ZF North America (ZF), best known in the maritime community as a manufacturer of transmissions, propellers, thrusters, steering systems and electronic control systems, has partnered with Pontiac, Mich.-based Detroit Sewn to produce and ship 100,000 face masks by month’s end.
The masks will go to healthcare workers and community members with a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, including those serving at soup kitchens, nursing homes and other essential services. ZF’s Passive Safety Systems division, which specializes in the manufacture of seat belt and airbag systems, is shifting production at its Romeo, Mich., and Chihuahua, Mexico, facilities to aid in mask production. The Romeo location is an airbag prototype development and testing facility, while the Chihuahua location produces steering wheels and airbags.
“The world is facing a situation unlike anything our generation has seen before, and while the challenge may seem impossible, now more than ever, it’s the support of each and every individual and company working together that is truly making a difference,” said Martin Fischer, president of ZF North America and a member of ZF Group’s board of management. “It’s an honor for us to join in the fight to help protect frontline healthcare workers and everyone who is caring for others during this difficult time. We hope we can not only do our part to make a difference, but to encourage others to contribute as we get through this together.”
According to the partnership, Detroit Sewn sends ZF the design and material required for the masks, which ZF produces and then returns to Detroit Sewn for distribution.
“We are proud and grateful that seven manufacturing and sewing partners, including ZF, have joined with us to fulfill the urgent need for masks that meet CDC guidelines,” said Karen Buscemi, CEO of Detroit Sewn. “With our partners’ help along with support from G1 Impact, our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, we have the infrastructure in place to produce more than 300,000 masks in the short term, and the orders continue to roll in daily from health systems and nonprofits.
Caption for photo: ZF workers making face masks in the company’s Romeo, Mich., facility.
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