Hygiene Austria’s production of mouth-nose protective masks gets off to a flying start

The Austrian company is expanding its product portfolio to include FFP2 masks in response to high demand.

Just two weeks ago the newly-established company Hygiene Austria LP GmbH announced the production of mouth-nose protective masks in Wiener Neudorf within the context of a joint venture of Len- zing AG and Palmers Textil AG. Now the product portfolio will be expanded to include FFP2 masks. The mana- ging directors of Hygiene Austria gave an initial positive assessment during a plant visit by Margarete Schram- böck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Governor of the Federal State of Lower Austria, Jochen Danninger, Lower Austrian State Minister of Economic Affairs and Herbert Janschka, Mayor of Wiener Neudorf.

“The coronavirus crisis was a necessary wake-up call for us to once again focus more on domestic manufac- turing. Hygiene Austria identified the need and not only offered quick help by founding the Austrian company, but also strengthened Austria as a business location”, said Minister Margarete Schramböck, pleased with the domestic production of mouth-nose protective masks in Lower Austria.

Enormous media response

“The media response was enormous. Numerous companies contacted us within just a few hours to place orders worth millions of euros”, reported Stefan Doboczky, CEO of Lenzing AG. The machinery serves as the basis for producing 12 million mouth-nose protective masks per month. This capacity will be increased to about 25 million pieces in a further expansion phase. Additional machines were put into production as a result of the good level of demand. “Current delivery time is just a few days, and availability is ensured at all times due to the high level of daily production”, stated Tino Wieser, Member of the Board of Palmers Textil AG.

Expansion of production to include half masks (FFP2 masks)

Hygiene Austria originally commenced operations by producing medical mouth-nose protective face masks (e.g. surgical protective masks). In a further step, an additional machine was acquired to enable the firm to manufacture particle-filtering half masks (FFP2 masks). This machine is currently on its way to the production facility. Accordingly, the production of FFP2 masks will begin in the middle of May.

Hygiene Austria LP / Production of Face Masks
Captions courtesy by Lenzing

“The difference between a mouth-nose mask and an FFP2 mask is that the latter can filter particles from the air and is primarily used in the healthcare sector as personal protective equipment. FFP2 masks are subject to legal regulations and have to fulfill special testing criteria”, commented Luca Wieser, Member of the Board of Palmers Textil AG.

Matvei Hutman, Member of the Board of Palmers Textil AG, added: “The mouth-nose masks are for private use and serve as a mechanical barrier. They are designed to protect against infection from droplet transmission through speaking, sneezing and coughing.”

Capacities and additional machinery

Delivery times may deviate due to the different requirements and testing criteria of the masks. “We are striving to quickly increase our capacities and are working full steam ahead to acquire additional machines”, Lenzing AG CEO Stefan Doboczky explained.

Hygiene Austria LP / the production of face masks

“Naturally it was a very important goal and we are delighted to have succeeded in attracting the production of high-quality protective masks to Lower Austria. On behalf of the Federal State of Lower Austria, we tried very hard in the project implementation phase to ensure that production could already be ramped up at record speed starting in May. Particularly in a time of crisis, the expansion of Hygiene Austria’s product range crea- tes another roughly 100 jobs in Lower Austria and also represents an important contribution to health care services”, emphasized Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Governor of the Federal State of Lower Austria, expressing her satisfaction with this positive development during her visit to the production site.

“At the present time there is an enormous shortage of high-quality medical face masks. I therefore would like to thank the cooperation partners Lenzing AG and Palmers Textil AG for selecting the site in Lower Austria for their face mask production. In this way, Austria could rapidly free itself from its dependence on the global mar-

ket and set up its own production operations. For this reason, we at the Federal State of Lower Austria provided extensive support to the project from the very beginning”, commented Jochen Danninger, Lower Austrian State Minister of Economic Affairs.

Two experienced companies joined together to set up an innovative company in spite of difficult economic conditions triggered by the coronavirus crisis and to thus give a resounding and trailblazing go-ahead to the new “Eco-Park” business park. “Nothing better or more important could have happened to Wiener Neudorf in this time and in the current situation”, said Mayor Herbert Janschka, proud of the successful development of Hygiene Austria and the related high added value to society generated in his municipality.

The Lenzing Group stands for ecologically responsible production of specialty fibers made from the renewable raw material wood. As an innovation leader, Lenzing is a partner of global textile and nonwoven manufacturers and drives many new technological developments.

The Lenzing Group’s high-quality fibers form the basis for a variety of textile applications ranging from elegant ladies clothing to versatile denims and high-performance sports clothing. Due to their consistent high quality, their biodegradability and compostability Lenzing fibers are also highly suitable for hygiene products and agri- cultural applications.

The business model of the Lenzing Group goes far beyond that of a traditional fiber producer. Together with its customers and partners, Lenzing develops innovative products along the value chain, creating added value for consumers. The Lenzing Group strives for the efficient utilization and processing of all raw materials and offers solutions to help redirect the textile sector towards a closed-loop economy.

In 1914, Ludwig Palmers laid the foundations for a remarkable company, whose success is to this day based on its outstanding track record in the fields of product, customer focus and service quality. Considered a top inno- vator in the lingerie sector, Palmers is the undisputed market leader in Austria with over 200 stores. The name recognition of the Palmers brand in Austria is close to 100 percent, defining the brand’s iconic status. Moreover, the Palmers brand enjoys an excellent reputation far beyond Austria’s borders and – due to its legendary poster campaigns – above-average name recognition as well. Today, Palmers is represented at over 300 locations in 17 countries all over Europe with its own stores, shop-in-shops and franchise partners. Time and again, Palmers has succeeded in setting novel accents and standards, in this way establishing its position as a leading inter- national company. Since its acquisition by the Wieser and Hutman families in 2015, Palmers is developing into a global fashion brand.