Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, is responding to the lack of suitable protective masks for the industrial work environment by converting the demo center at its Brixen headquarters, South Tyrol, Italy.
On Monday, April 6, Durst was able to return to partial operation in its plants in Brixen and Lienz, East Tyrol, Austria, as the printing systems for the label and packaging industry were classified as system-relevant and customer productivity had to be guaranteed. Now Durst is going one step further and will convert the textile printing and processing systems, which are located in the demo center for customer demonstrations, to the production of protective masks. These are protective masks with an integrated filter function. Durst has many years of experience with filter systems, as these take on a kind of “cleaning function” in the printing press to filter out microparticles in the ink supply systems so that the print heads do not become clogged and are always ready for use.
With the extensive know-how of Durst Development and the Durst Laboratories, a certified filter membrane has now been identified, which is suitable for use in protective masks due to its high air permeability. The membrane with hydrophobic properties and microporous structure blocks particles with a filtration efficiency of up to 95% and is particularly suitable for industrial work environments. The protective masks are constructed in three layers, the polyester fleece textile materials are washable, the filter membrane can be reused after disinfection by spraying with alcohol and can also be easily replaced if necessary. The N95 classification of the filter membrane is available and Durst will also have the protective masks certified as a finished product.
Durst will manufacture the protective masks for its own group and sister company Alupress and make the production capacity and know-how available to other companies. Durst is currently investigating possible sales locations and structures for end customers in order to make the protective masks available to a broad population. In order to be able to meet the expected high demand promptly, Durst is also looking for other sewing companies to speed up the assembly work. Production is planned to start in mid-April and Durst is open to possible ideas to continue the initiative. For example, Durst will use an online editor to personalize the protective masks with graphics, text or a logo.
"After we were able to go back into partial operation at the beginning of April, we wanted to make our know-how and resources available to make our contribution to the protection of people," said Christoph Gamper, CEO and co-owner of the Durst Group. "We have created the technical prerequisites. Now it is a question of starting production and gradually expanding our initiative to provide protective masks for as many people as possible in our region. With the individualization of the protective masks, we can even make it easier for our children to deal with the situation and we will also set up a creative competition for this.”