17 April 2020

The Česká zbrojovka Group will be involved in the production of protective masks against coronavirus

Prague, April 17, 2020 – In the middle of next week, the CARDAM research and development workplace will start series production of RP95-M masks. The mask provides the maximum level of protection and is intended primarily for those who are “in the front line”, ie doctors, nurses or rescue services.

The original model was developed by scientists at the Czech Technical University in Prague and the mask was produced on 3D printers. Compared to this provisional production, key parts will now be manufactured on injection molding machines, making production much faster and cheaper. The planned weekly production will reach up to 50 thousand pieces.

The cost of using these masks will be significantly lower, even in comparison to FFP2 respirators, which provide significantly less protection. “Compared to commonly available FFP2 respirators, the weekly operating cost is more than ten times lower,” said CARDAM director Ondřej Kurkin, adding that test production was launched during Easter.

CARDAM, which is a joint venture of Česká zbrojovka Group, Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV ČR) and the company BENEŠ a LÁT, covers the whole production. It participated in the development of the mask and its rapid introduction into production. “I would like to thank not only my colleagues from CARDAM, ie the Institute of Physics and the company BENEŠ a LÁT, but also the Czech Institute of Computer Science, Robotics and Cybernetics at ČVUT, the CIIRC, and other subjects who participated in the development and production of the mask. Without their active involvement, we would not have this product today,”reminded Ondřej Kurkin.

We founded CARDAM together with our partners years ago to bring solutions with higher added value, to demonstrate functional and effective cooperation between industrial companies and academic institutions. Thanks to this cooperation, we can now offer this highly effective mask. We would like to thank everyone,” said Andrej Chrzanowski, a member of the Board of Directors of Česká zbrojovka Group, responsible for research and development of products and production technologies. “We are very pleased to be part of this project to help the Czech Republic fight the coronavirus epidemic. CARDAM has already signed a contract with the Czech Ministry of Health to supply 50,000 masks,” added Lubomír Kovařík, President of Česká zbrojovka Group.

To maximize the speed of injection mold production, the activities have been divided between six tool mills, which work in parallel on ten molds. Thanks to durable materials, the mask can be repeatedly sterilized and has a service life of at least 100 sterilization cycles in an autoclave and an unlimited number of disinfections. P3 R replacement filters exceed the FFP3 protection level. In a clean hospital environment, the filter life is at least one week of continuous operation.

The whole mask set is a purely Czech product. Almost thirty Czech companies were involved in or contributed to the development. Thus, it is not subject to the risks associated with the import of material from abroad and it supports the Czech economy. The first deliveries of the new mask will be addressed primarily to the state, specifically to the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

CARDAM, s. r. o., is a unique research and development center that focuses on the implementation of new technically and technologically advanced solutions and products using additive metal production. CARDAM provides applied research and development services, a complete engineering solution for creating new applications and manufacturing processes, helping companies create the necessary knowledge, skills and know-how in the new area of additive design and manufacturing. Additive design and production are among the most important technological trends developed worldwide in the framework of the “Industrial Revolution 4.0”.