Since January, the Maplewood, Minn.-based company has doubled its global output of respirators to 1.1 billion per year, with 35 million N95 masks produced per month in the U.S. According to a news release, the company has invested more than $80 million in increasing production since the COVID-19 outbreak began in January.
Just last month, the DoD awarded a $76 million contract to 3M under the Defense Production Act (DPA). The latest contracts, also under the DPA, will enable 3M to make another 39 million masks per month in the U.S., while an additional unspecified investment is set to add another 22 million per month, bringing 3M’s N95 production to more than 95 million per month.
The company expects to double its current capacity again to produce 2 billion respirators around the world by the end of the year.
3M is adding new equipment for manufacturing N95 respirators. The construction of that equipment is underway in Wisconsin, where the company will begin initial production of the respirators next month. Eventually, the equipment will be relocated to a new expansion at 3M’s Aberdeen, S.D., facility.
The company added that it is working with the Trump administration to import 166.5 million respirators from 3M’s overseas manufacturing facilities in China and elsewhere over the coming months.
“3M is working around the clock to get much-needed personal protective equipment to the nation’s frontline healthcare workers,”3M chairman & CEO Mike Roman said in the release. “Being selected for these contracts will allow us to increase our manufacturing capability even more. We thank the Trump administration and the Department of Defense for their close collaboration on this effort and share their goal of protecting the American public.”