Under Armour Manufacturing 500,000 Masks and Additional PPE in Port Covington for Local Hospitals

| March 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

To support the many healthcare workers in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic, Under Armour is manufacturing face masks, face shields, and fanny packs at its buildings in Port Covington. The company is also exploring manufacturing hospital gowns.

Under Amour will be providing this equipment to the University of Maryland Medical System’s (UMMS) 28,000 healthcare providers and staff, as well as the LifeBridge organization. Under Amour is also currently in discussions with Johns Hopkins Medicine, MedStar, and other local medical institutions about supply needs.

“When the call came in from our local medical providers for more masks, gowns and supply kits, we just went straight to work,” said Randy Harward, SVP of Advanced Material and Manufacturing Innovation at Under Armour, in a press release. “More than 50 Under Armour teammates from materials scientists to footwear and apparel designers from laboratories in Baltimore and Portland quickly came together in search of solutions.”

Under Armor’s team focused on designing a protective mask that could be produced very quickly and in high numbers. Harward introduced this initiative after hearing an interview with an Italian doctor who told him that “if more masks had been available in his country—even simple face masks—the spread of the virus could have been significantly reduced.”

The company is manufacturing a one-piece mask design that does not require sewing. According to the release, “Its origami-style folds mold the specially chosen, breathable yet moisture-resistant fabric into the desired mask shape.”

Mask production is taking place now at the Lighthouse, UA’s innovation hub at City Garage in Port Covington. Harward and his team are utilizing the lab’s knife cutter to carve nearly 100 pieces of fabric at once. The mask cutouts will then be passed off to a group of Under Armour teammate volunteers and hospitals for folding and distribution. Under Amour is using the former Walmart building in Port Covington, which is part of the footprint for the company’s Port Covington campus, for assembly.

Harward predicts the team could generate as many as 100,000 masks a week moving forward.

“At Under Armour, we know the value of being part of a team,” said Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk. “This mindset is important now more than ever as we come together to combat COVID-19. I’m incredibly proud of the quick thinking and hard work of all our Under Armour teammates as we work with health care professionals to strengthen our community — teamwork has proven to be key.”

Under Armour has already delivered 1,300 face shields to UMMS, and anticipates manufacturing and distributing more than 500,000 fabric face masks and assembling 50,000 fanny packs with supplies for personal preparedness kits.

“We are incredibly grateful for Under Armour’s investment in our health care workers, patients, and each Marylander working hard to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of UMMS, in a press release. “Their willingness and ability to immediately pivot their manufacturing focus to help meet our personal protective equipment (PPE) needs will save lives. Under Armour is a model for corporate responsibility and their partnership is instrumental in Maryland’s success during this most critical time.”

The Under Armour team is also exploring 3-D printing N95 and N80 masks for medical professionals.

Under Amour pledged $2 million in donations earlier this month in wake of the spread of COVID-19.

Under Armour Founder and Executive Chairman Kevin Plank is the owner of Sagamore Spirit in Port Covington. The rye whiskey distillery has halted whiskey production to produce hand sanitizer for local healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photos courtesy Under Armour

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