Three Finnish companies – Suominen Corporation, Screentec and TrueMed – have come together to produce high-quality respirator face masks with verifiable authenticity.
With no domestic face mask production at the time, Finland had difficulties sourcing high-quality masks at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and nonwovens manufacturer Suominen promptly reacted to the difficult situation.
In an ultra-fast-tracked process, the company and its partners developed Fibrella Shield, a nonwoven suitable for use in the manufacturing of respirators. Developed in only a few months, it has passed the European Standard EN 14683:2019 Type II requirements in terms of filtration efficiency and pressure drop.
At the same time Screentec – a producer of medical electrodes and human-machine interfaces for demanding environments – decided to start the production of high-quality face masks at its Oulu works. After an exceptionally fast installation phase, the new production line was ready by late summer.
“The common aim – a fully domestic supply chain for high-quality face mask production – was a natural starting point for our cooperation with Suominen,” said Screentec CEO Antti Tauriainen. “The plan is that in the future we will mainly use Suominen’s Fibrella Shield in our face masks.”
Suominen has also been working with TrueMed, a start-up which has developed an AI and machine vision-based non-additive solution that is used to detect original and counterfeit medicines and medical products.
The aim of the cooperation between the three companies is to be able to confirm the authenticity of the masks and the nonwoven used in them – in this case, Fibrella Shield – to guarantee end-user safety. The cooperation also aims to produce important inventory information for the customer such as expiry dates.
“Determining if the product is genuine or a counterfeit is done through our mobile phone app, TrueMed Scanner,” explained TrueMed’s CEO Jyrki Berg. “We provide Suominen with an identification process and mechanism that can detect the product authenticity on the fibre level of the nonwoven material. Suominen uses our proprietary AI and machine vision platform and we can read all the necessary codes and markings on the product and its packaging,”
“By combining the deep know-how of the three companies, we are able to offer our customers high-quality face masks with verifiable authenticity as well as the ability to follow the inventory data,” added Suominen’s CTO, Markku Koivisto.