Defence has concluded its support to Med-Con, a surgical face mask manufacturer near Shepparton in regional Victoria, having significantly increased production at the facility.
ADF support commenced at the factory on 7 March as part of the Government’s national response to COVID-19.
Qualified personnel from the ADF and Department of Defence provided support to existing Med-Con staff on production, machine operations training, maintenance, repair and warehousing. 2.6 million surgical masks were produced during the ADF’s support.
Med-Con Director Ray Stockwell praised the ADF’s support, singling out the refurbishment of a broken machine as critical to the successful increase in production.
“Our estimate to bring the broken machine back to life was around 12 weeks. The ADF personnel did it in less than two, and at the same time completed a series of engineering drawings to aid with the manufacture of future machines.”
“Prior to the ADF providing support, the company, which was Australia’s only producer of the masks, was making around two million per year,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.
“Now, thanks to the ADF, Med-Con has significantly increased its production, and is currently capable of making up to 50 million masks per year with plans to increase this to 200 million per year.”
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the Government is acting decisively and effectively to help businesses boost their industrial capacity to meet the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are using all the resources at our disposal to help Australian businesses provide vital supplies in this battle against COVID-19,” Minister Andrews said.
“We will continue to work with manufacturers to help them provide the vital products that Australians need during this challenging time.”