Aberdeen's 3M facility will be adding 120,000 square feet to expand production of N95 masks.
The expansion is needed because 3M was awarded two U.S. Department of Defense contracts to further expand its U.S. production of N95 respirators.
Those new contracts mean, in part, the construction of two new wings creating a combined 120,000-square-foot expansion to its Aberdeen plant, according to a news release from the company.
An east and west wing, each 60,000-square-feet, will be added to the south side of the current facility, which currently spans 440,000 square feet. The first wing is expected to be up in the next 90 days, said Aberdeen plant manager Andy Rehder. An additional 100 employees will be added to staff the new equipment with hiring continuing through the next two to three months, he said.
Rehder expects the expansion's impact on Aberdeen will include: continued job opportunities, work for local contractors helping with the expansion and use of hotel rooms for 3M employees and contractors.
Demand for respiratory masks made at Aberdeen 3M plant has increased because of the latest outbreak of a coronavirus.
“We’re extremely grateful for the hard work of our employees here in Aberdeen as they’ve helped produce critical supplies for healthcare workers and first responders fighting against COVID-19. The expansion of our Aberdeen plant will help 3M do even more to support public health needs during these challenging times.”
New equipment that manufactures N95 respirators is currently being built in Wisconsin where initial production of the respirators will start in June. The equipment will then be moved to the new expansion at 3M Aberdeen, according to a news release from 3M.
“3M Aberdeen has been a pillar of the community since the inception of the plant, this investment in the facility which in turn will yield new jobs for the community and region solidifies this further. In addition to the new jobs, which come with an exceptional compensation package, 3M does so much more for the community; the volunteer hours and philanthropic efforts of 3M provide an immeasurable benefit to Aberdeen. A tremendous amount of credit has to be given to Plant Manager Andy Rehder and his entire team for making this happen here in Aberdeen!,” said Aberdeen Development Corp. CEO Mike Bockorny.
Beginning in January, 3M ramped up production to 1.1 billion masks per year – including 35 million N95 respirators per month in the U.S. These contracts will allow 3M to make another 39 million respirators per month in the U.S. An additional investment already underway by 3M will increase the company’s total production of N95 respirators to more than 95 million per month in the U.S., according to the release.
Details available from 3M on the Department of Defense contracts are as follows:
The first contract, awarded in April, is for $76 million. The second contract, awarded in early May, is for $126 million.
These are in addition to the $80 million that 3M has already committed to expand N95 production capacity in the U.S.
“3M is working around the clock to get much-needed personal protective equipment to the nation’s frontline healthcare workers,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and CEO, in the release. “Being selected for these contracts will allow us to increase our manufacturing capability even more. We thank the Trump Administration and the Department of Defense for their close collaboration on this effort and share their goal of protecting the American public.”
3M has also been working with the Trump administration to import 166.5 million respirators from its overseas facilities in China and other Asia locations. Those imports will continue over the coming months, according to the release.