Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has begun production of N95 face masks in Smithfield, R.I. The site will supply masks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the Strategic National Stockpile to support health, safety and emergency response workers.
"Honeywell is proud of the role we are playing in providing critical equipment for the fight against the coronavirus, and I am especially pleased with how quickly we have started our new mask production line in Rhode Island," said Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell chairman and chief executive officer. "Building a new production line is a tremendous undertaking that typically takes nine months. Thanks to the dedication of our employees and strong support from our partners, including Emerson (Branson) and several other great U.S. suppliers, we were able to get the Rhode Island facility up and running in just five weeks."
Said Peter Navarro, the White House Defense Production Act Policy Coordinator: "With the full power of private enterprise and the ingenuity and grit of companies like Honeywell, President Trump is orchestrating the most rapid industrial mobilization since World War II to combat an invisible enemy. Honeywell's new facility in the great state of Rhode Island will be churning out millions of one of the most important weapons in this historic fight – the masks our public health professionals urgently need at the front lines of this battle. That the Smithfield facility has arisen in just weeks is nothing short of miraculous and sets a new standard for moving swiftly in Trump Time."
Late last month, Honeywell announced it is also adding manufacturing capabilities in Phoenix to produce N95 face masks. The Phoenix site will begin producing masks in mid-May. Once both the Phoenix and Rhode Island facilities are fully operational, they will produce more than 20 million masks per month in total.
The two new lines will create more than 1,000 jobs in the U.S.
Honeywell is supporting the fight against COVID-19 in other ways as well, including increasing production of other critical personal protective equipment including safety eyewear and face shields, increasing production of sensors used in ventilators, and providing testing services to ventilator manufacturers.
Honeywell's Smithfield factory was established in 1980 and produces UVEX-branded eye protection products, which include safety glasses, safety goggles and protective face shields.
Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) provides products, software and connected solutions that improve productivity, workplace safety and asset performance for our customers across the globe. We deliver on this promise through industry-leading mobile devices, software, cloud technology and automation solutions, the broadest range of personal protective equipment and gas detection technology, and custom-engineered sensors, switches and controls.