MANCHESTER, Conn. - Lydall Inc. is investing in a new production line that it says will help meet rising demand for materials used in face masks.
Company officials announced earlier this week they plan to set up a new fine fiber melt-blown fabrication operation at their Rochester, N.H. plant on Chestnut Hill Road.
The company expects to hire up to 15 additional employees there to support the production line, which will manufacture high-quality filtration materials that can be used in surgical and medical masks and N95 respirators.
"In the wake of COVID-19, the need for the filtration media that makes face masks effective has increased dramatically, so much so that it is now being called the 'golden fleece,'" said Sara A. Greenstein, president and CEO of Lydall.
"As one of the only companies in North America and Europe with the technical expertise, supplier relationships, and access to the right machines to produce this filtration media, we feel great responsibility to do everything within our power to increase our output, support domestic supply chains, and contribute to the global fight against COVID-19."
The new asset - expected to come online in the fourth quarter of this year - will supply enough filtration media to make about one billion face masks per year, according to company officials.
That figure is almost one-third of the 3.5 billion masks the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates is necessary to protect health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.