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Eclipse Automation to facilitate N95 mask production in Ontario with new system


April 9, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Photo: Adobe Stock

Eclipse Automation has secured the exclusive North American rights to a Chinese automation system for production of N95 masks.

The system will be installed and put into operation at Eclipse’s facility in Cambridge, Ontario within 4 weeks.

Without a manufacturer on the ground in Canada, the Health Canada–approved masks have been in short supply during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eclipse Automation has signed with Harmontronics Automation of Suzhou, China, to manufacture, sell, distribute, service, commission and modify the Harmontronics fully automated N95 Vertical Flat-Fold Respirator Mask Production Line system throughout North America.

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This system will be used to work with North American manufacturers to customize the system for their specific needs and support qualification efforts for various respirator designs, including the N95 and KN95 models.

“I am seeing a lot of companies, with the best of intentions, trying to get into this arena but without the experience in medical device automation, they may be chasing inferior systems that could be unsafe to run and produce faulty masks,” says Steve Mai, president and CEO of Eclipse, in a statement.

“Eclipse has the know-how to assess this system already producing N95 masks in China and see that any modifications required to meet North American specifications are done quickly and right.

“We can expedite this to provide a top-notch N95 mask automation system and lead the process to see that it can be scaled to all who need it. We can deliver a level of proactive control to the solution that is crucial for such an important product.”

The manufacturing will still scale from the Harmontronics facility in China, and Eclipse will work with their customers and Harmontronics to assure high standards for safety, spare parts and usability.

“Harmontronics has extensive experience in medical device automation and we are taking effort to provide more mask automation systems to Chinese and overseas markets,” says Albert Cai, president and CEO of Harmontronics.