Astera assists with face mask production
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
astera-factory-face-mask-production-image1Around 100 Astera staff are dedicated to this project
China - LED lighting manufacturer Astera has repurposed its 10,000sq.m factory in Shenzhen to assist with the delivery of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) .
According to Astera’s CEO Norbert Ernst, the manufacturer was set to temporarily scale back operations in the factory as a result of lower demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was approached by a contact asking if Astera would be willing to assist with the production and distribution of face masks.
“Naturally, I jumped at the chance,” says Ernst. “It offered a path to keeping many staff employed full-time which is great, and also helps contribute positively to the ongoing global demand for face masks which are vital to help meet the unique challenges of containing COVID-19.”
Ernst feels that having the factory working in this capacity will assist a rapid return to full LED lighting manufacture when conventional business starts to resume.
Two types of masks are being packed at the factory - standard disposable face masks and KN95 respirator masks. The masks are first enclosed in sanitised plastic bags which are sealed, then packed into an inner carton, and finally into outer boxes which are secured and palletized ready for shipping and transporting around the world.
During normal peak times, over 250 people work at the Astera factory across all departments. Currently, around 100 Astera staff (primarily from production, quality control and the warehouse) are dedicated to this project. Astera’s management team in Shenzhen are considering hiring another 100 temporary workers for the face mask project, depending on demand. The current contract runs for three months.
Astera’s factory and warehouse houses all production elements involved in the manufacturing process plus other departments including some sales, purchasing, and part of the Astera R&D team. The brand’s quality control, operations, production and engineering all feature a mix of local and European management, whilst the company’s administrative HQ, senior management and R’n’D are based in Munich, Germany together with sales and marketing.
(Jim Evans)

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