QING, an engineering firm based in the Netherlands, helps companies meet their growth objectives of higher output and quality while at the same time achieving cost reduction, sustainability, efficiency, and flexibility. To accomplish this, QING helps businesses realize digital transformation, adapt to industry 4.0, and implement a smart industry environment.
In this case study, we’ll examine how QING used 3D manufacturing simulation to set up a fully functional face mask factory in the Netherlands within just a few weeks to meet the high demand for face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A critical shortage of face masks
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading rapidly throughout Europe. During this time, there was an increased global demand for personal protective equipment—or PPE—and a critical need for face masks.
As a result of setbacks in global production and logistics, the Netherlands faced the same challenges with obtaining PPE as everywhere else. However, the shortage was exacerbated due to the fact that there was no local production of face masks in the country.
In this environment, four entrepreneurs decided to establish MondMaskerFabriek, the first face mask production facility in the Netherlands, to meet the high demand for this type of PPE. They envisioned creating a workforce that consisted mainly of individuals with refugee status in order to help them integrate into Dutch society and build a professional network.
However, their initiative was complicated by the fact that to protect their workers against the coronavirus, their factory would have to implement social distancing measures—to keep six feet of distance between workers—at all times.
Using simulation technology to create a highly efficient and safe layout
Around April 20th, MondMaskerFabriek contracted QING to help them commission two production machines from China, as well as to quickly design and execute a facility that not only made optimal use of the company’s investment, but also provided a safe and healthy work environment for the workers.
QING used Visual Component’s 3D manufacturing simulation software to design the layout that included manual assembly workstations for stitching and packaging, as well as to perform the throughput analysis.