Astera Factory Assists with Global Face Mask Supply
These are desperately needed worldwide as countries continue to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
Astera’s CEO Norbert Ernst explains that they were about to temporarily scale back operations in the factory, whilst the entertainment lighting business was quiet due to the crisis, when he was approached by a contact asking if they would be willing to assist with the production / distribution of face masks.
“Naturally I jumped at the chance,” states Norbert, “It offered a path to keeping many staff employed full-time which is great, and also helps contribute positively to the ongoing global demand for face masks which are vital to help meet the unique challenges of containing Covid-19.”
Additionally, he feels that having the factory working in this capacity will assist a rapid return to full LED lighting manufacture when conventional business starts to resume.
During normal peak times, over 250 people working at the Astera factory across all departments. Currently, around 100 Astera staff (primarily from production, quality control and the warehouse) are dedicated to this project. Astera’s management team in Shenzhen are considering hiring another 100 temporary workers for the face mask project, depending on demand.
Two types of mask are being safely and cleanly packed at the factory – the standard disposable face masks and KN95 respirator masks. They are first enclosed in sanitized plastic bags which are sealed, then packed into an inner carton, and finally into outer boxes which are secured and palletized ready for shipping and transporting around the world.
The current contract runs for 3 months, after which Astera has the option to continue or switch back fully to producing their award-winning range of wireless battery powered LED fixtures.
Astera’s factory / warehouse houses all production elements involved in the manufacturing process plus other departments including some sales, purchasing, and part of the Astera R&D team. The brand’s quality control, operations, production and engineering all feature a dynamic mix of local and European management, while the company’s administrative HQ, senior management and R ‘n’ D are based in Munich, Germany together with sales and marketing.