative public and essential business policies around the world, the problem has not subsided.
From the outset, the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile was undersupplied for a pandemic. According to The Atlantic, “At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the stockpile contained only about 12 million of the 3.5 billion N95 masks that federal officials estimated the health-care system would need to fight this pandemic back in March.”
Michelin has stepped up to be a solution to the mask shortage. After procuring the raw materials for 16 million category 1 surgical masks, a total of 400,000 per week are now being produced from ten manufacturing facilities in Europe. That manufacturing effort will be expanded to North American facilities as well.
Additionally, Michelin will be manufacturing reusable face masks that can be used up to 100-times before disposal. These masks make use of five interchangeable, washable filters.
Michelin aims to produce 5 million reusable masks by the end of June.
Visors for hospital workers
At the request of hospitals in France, Michelin will produce 10,000 visors to better protect those on the front lines of COVID-19 treatment. Made from polycarbonate, the visors are sterilizable and integrable to hospital settings.
Financial and in-kind donations
Financial contributions to local hospitals and associations have been made in Poland, China, and the USA.
In-kind donations of masks, gloves, soaps, hand sanitizers, and personal protective equipment are being made to hospitals and health agencies around the world.
Worldwide logistical support
With a global distribution network, Michelin has warehousing and delivery capabilities almost everywhere that the virus is a problem.
Along with leveraging the network to deliver its own manufactured masks and visors, Michelin is offering free service from its local distribution networks to make sure a wide variety of other critical supplies are delivered without interruption or delay.
A better way forward
“This is the shared purpose, embraced by all our employees, that imbues our everyday actions with meaning.” – Michelin.com
Michelin’s COVID-19 efforts are a reflection of the company’s compassion and care, and in the direst of times, its true commitment to the ethos of “a better way forward.”