Personal hygiene brand Ontex has inaugurated a new production line for manufacturing face masks in its factory in Eeklo, Belgium.
The new production line is equipped to manufacture 80 million face masks annually, the company added.
The production line was installed in 100 days and Ontex manufactured its first set of face masks in August for employees and frontline workers.
'Certified Face Masks'
Xavier Lambrecht, the president of Ontex’s healthcare division, said, “We started producing face masks to help protect essential workers in hospitals and care homes, as well as our employees.
“Thanks to automation and more than 40 years of experience in personal hygiene, we can offer hospitals and care homes certified face masks at an attractive price.”
The line will produce type 2R medical face masks from October, Ontex said. These masks, featuring a headband, create barrier against tiny droplets and splashes and are typically used in surgery rooms.
The production line was formally inaugurated in the presence of Belgian government officials today (22 September).
The project is an initiative of the company and not funded by the government.
Flemish minister for economy and innovation, Hilde Crevits, said, “It is crucial that we establish here in Flanders and Belgium a strategic production of protective material.
“I am therefore proud and impressed by the work of Ontex’s engineers and technicians, building a fully functional and hygienic mass production line to meet an urgent need in society, in just 100 days.”
The Ontex factory in Eeklo has been manufacturing personal hygiene products for more than 40 years.
It was awarded the ‘Factory of the Future’ title from Belgian technology association Agoria in 2019 and 2016.
The factory employs around 550 people and manufactures baby care and feminine care products as well as face masks, Ontex added.