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Quick Hits: 3M Wants to Make a Billion Masks in 2020

The company is using “surge capacity” to expand production of N95 masks amid the pandemic.

A recent Bloomberg article discussed 3M Co.’s ambitious plans to produce a billion masks this year. The company’s respirator mask factory in Aberdeen, South Dakota has been planning to increase production capacity since mid-January to meet the spike in demand for protective gear.  

The wildfires in Australia and an active volcano in the Philippines had already pushed the factory to increase production, but they will now shift to “surge capacity.” This means machines that had been sitting idle for precisely this reason will be activated, and the plant’s 650 employees will start working overtime immediately.

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