The Italian producer of injection moulding machinery Negri Bossi has started an interesting project to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Since Thursday 9 April 2020 the company, located in Cologno Monzese near Milan, has been using two injection machines to produce masks. The masks are entirely made of thermoplastic elastomers. The TPE material for this project is donated by Francesco Franceschetti Elastomeri. At full capacity, the production reaches an extraordinary quantity of 500 masks per hour.
The idea started from the Moulding Manager, Ruggero Galbusera and the Operations Director, Maurizio Seregni, already engaged in social work. Seregni served for 20 years as a White Cross volunteer. The project was immediately appreciated and supported in the various evolutionary phases by Giancarlo Costa, President of the Volunteer Coordination Committee of Monza and Brianza with whom the logistical aspects for distribution to the community were organised.
The masks, the result of a project made entirely by Negri Bossi, are completely made in TPE, which makes them flexible, comfortable and ergonomic. The device can be reused thanks to the interchangeability of the filtering fabric and it provides for the possibility of upgrading to a higher level thanks to a possible insertion of the exhalation valve filter to cope with future certifications. In this regard, the procedures required by the Legislative Decree itself for PPE are being implemented. (reference D.L. 17 March 2020 n. 18, art. 16, c. 2.). Another positive factor of the masks is that they are transparent, therefore they do not limit the field of view and, moreover, they do not cause the lenses to mist up when using glasses. Finally, they are easily sanitised in hot water and neutral soap.
The mould was built in record time by mould maker Esistampi, a partner of Negri Bossi for many years, based near Ancona. The bagging machine was donated by the Ravizza Packaging company.