In a record 10-weeks’ time, Magna put its operations prowess in action to prepare to produce up to two million procedure masks a week to support the return of its workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Magna locations masks are available to anyone who asks.
A group of 30 engineers, purchasing, and IT team members located all over the world collaborated to make this happen in four locations: Qualtech Seating in Canada; Auburn Hills Seating in the United States; Seating Systems in Mexico; and a Magna Steyr location in Austria with two machines.
“The effort was quite extraordinary due to the relatively short amount of time to set up for a new product using an entirely new process, which means procuring new equipment, converting floor space, training employees, testing, and creating a packaging and distribution system,” explained Burge Young, vice president of Operations at Magna Seating. “But I am not at all surprised that the team was up for the task! It’s the Magna way.”
The 3-layer procedure masks are designed to protect the user and those around them from germs spread by talking, coughing or sneezing. The outer and inner fabric layers are spun bond polypropylene with a filtering melt blown spun bond polypropylene fabric in the middle for added protection.
“The flexibility shown in this effort speaks volumes not only about our company, but in particular, about the people,” said Ian Simmons, vice president of Business Services, R&D at Magna International. “It makes you feel very proud to be part of a team so committed to doing what is right despite all challenges.”
Magna Seating Director of Manufacturing Samir Khaled coordinated the mask operations with manufacturing, purchasing, engineering, materials and testing, legal and corporate in four regions to successfully launch the mask production. He said, “I am very proud and fortunate to be part of this great Magna team. We were focused, dedicated, and committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and did whatever it took to make this happen. Everyone pulled together and implemented this mask project in a short amount of time, and that was amazing to see. This wasn’t just a project but an opportunity to grow and make new friends along the way. Magna Proud!
Hydrophobic spun bond layer
Soft absorbent spun bond layer