About 3M, an American conglomerate

American multinational conglomerate corporation, 3M operates in the fields of industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods. In the United States, 3M has 80 manufacturing facilities in 29 states, and 125 manufacturing and converting facilities in 37 countries outside the US.

It has become one of the most important companies in the fight against the Coronavirus with their personal protection equipment, which is based in Maplewood; Minn.

3M Company, also known as (1902–2002) Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing is increasing the global production of its respirators and other personal-safety products as quickly as possible due to coronavirus outbreak. The Company said that it hasn’t raised the price of its respirators — although it can’t control what others charge for them. It has also donated more than $1 million worth of respirators, surgical masks, and hand sanitizers to China.

How 3M plans to make more than a billion masks during this year?

The increasing concerns about dwindling supplies of the respirator masks for health workers treating COVID-19 patients has led 3M to double global production of N95 masks. Coming out of the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, it understood that it wasn’t fully equipped to handle unexpected explosions of demand in the event of a crisis. Hence, all the idle machinery installed for precisely this purpose would be activated, the company has been preparing for almost two decades. Its South Dakota mask plant is now operating 24/7 as are 3M’s other mask factories around the globe, Aberdeen plant would also shift to surge capacity.

About N95 Masks

n95 masks by 3m

N95 surgical masks (named because they filter out 95% of small particles) are the safest protection against illness. These are specialized masks meant for trained industry professionals, not consumers. When N95 masks is properly fitted, the face area gets completely sealed and they make breathing more of an effort. The Company’s output of N95 masks is at an annual rate of more than 1.1 billion a year. To combat the illness, it has also planned to maximize production of other products used, which includes hand sanitizers, disinfectants and air-filtration products. They are working to help get supplies where they are needed most by working with governments, medical officials, customers and distributors around the world.

The Trump Administration

The Trump administration plans to source millions of masks from 3M to combat the new coronavirus, the order could underpin more than $1 billion in coronavirus-related sales. However, the company might suffer from coronavirus disrupting its operations and tempering demand for its other products. Chief Financial Officer Pat Campbell said on a 2010 earnings call that “It can partially offset that impact, as it has during past outbreaks, it racked up about $350 million in sales from the H1N1 or “swine flu” pandemic between 2009 and 2010”. The impact this time would be well ahead of those historic levels, double or triple the H1N1 gain.

Its windfall isn’t surprising since it is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of N95 respiratory masks and other products that are helpful during pandemics.

3M’s investments

3M said that it is “working with the U.S. and other governments, investigating alternate manufacturing scenarios, and exploring coalitions with other companies to increase capacity further”. It is also in talks of making unspecified investments as it wants to get more products into the hands of hospital and health workers fitting the virus. It will increase the production even more to 2 billion N95 masks a year within the next 12 months.

3M is one of the few names with the flu/coronavirus hedge.

If Christian Siriano can sew 500 masks a day, why can’t Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, find a way to have masks made for his warehouse workers?

The fashion designer Christian Siriano and his studio of 10 people are producing 500 surgical masks a day. And they are washable and reusable. These are not the isolation-ward quality like of N95 masks but are the type of surgical mask seen on the faces of ordinary people worldwide in other countries like the UK and Japan.

Amazon’s hourly workers are on the front lines and working heroically. Since their jobs have become more high-pressured, they have hired another 1,00,000 people to keep up with the demand. Bezos said the company has ordered millions of face masks that it wants to give to warehouse employees, drivers and contract workers.

The Shortage

However due to the global shortage of face masks, and the fact that shipments are being prioritized for medical personnel, the company is simply unable to get them. Amazon also owns a number of other fashion apparel brands including men’s wear, women’s wear. It cannot own the clothing factories itself outright, but hires contract manufacturers to do the work. Amazon did not respond to the comment but said that it has implemented proactive measures to protect employees including increased cleaning at all facilities, adding distance between drivers and customers when making deliveries, and maintaining social distance in the FC.

How automakers will remake their ailing businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The big auto companies said they were halting vehicle production during the crisis, and other factories would retool to meet the needs of health care providers as announced by the President Donald Trump. 

3M and Ford

3M and Ford

3M and Ford will work together to make more air-purifying respirators for health care workers, most likely at one of Ford’s Michigan factories. In a repurposed Ford factory they are partnering to make 3M’s hooded “powered air-purifying respirators” (PAPR). It uses a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in health care. They are different from the N95 masks, which look like white cloth and seal around the mouth and nose.

Ford, as part of its “Project Apollo,” also will be working with GE Healthcare on making ventilators and with the United Auto Workers to make full-face shields that first responders could pair with N95 respirator masks.

95% of the parts for Seattle-based Ventec’s ventilators is expected to be made in the General Motors’ Kokomo, Ind.

Also Read: Why did Jabong Shutdown?

Twin City Die Cast and Ventec Nine

Twin City Die Castings had already signed a contract with Ventec nine months ago and was making parts for about 150 ventilators a month. CEO Todd Olson said “as part of the new GM deal, it is making parts for 20,000 ventilators a month, with the goal of 200,000 by the end of the year”.

A lot of other companies like Honeywell, Medicom have increased production of these masks. 500 new workers will be immediately hired to support the efforts, Honeywell said. To increase the national stockpile, it will deliver masks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Why 3M’s share price is down even after huge demand of N95 masks?

The concerns and demand for the masks is rising as the coronavirus threat has continued to expand. The increased mask demand should be good for the bottom line; however, the company’s entire safety division is just 20% of total sales, and respiratory masks are just a small part of that total business. Meanwhile, 3M also has exposure to the automotive and industrial sectors, which are likely to be down due to the pandemic, potentially offsetting any gains from the masks.