Luxottica, Fameccanica making surgical masks
September 23, 2020 - Italy
Luxottica and Fameccanica (Angelini Group) have started producing surgical masks on large scale. Luxottica has temporarily converted the PalaLuxottica - close to the group's headquarters in Agordo, at the foot of the Dolomites - into a mask producing facility. Four special fully automated production lines have been installed which have started production.
The two companies have already delivered the first batch of over 3.5 million devices for the prevention of COVID-19, as part of the internal procurement plan launched in May by the Italian government and coordinated by the Extraordinary Commissioner for Emergency Domenico Arcuri.
Luxottica has temporarily converted the PalaLuxottica - a centre of aggregation and socio-cultural events for the area before the pandemic, close to the group's historic headquarters in Agordo (BL), at the foot of the Dolomites - into a technologically advanced outpost for the production of face masks. Four special fully automated production lines were installed and started up on the site. These have been designed and built in record time and commissioned by the government and commissioner from the Italian headquarters of the Fameccanica Group. The machines guarantee the highest production speed on the market today and the necessary flexibility in the use of different material set ups.
The new Luxottica temporary production centre will also be in operation at night for the duration of the state of emergency, to guarantee maximum daily production of up to about 3 million face masks. The plant employs around one hundred people in shifts to ensure the correct operation of the processes and the necessary quality control.
In order to allow the installation and optimisation of the complex machinery in the shortest possible time and to complete the authorisation and certification procedures, two teams of specialised technicians from the two companies worked non-stop for two months, identifying needs and solutions in close collaboration and under the supervision of Arcuri.
The lines will produce face masks designed by the commissioner's team, already authorised by the Italian National Institute of Health in accordance with the Decree Law and subsequent amendments. The supply of raw materials will be ensured by special supply agreements signed by the government. On the other hand, Luxottica guarantees, with the technical support of Fameccanica and under the supervision of government structures, maintenance and proper management of the production cycle, and logistics services to deliver finished product batches to the central structures.
“The agreement with Luxottica and Fameccanica to make our country increasingly autonomous in the production of surgical masks is a virtuous example of collaboration between private companies and public institutions at such a delicate time in the country’s life. Italy, at the beginning of the pandemic, had almost no production of face masks. Today we are practically self-sufficient,” commented Arcuri.
“Luxottica has been committed since the beginning of the pandemic to protecting the health and safety of its people and communities. In this context, we have joined the request for support from the Italian institutions in charge of coordinating the national response to the emergency. We are proud of the results achieved so far and in particular, our face mask production unit has already been able to deliver the first 3.5 million devices to the Extraordinary Commissioner’s facility. Ours is a small, positive contribution that, put together with the contribution of many others, can make a difference in the recovery of our country,” said Francesco Milleri, vice president and CEO of Luxottica.
“In Fameccanica we immediately started with the design of these innovative production lines, which were immediately made available to the authorities in charge of the COVID-19 emergency management to allow a greater and faster production of protection devices. The project, strongly desired by our shareholders and made possible thanks to the total devotion of the dedicated team, has involved a great human, industrial and technological commitment. We hope that our contribution will make it easier to return to our work and study places, enabling us to tackle present and future challenges with more resources,” said Alessandro Bulfon, general manager of Fameccanica.