Ontex sets up production line for 80 mn face masks/year

September 29, 2020 - Belgium

Ontex has set up a production line with a capacity to produce approximately 80 million face masks per year. Ontex’s face mask production line is located in its factory in Eeklo, Belgium and has been producing one hundred thousand masks per day since August. The line was officially inaugurated in the presence of Belgian government officials on September 22.

The production line is located in Ontex’s plant for essential personal hygiene goods in Eeklo. In August and September, a first production run of face masks was produced for Ontex employees.

“We started producing face masks to help protect essential workers in hospitals and care homes, as well as our employees,” said Xavier Lambrecht, president of Ontex’s Healthcare Division. “Thanks to automation and more than 40 years of experience in personal hygiene, we can offer hospitals and care homes certified face masks at an attractive price.” The new face mask production line was installed in only 100 days. The production line started making face masks in August and is scheduled to produce type IIR medical face masks as of October. Producing masks was Ontex’s own decision and the project does not benefit from any government funding.

Hilde Crevits, flemish minister for economy and innovation said: “I’m impressed by the work of Ontex’s engineers and technicians, installing a fully functional and hygienic mass production line to meet an urgent need in society, in just 100 days!”

Belgian federal minister Philippe De Backer, responsible for the sourcing of face masks during the COVID-19 crisis, said: “I hope millions of people in Belgium and across the world will be better protected thanks to the products made here in Belgium.”

The Ontex factory in Eeklo has over 40 years of experience in the production of personal hygiene products and received the ‘Factory of the Future’ title from Belgian technology association Agoria in 2019 and 2016. The factory produces products for baby care, feminine care as well as face masks. Type IIR medical face masks with headbands, which create a barrier against tiny droplets and splashes, are typically used in challenging healthcare environments, such as surgery rooms.