ZF North America has partnered with Pontiac, Michigan-based manufacturer Detroit Sewn to help with the fight against the COVID-19 virus. A shipment of 100,000 face masks is expected to be delivered to Detroit Sewn by the end of April.
Developed for frontline healthcare workers and individuals in the community with high risk for infection, such as soup kitchens, nursing homes and other essential organizations, these masks will contribute to the fight against the contagion as ZF shifts production of some of its normal automotive safety products to this now critically needed item.
“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 member of the board of management of the ZF Group. “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.”
ZF’s Passive Safety Systems division operates 42 locations in 19 countries with nearly 40,000 employees including its joint ventures. The division specializes in occupant protection systems that help protect passengers in a crash. These include seat belt systems and airbag systems that work in conjunction and adapt to the characteristics of a crash. ZF has longstanding expertise in inflatable restraints including driver, passenger, side, curtain, knee and interaction airbags and designs, develops and supplies all aspects of an airbag system including specialized cut and sew capabilities to shape and produce air bag designs customized to the application.
Traditionally a full-service cut-and-sew manufacturer, Detroit Sewn recently restructured its operations to focus solely on the production of masks and gowns that protect healthcare workers and other essential service workers against Covid-19. The company employs 25 people on two shifts and is also supplying fabric to other manufacturing organizations like ZF that have industrial sewing expertise and who can assist with the fight against this disease.
“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.
“ZF’s longstanding reputation for advanced cut-and-sew capabilities makes the company a valuable addition to our effort. And we are thrilled with their rapid onboarding.”
Detroit Sewn and the Glamorous Moms Foundation have also partnered to create the Michigan Mask Donation Center at 71 N. Saginaw in Pontiac. The center is distributing home-sewn donated masks to community groups in need. More details can be found at detroitsewn.com.
According to the CDC, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. These masks are NOT intended to replace N95 masks.