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Respiratory protection masks made in Austria
Joining forces, companies in the plastics industry are making important contributions to the fight against the Corona pandemic. One of these contributions comes from Fischlham in Upper Austria, the home of ACH Solution. The mould maker and system solution provider, which specialises in silicone material, has built up a production line for its own respiratory protection product. To allow this to happen, long-standing partner ENGEL has supplied two injection moulding machines which grow in a versatile way to match the company's needs. After all, ACH Solution is planning for the long term. The innovative FFP2 masks also offer more safety and comfort in industry and building work.
"In the development of this new type of premium mask, the focus was on the aspects of wearing comfort, breathing air quality and environmental protection," explains Christian Hefner, CEO of ACH Solution. Mask Buddy is the name of the new product and also of the company that ACH Solution founded for the production and distribution of the masks. The production plant is at the joint company headquarters in Fischlham. "The housing for this mask can be used for many years, and the filters can be changed very easily. This significantly reduces the waste generated by conventional FFP2 masks," continues Andreas Penninger, Head of Processing Engineering at ACH Solution. The new mask type owes its great wearing comfort to silicone. The mask seals off to the face with a soft, skin-compatible silicone lip that precisely adapts to the face contours. As the air breathed out is reliably discharged downwards and cannot escape upwards, glasses do not mist up and eyes do not dry out.
To be able to produce large quantities in a short time, ACH Solution invested in two new injection moulding machines by ENGEL, supplementing them with dosing equipment and automation designed in-house. As a system solution provider, ACH Solution has a great deal of experience in highly efficient production processes, which enables the company to respond to trends at short notice. And ENGEL was ready for the challenge. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Covid-19-relevant projects have been given priority in the machine manufacturer's production plants. The e-victory type machines for ACH Solution come from headquarters in Schwertberg, which is only an hour's drive from Fischlham.
A total of four parts of the premium mask are produced by injection moulding: the two filter housing halves, the valve and the valve closure, which is used wherever an even higher protection level is prescribed or the regionally applicable pandemic legislation does not permit masks with an exhalation valve.
From Fischlham, Mask Buddy supplies all of Europe and part of the USA. Other regions are covered by partner company and licensor PPC in Australia. "We have big plans for Mask Buddy," says Hefner. Protection against viruses is just one of many potential uses. Mask Buddy also offers more protection and more comfort than conventional masks of this protection class as a dust mask in industry and building work, for example. For the start, a one-size-fits-all – medium size – is being produced, but diversification is in the pipeline. "We can produce masks in small and large sizes within a short time;" Hefner said. "The capacity is there. We can ramp production up to one million masks per year at any time.
ENGEL and ACH Solution have cooperated for many years. They are development partners in many projects. "We benefit from the short distances to each other and from quick decisions," says Christian Hefner. "Like ENGEL, we are very much driven by innovation and technology. That's what connects us."