MaskForce can now manufacturer personal protective equipment at scale with the goal of producing as many as 10,000 masks a day, the organization recently announced.
Milwaukee-area manufacturers and organizations recently collaborated to design an N-95 style mask that could be used by health care professionals across the country. MaskForce started its efforts in March to meet the demand for personal protective equipment in Wisconsin.
An initial production run of 30,000 face masks is underway at Husco’s headquarters in Waukesha. The first shipment was sent to Milwaukee-area first responders on Wednesday.
In addition to Husco, the MaskForce consists of more than 50 organizations including Briggs & Stratton Corp., Midwest Composite Technologies, health care organizations and educational institutions. The consortium used their collective expertise to build a mask design that not only meets today’s PPE standards, but can also be produced at scale.
“MaskForce is both an example of American manufacturing ingenuity and the good that can be accomplished when multiple stakeholders collaborate to serve the community,” said Austin Ramirez, Husco chief executive officer. “I am grateful to all the MaskForce collaborators for their time, expertise, and goodwill.”
The MaskForce’s PPE has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the MaskForce face mask is temporarily authorized pursuant to an FDA emergency use authorization.
The MaskForce team tested hundreds of suitable materials and collaborated with multiple university labs, medical professionals and first responders before finalizing the production design.
The consortium is also pursuing NIOSH-N95 certification for its masks, which means the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The mask is priced close to cost, with any profits in 2020 reinvested back into the community, according to a press release. In addition to accelerating production of the current model, the MaskForce is developing a smaller form-factor mask.
“Among our core values is practical innovation, which drives us to consistently and creatively push the boundary of what is possible to create immediate value,” Ramirez said.
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