Lydall, a leading manufacturer of value-added engineered materials and specialty filtration solutions, in setting up a new production line to produce fine fibre meltblown filtration media for face masks and high-efficiency air filtration systems. The new line will be installed at Lydall’s facility in Saint-Rivalain, France in the second quarter of 2021.
The investment will substantially increase the company’s capacity to supply this critically needed material to the European market.
The investment solidifies Lydall’s position as one of the largest global suppliers of fine fibre meltblown filtration media, the crucial component of N95 respirators and the European equivalent, FFP2/FFP3, as well as surgical masks and MERV-, HEPA- and ULPA-grade air filters. Lydall will receive up to 30 per cent of funding for the investment through the support of France’s Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
“COVID-19 has created unprecedented global demand for face masks, upgraded air filtration systems and other products that are essential to preventing the spread of the virus. In response, governments around the world are now focused on establishing secure, reliable and sustainable domestic supply chains so they can guarantee they have access to high-quality products that are pivotal to national security and public health,” said Sara A Greenstein, president and CEO of Lydall. “Our global footprint and 100-year heritage in creating specialty filtration solutions position Lydall to serve as a local manufacturing partner to governments around the world, now more than ever. We take our role in creating products that protect people and places from viruses such as COVID-19 incredibly seriously, and we are grateful for the support of the French government, which will allow us to ramp up production even further.”
For more than 30 years, Lydall’s Saint-Rivalain facility has manufactured medium- and high-efficiency filtration media for a variety of applications that are critical to environments such as operating rooms, gas turbines and nuclear containment buildings. The facility currently has one line dedicated to meltblown filtration media production to make high-efficiency indoor air quality filters and, in response to COVID-19, has maximised its output to support the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Europe. Once this additional line is operational, Lydall expects to produce enough fine fibre meltblown filtration media for 600 million FFP2/FFP3 respirators or 2.2 billion surgical masks per year. The company plans to hire additional staff to support the increase in production.
“The installation of this new, state-of-the-art production line will allow Lydall to advance filtration science and develop filtration media for higher-end air and liquid filters,” said Ashish Diwanji, president of Lydall Performance Materials. “COVID-19 was an unprecedented event that exposed the wider need to examine the indoor air quality of a variety of public spaces. As a global market leader in specialty filtration solutions, Lydall is at the forefront of that innovation and is committed to protecting people and places today, and in the years and decades to come.”
In addition to Saint-Rivalain, France, Lydall also produces meltblown filtration media in Rochester, New Hampshire. In June 2020, the company was awarded a $13.5 million commitment from the US Department of Defence, enabling the installation of two new production lines to support US face mask and air filter production. Lydall is in conversation with government officials around the world about how the company can support the domestic production of COVID-19-related products, as it has done in the US and France.