Makers to export turnkey factories instead of masks
By Angelica Oung / Staff reporter
Rather than exporting masks, the nation’s leading mask manufacturers plan to export turnkey mask factories as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect much of the world.
As a solution to unmet global demand for masks amid the pandemic, Taiwan Comfort Champ Manufacturing Co (台灣康匠) is offering a “total solution” for mask production, including the raw materials, production equipment and testing technology.
“We have miniaturized our mask production line so that it fits in a shipping container. Production can start as soon as you remove the container floor,” Taiwan Comfort Champ chairman Andy Chen (陳勇志) told a news conference in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城) yesterday.
Representatives of local mask producers pose for a photograph at a news conference in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District yesterday.
Photo: Chen Jou-chen, Taipei Times
Except for the machines that make and package the masks, the “one-stop mask factory” includes all of the equipment and technical support to produce the critical non-woven layer that serves as the mask’s filtration material, Chen said.
The news conference was organized by the government-backed Taiwan Textile Research Institute (紡織產業綜合研究所).
Each miniature mask factory costs as little as US$5 million and can produce as many as 600,000 masks per day if continuously operated, Taiwan Comfort Champ said.
Higher capacity modules capable of producing up to 2 million masks per day are also available, a company release said.
The mini-factory allows production to rapidly increase and is more environmentally friendly, Chen said.
“Keeping the entire production and packaging process in the same area saves a lot of packaging and transportation costs,” he said.
Despite the unprecedented demand for masks internationally, Taiwan Comfort Champ did not get to cash in on the opportunity because the government set pricing controls, he said.
“We had to drop a lot of foreign orders,” he added.
The company has received inquiries from the US, Canada, Indonesia, Japan and Spain, but investors tend to be hindered by technical hurdles, Taiwan Comfort Champ said, adding that the first turnkey mini factory is to be shipped to Thailand.