Out of the crisis with full automation

The Kronach-based company M.A.i expands its product range and manufactures fully automatic production lines for medical protective masks.
The first of currently ten systems ordered will soon be delivered to customers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

Hardly anything has gone as wrong in the corona crisis as the supply of protective masks. Millions of missing oronasal masks have
of clinics, doctors' surgeries, nursing homes but also the everyday life of the people is made more difficult and led to avoidable diseases.
Reason for the development: In the past 15 years, the worldwide production of protective masks has increased by more than 90 percent
to China. This dependence was demonstrated when China drastically reduced its exports as a result of Corona.
The international market was empty - what flourished was black market trading. "We are of the opinion
that we in Germany and Europe - especially in the medical sector - not as dependent on global supply chains as in the past
should do", says Hermann Fischer, member of the management board at M.A.i.
The company, based in Neuses near Kronach, is a specialist for innovative automation solutions in special machine construction
and is one of the five leading companies in this sector in Bavaria.

M.A.i has reacted quickly to the situation in the market: At its main plant in Kronach-Neuses, M.A.i manufactures fully automatic production lines
for medical protective masks. "With our systems FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 folding masks can be produced with or without additional filters",
explains the managing director. "The basic concept of the plant was developed by our Chinese partner, a leading manufacturer
of these plants on the Asian market. Building on this, we have invested more than a thousand engineering hours in further development,
the plant is optimized and adapted to the German and European guidelines. The production lines are CE certified.
The masks produced on it comply with the specifications of DIN EN 14683:2019 DE for surgical masks of type I and II.
They can be used not only in the medical sector, but also in electronics, mining, construction, catering and other industries. “

Production is fully automatic and contactless. Thus the masks comply with the high hygiene standards. Special masks are processed,
particularly fine-pored fleece goods such as so-called "meltblown" fleeces. Only for hanging the raw material in the dispenser
and an employee is required for threading. The set-up process takes only a few minutes. In the plant the
Masks are made up, i.e. - depending on the standard - four to six layers of fleece are welded together, embossed and cut to size,
equipped with elastic bands, folded and hygienic, individually packed or in packs of ten, bagged
labelled and packed in cardboard boxes. The systems have corresponding database interfaces and can be integrated into the existing
system periphery or the production control system (MES) can be integrated at the customer.

"Our production line produces approx. 40 to 60 masks per minute; in three-shift operation, this results in approx. 50,000 to 70,000 masks per day.
Our plant is therefore highly efficient and production is extremely cost-effective. Nevertheless, Hermann Fischer appeals to the politicians:
"The Federal Government or the European Union must intervene to regulate so that the production of systemically relevant
medical technology in Germany can also survive in international competition.
The market and the potential to serve this market exists".

Currently M.A.i is already producing the first ten orders with an order volume of more than five million euros.
The first systems for the production of FFP2 folding masks are to be delivered to customers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in the near future.
All customers are already active in the field of mask production and distribution.

The Neuss-based high-tech company M.A.i generates 60 percent of its turnover in the automotive sector
(systems primarily for electric mobility, lightweight construction and interior and exterior applications); the remaining 40 percent are
to the electronics/sensor technology, medical technology and general industry divisions.
With the current expansion of the product range in the field of medical technology, the company is resembling a corona-induced
the weakening sales situation in the automotive supply sector. M.A.i is internationally active and employs at its headquarters
in Kronach-Neuses 270 and in China 70 employees.
At EUR 32 million, the forecast turnover in 2020 will be at the previous year's level.