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Cummins joins the battle against COVID-19

Columbus company to produce respirator filters
Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 14:43:00-04

COLUMBUS -- Think of Columbus, Indiana-based Cummins and what comes to mind? Probably big engines for trucks.

But in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Cummins is branching out.

The company announced Monday it is partnering with 3M to produce high-efficiency particulate filters for use in 3M's Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PARP).

“Cummins has been striving to find ways to help during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cummins. “Working with 3M, we discovered our technologies and manufacturing expertise could be relevant as we partner in new ways to help protect healthcare professionals.”

What is a Powered Air Purifying Respirator? Cummins describes it as a battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood or head top that covers the wearer's head or face. It's an important piece of equipment for front-line healthcare workers responding to COVID-19 because it provides increased levels of respiratory protection.

According to Cummins, the partnership has the potential to more than double the current production of filters for 3M's PARPs. 3M has ramped up production of the respirators to meet the surge in demand for personal protective equipment during the pandemic. Cummins expects to begin filter production by the end of April.

“3M continues to work around the clock to get personal protective equipment, including PAPRs, to the heroic healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight,” said Mike Roman, 3M Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership with Cummins will help us produce more of this critical equipment in the coming months.”