Honeywell (Charlotte, N.C.) said yesterday that it will expand operations at its Smithfield, R.I. eye protection products plant so that the plant can also manufacture millions of N95 masks. Honeywell said it will immediately start to hire at least 500 new workers to support the efforts, which will deliver masks to the U.S. Departement of Health and Human Services to boost the national stockpile.
Other businesses along the supply chain including industrial equipment providers and raw materials suppliers will benefit from the increased mask production, Honeywell said.
“We are honored to support the U.S. government’s efforts to protect Americans with personal protective equipment made right here in the United States,” Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk said in a news release. “Our Rhode Island facility already produces industry-leading safety gear and soon will play a critical role in supplying the Strategic National Stockpile with N95 masks.”
On March 20, 3M said it would increase investments, mostly in the U.S., to boost N95 masks production by 30% over the next 12 months. The Maplewood, Minn.–based manufacturing conglomerate makes 1.1 billion N95 respirator masks annually, 400 million of them in the U.S.