The furniture factory Softcom in Jõgeva has started to produce protective masks during the emergency situation. The plant will now be able to create four million masks a month after ordering a machine from China.
"The machine came from Shanghai, China. We found a good partner who has so far mainly made medical devices, but they agreed to try and make a mask-making device for us," said Andrus Toom, CEO of Softcom told ETV's "Ringvaade" on Thursday.
"The machine itself is designed to make protective masks. We can make them in two to four layers of different materials and with different protective capabilities."
The presenters asked what inspired the factory to start making masks. Head of Softcom, Priit Pettai, said: "I went to the Würth store [which sells assembly and fastening materials - ed.] and it was said that overalls were sold out, but we had one set aside. And then I thought something was very out of place." He said the first items the company made were protective suits.
Toom said: "In the last weeks of March, when we discussed these personal protective equipment issues, especially with the state, the word mask came up in every conversation all the time."
Toom said the plan is now to reduce human contact in the production process. "If the production process gets better and the quality becomes more stable, there are also plans to automate packaging," said Toom.
When the emergency situation is over, the machine will not sit and collect dust as the need for masks will probably not disappear soon. "We will definitely continue to produce masks. We can produce a wide range with this machine," said Pettai.
Watch the broadcast here, in Estonian.
Editor: Helen Wright