Before the pandemic hit in March of 2020, the U.S. was buying around 50 million N95 masks per year. Fast forward to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis and it’s no surprise that the nation’s consumption of N95 masks increased significantly. During a 90-day peak-use period, demand for those masks jumped to a record 140 million.
As the pandemic continues, this number will likely grow as will the demand for production and the equipment associated with it. Stacy Cummings, a member of the Department of Defense (DOD), told lawmakers that mask production could reach 800 million by the end of January 2021 and might exceed 1 billion shortly thereafter. Now, the Department of Defense is focusing its efforts on domestic capacity and capabilities to keep pace with production demand. The goal is to decrease dependence on foreign suppliers and reconstitute or create new domestic production.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes N95 masks, requires specific standards for the design, manufacturing process, testing, and product markings. In order for N95 masks to be compliant with U.S. regulations, they must be clearly and accurately marked with approval numbers. So as the production of these masks increases in the coming months, so will the demand for clear coding and marking solutions. At REA JET, we pride ourselves on providing flexible and reliable coding and marking systems for virtually any production environment across all industries. Learn more about our coding and marking solutions here.