ZF North America partnered with Pontiac, Mich.-based Detroit Sewn to manufacture fabric face masks during the coronavirus pandemic.
ZF said in a statement that it shifted some of its production of automotive safety products to produce 100,000 masks for Detroit Sewn. The masks were developed for healthcare and other essential workers. They are not a substitute for N95 masks. According to the CDC, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted.
“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 ZF North America president Martin Fischer in the statement. “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.”
Detroit Sewn is a full-service cut-and-sew manufacturer, but the company restructured operations to focus on masks and gowns. It employs 25 people on two shifts and is also supplying fabric to other manufacturers, such as ZF, that have industrial sewing expertise.
“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.”