Saint-Gobain is mobilizing its production facilities to manufacture medical materials and components and products that can be used to build makeshift hospitals.
Saint-Gobain’s Life Sciences activity, for instance, is prioritizing the production and delivery of COVID-19 components, including single-use assemblies for the development of new therapies and components for life-saving medical devices, such as ventilators and infusion pumps. Twelve production units are currently mobilized in Europe, the United States and China, to manufacture, in particular, flexible tubes, connectors and fasteners, filters, membranes which directly contribute to the proper functioning of medical systems used to diagnose, treat, and care for patients impacted by COVID-19 (c.f. information on these products in the Appendix). By adapting some of its sites, Saint-Gobain in France has been able to multiply by a factor of 15 the production capacity for silicone membranes that are embedded into respirators so badly needed by healthcare services.
The manufacture of non-critical products has been transferred to other sites which have also adapted their production facilities.
Besides the manufacture of vital medical components and products, Saint-Gobain has also been supplying partition walls and plasterboard for the construction or transformation of stadiums and gymnasiums into field hospitals and the adaptation of nursing homes. This is particularly the case in France, the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom where Saint-Gobain helped to convert an exhibition hall into a huge makeshift hospital with 4 000 beds for patients affected by the Covid-19 virus.
In this same field, Saint-Gobain, together with other players in the building industry, answered a call for innovative solutions made by the French Armed Forces Ministry, proposing the construction of prefab offsite hospitals deployable in six weeks. These hospital units consisting of re-usable prefabricated wooden modules will feature about fifteen intensive 4m-by-4m or 4m-by-5m fifteen care-rooms, a central corridor and a window view onto the rooms, as well as preparation and storage rooms. In this context, Saint-Gobain is rallying to respond to this initiative by supplying materials such as plasterboard, glass wool and timber panels.
Appendix: Materials produced by our Life Sciences activity involved in the fight against Covid-19
1/ DIAGNOSTIC DEVICES
Saint-Gobain’s granular charcoal filter is integrated into molecular analysis equipment used to diagnose the presence of COVID-19 in the body. Silicone tubes, as well as silicone moldings and filters produced by Saint-Gobain, are used in the manufacture of these reagents (i.e all the products that are incorporated into a test and are involved in the chemical reactions that reveal the presence of the virus), for which there is a booming demand worldwide. These components have become essential to ensure access to these vital diagnostic tools.
2/ PATIENT SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Intersurgical Respiratory Assistance Devices
Saint-Gobain provides two essential components for ventilators: the ventilation kit, which is a molded silicone tube; and the tubing connected to the ventilator. These parts, intended for the European and American markets, are manufactured in Beaverton (United States) and Saint-Quentin Fallavier and Charny (France). For mobile intensive care, the Group also manufactures in France the silicone membrane used in emergency ventilators which serve markets in Europe, the United States and Asia.
Saint-Gobain equips infusion sets using silicone tubes manufactured in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, France. These devices are used in intensive care units, particularly for patients with COVID-19.
Saint-Gobain produces tubing in the United States for infusion pumps serving European and American markets. These are high-performance units to which emergency and resuscitation clinicians can connect up to four modules, making four independent infusions possible.
Saint-Gobain’s filters produced in its Chinese site are used in Europe in shower heads in intensive care units to protect patients with compromised immune systems. The filters are essential to prevent exposure to other sources of infection.
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.
€42.6 billion in sales in 2019
Operates in 68 countries
More than 170,000 employees