GRENOBLE, France — Group Michelin is cooperating with a health care collaborative set up recently in Grenoble to design, produce and distribute a reusable OCOV mask for health care workers and others on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.
Michelin mobilized design and prototyping resources to work with France's Grenoble-based Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) to develop and produce a workable prototype of an FMP1 / FMP2 mask that features a flexible facepiece covering the nose, mouth and chin, as well as replaceable and reusable filters.
The masks themselves are being produced by Ouvry S.A.S., a Lyon, France-based company that specializes in biological and chemical personal protective equipment, Michelin said.
Starting March 16, Michelin and CEA leveraged their respective know-how to produce the first prototype "very quickly," Michelin said, allowing production of the masks to begin in less than three weeks.
The partners in the project claim the OCOV mask is affordable, sustainable and can be produced in large quantities.
As opposed to an FFP1 or FFP2 face filter, made solely of filtering material, the OCOV features a flexible facepiece covering the nose, mouth and chin and uses replaceable and reusable filters. Said to be "particularly comfortable" to wear for extended periods of time, the mask can be reused up to 100 times thanks to five washable, interchangeable2 filters, Michelin said.
Production of a prototype batch of 5,000 units is under way, Michelin said. The goal is to produce 1 million masks per week by May, leading to production of more than 5 million masks by the end of June.
Some 130,000 masks have been reserved, a portion of which will be given to regional health agencies by Michelin.