WINNIPEG — After putting out a call to see if any manufacturer could produce N95 masks in the province, the Manitoba Government has ordered 500,000 masks from Precision ADM, with the option of ordering 500,000 more over the next 14 months.
Precision ADM is manufacturing the masks based on a design from two Winnipeg based doctors.
“So they are a little different than the normal masks we have today that are cloth,” said Martin Petrak, president and CEO of Precision ADM. “These are silicon mask that can be reused.”
The masks are silicon-based and use an N95 filter cartridge to purify the air.
To reuse the mask, the silicon portion is disinfected, and a new disposable N95 cartridge is put in. This process can be done up to 30 times.
The Winnipeg based company has started production on the government’s order and is already planning for the future.
“The first phase is going to be looking at making silicon masks,” said Petrak. “The next phase, we’ll be making higher volume systems in order to make larger quantities of these masks in the few months to come.”
For Petrak, the order is more than just another commission.
“We are extremely honoured to be part of something like this,” said Petrak. “So for us, we are really looking at how do we contribute right now, how do we ramp up as quick as possible.”
Petrak said engineers spent hundreds of hours prepping in anticipation of the order.
Right now, the masks are being poured by hand, but Precision ADM is working on injection moulding and 3D printing.
-With files from CTV’s Kayla Rosen and Stephanie Tsicos
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