A successful gamble for Walloon mask manufacturers24/08/2020

The Walloon companies Deltrian International and Altifort Boart are each renowned for the production of type II surgical masks. Selected by the Walloon Government for its expertise in air filtration, Deltrian International, based in Fleurus produces over 300,000 masks a day and since this summer has offered a citizen mask that can be washed up to 25 times. Meanwhile, Altifort Boart, based in Nivelles, and which normally manufactures cutting tools, recently embarked on this new activity around the "Belgium Mask" project, which has already proved promising.

"We learned that we had been selected by the government to supply the 4 million masks it wanted to set aside for hospitals," recalls Jean Kalyvas, from Deltrian International, in La Meuse. Initially specialising in the manufacture of filters for hospitals, the automotive sector, biotech and even industry, Deltrian currently manufactures 300,000 masks a day, and aims to reach between 70 and 110 million a year.

The first two machines arrived on 5 June. "Since then, given the demand, we have four of them in production and we are working with two teams. In total, we have around twenty workers. Most of the orders come from Belgium but we also have some from other European countries where we have entities." Hospitals are not their only customers. "We supply pharmacies and practically all the trades along with private companies." Since mid-July, Deltrian has also offered a "citizen" mask, the Deltrigex, which can be washed up to 25 times and has a bacterial efficacy of over 90% (it is 98% for surgical masks).

In Nivelles, Altifort Boart aims to manufacture 2.5 million surgical masks per month. "We currently have around fifteen employees working on this project," explains Bart Gruyaert, who launched "Belgium Mask" just a few weeks ago. The workforce should quickly increase to 30, even 40 people. A very different additional activity for this factory which manufactures industrial tools, but one which should enable it to offset Altifort Boart's current downturn in business due to the economic and health situation.

This project also satisfies a real demand in Belgium. These masks made in Wallonia comply with European standards and are certified by the Belgian laboratory, Centexbel. The raw materials are European; a guarantee of quality for many customers. In just three weeks, several hundred million masks have been distributed in Brussels and Wallonia, mainly in hospitals, pharmacies and various companies, particularly in the healthcare sector.

 

Source: La Meuse et La Capitale

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