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BYD’s Shenzen facility makes 5 million face masks per day

The facility allows the BYD help alleviate severe shortages that have affected hospitals and agencies across China in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak

23rd March 2020

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Shenzhen, China

Medical/Hygiene

On February 8, BYD officially announced the production of masks and disinfection gels to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. BYD's face masks. © BYD.On February 8, BYD officially announced the production of masks and disinfection gels to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. (c) BYD.

BYD Company Ltd, one of China's largest privately-owned enterprises has created the world's largest mass-produced face masks plant in Shenzen. The plant is now reported to be running at full capacity and is able to produce a colossal 5 million masks and 300,000 bottles of medical grade hand sanitiser per day. The facility allows the BYD help alleviate severe shortages that have affected hospitals and agencies across China in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

On 8 February, the newly built production lines at one of BYD's industrial parks in Shenzhen started to produce the critical supplies, with hundreds of staff working both day and night shifts along with machines working around the clock.

In late January a special task force was appointed by BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu, consisting of leaders from different business divisions and more than 3000 engineers involved in research and development, design, processing and other roles.

High speed task force

“The task force moved with incredible speed, and in less than two weeks, it had finished work that normally takes two months to complete. It completed both the R&D and manufacturing process of mask production equipment within seven days, whereas on the market, it would normally take 15 to 30 days to fully manufacture a mask-producing machine,” BYD said.

“At the same time, BYD also completed the R&D of medical-grade hand sanitizers in six days, which were then shipped to medical staff on the front lines of the epidemic after just eight days,” the company added.

BYD's face masks. © BYD.BYD's face masks. © BYD.

Making its own machines

“BYD's strong R&D capabilities, combined with its manufacturing facilities and creativity, have enabled the firm to mass-produce quality masks in a short period of time, reflecting its unremitting efforts throughout the epidemic. Mask production requires impeccably clean and sterile environments and equipment, and BYD's dust-free rooms, previously used for the assembly of smartphones, are particularly well-suited for this. During the Spring Festival period, the company was unable to obtain mask-making equipment rapidly enough, so it set about making its own machines. BYD can now make more than a dozen of these machines a day.”

“A production line for high-quality face masks requires about 1,300 parts for various gears, chains, and rollers, 90% of which are BYD's self-made parts,” said Sherry Li, Director General of BYD's President Office.

Since its founding, BYD has set up a specialized team to conduct R&D and manufacturing for its equipment, and the team has been engaged in the independent R&D and manufacturing of complex production lines and equipment, such as electronics, batteries and new energy vehicles. Its own machining centres, for example, have a variety of high-precision equipment like grinding machines and moulds. “This collection of hardware, along with the reserve of professional and technical manpower, has given BYD strong capabilities and rich experience in large-scale precision manufacturing over the years,” BYD commented.

"For BYD's electronics business, the high-end mobile phones that we produce have high requirements in terms of quality, waterproofing and other aspects. This also comes with our high standards for moulds, automated equipment, manufacturing processes, and more,” said Zhao Jianping, General Manager of BYD's Quality Division. “In other words, the equipment that we already have offers precision and quality that is much higher than what is commonly required to produce masks.”

“As a multitude of orders have come after the company announced its production of masks and disinfectants, the most pertinent challenge was the rapid expansion of its production capacity to meet the demand for these much-needed items. With the company making about five to ten new mask-producing machines on a daily basis, the number of masks produced by BYD is increasing at a rate of approximately 300,000 to 500,000 units per day. It currently has a total production capacity of five million masks per day, which is equivalent to a quarter of China's entire production capacity in early February,” The company added.

BYD is one of China's largest privately-owned enterprises. Since its inception in 1995, the company quickly developed solid expertise in rechargeable batteries and became a relentless advocate of sustainable development, successfully expanding its renewable energy solutions globally with operations in over 50 countries and regions. Its creation of a Zero Emissions Energy Ecosystem – comprising affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage, and cutting-edge electrified transportation – has made it an industry leader in the energy and transportation sectors. BYD is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.

www.byd.com

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