#strongertogether in the fight against COVID-19: thyssenkrupp sites demonstrate solidarity in times of Corona

Corporate culture | Engagement | People at thyssenkrupp | thyssenkrupp worldwide | Work safety | The rapid development of the Corona pandemic is leading to supply bottlenecks in many places. Appropriate protective clothing for medical personnel, volunteers or risk groups is in short supply worldwide. To help these everyday heroes, aid initiatives are being set up around the world - as well as at thyssenkrupp.

With extraordinary commitment, thyssenkrupp employees throughout Europe have expressed their solidarity in recent weeks. Within a very short time they have found creative solutions to the challenges of the Corona crisis. Be it through the donation of protective clothing from our own inventory, the conversion of 3D printing systems to the production of protective masks or the immense commitment in the plants, in service or assembly. In times of Corona, our colleagues prove that #strongertogether at thyssenkrupp is more than just a buzzword.

We say THANK YOU for standing together and the solidarity in difficult times. In the coming weeks we will be presenting our very own heroes and showing their commitment in the COVID 19 pandemic.


Automotive Technology uses 3D printing capacities to produce protective mask mounts according to open source instructions

The thyssenkrupp steering plant in Mülheim an der Ruhr is making its modern 3D printing facilities available for the fight against the Corona pandemic. In the upcoming weeks the colleagues will be printing protective mask holders to protect skilled personnel and volunteers.  In doing so, they are responding to the call for every company and private owner of a high-quality 3D printing facility to make a contribution to equipping hospital staff with respiratory masks. Open source 3D printing data for respirators is currently being made available worldwide through open source sources.

The 3D printing center in Mülheim an der Ruhr of thyssenkrupp Automotive Technology uses its printing facilities for corona control and produces breathing masks according to open source production plans.

thyssenkrupp Presta in Chemnitz also provides access to its 3D printing capacities. The brand blue 3D design was provided by colleagues from the Camshafts business unit. Production has already started on site. The finished protective mask mounts will be distributed locally to volunteers and medical personnel.

The colleagues from Springs & Stabilizers are also taking part in the help campaign. In Hagen, the production of the holders has already started. The first hundred protective mask holders will be delivered to the fire department in Hagen.

The automotive colleagues will receive support from thyssenkrupp Plant Technology in Neubeckum. The colleagues are supporting a local initiative on site and are printing 80 urgently needed protective mask holders.

30,000 disposable gloves for the CORONA crisis team in Bremen

Atlas Elektronik donated over 30,000 disposable gloves to the “CORONA crisis team” in Bremen. The city had previously asked for help with protective equipment and disinfectants to protect the many helpers during their work.

Plant Technology donates masks from its own stock to health authorities and hospitals

Plant Technology donates and supplies breathing masks to hospitals in Dortmund and the surrounding area.

Plant Technology donated 50,000 surgical masks and other protective clothing from its own stocks to health authorities and hospitals in NRW. “We are pleased to use this donation to help where it is particularly needed. Our special thanks go to all those who are helping to ensure healthcare in the state in these times in hospitals, doctors’ practices, nursing homes and other facilities,” said Michael Höllermann, head of human resources at thyssenkrupp Plant Technology, explaining the initiative.

Plant Technology donates surgical masks and protective clothing for the DRK and medical facilities in Beckum

The business unit Cement Technology donates 24,000 surgical fleece face masks, 800 protective suits, 800 gloves and 400 shoe covers from its own stocks. The urgently needed protective material will be supplied to the German Red Cross and local medical facilities in Beckum. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, protective masks and clothing have become scarce in many places. Pablo Hofelich, CEO of the Cement Technology business unit: “We are pleased to make this donation to help where it is particularly needed. We would like to express our special thanks to all those who, during these times, are working hard in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, nursing homes and other institutions to ensure the provision of health care in the country and thus save lives”.


Elevator employees equip intensive care unit with elevators and escalators within shortest time

Within only 14 days, 25 new lifts and escalators were provided and installed for the intensive care unit.
To ensure that patient transport to the intensive care unit of Verduno Hospital in Italy runs smoothly, the resident thyssenkrupp Elevator team worked extra shifts.

In view of the still increasing Covid-19 infections in Northern Italy, the need for additional intensive care beds and emergency accommodation to treat corona patients is high. This is also the case in the Piedmont region. Here the opening of the new hospital in Verduno, originally planned for September 2020, was spontaneously brought forward. Within a very short time, the building had to be equipped for patient transport – including lifts for the intensive care unit.

25 new elevators and escalators will ensure the operation of the intensive care unit. A mammoth task for our Italian colleagues. In just 14 days the thyssenkrupp Elevator team in Piedmont installed the necessary elevator units under high pressure and made the hospital ready for new corona patients. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the elevator installers and service employees, 500 more patients can now be treated and 300 new nursing staff can start work.

Employees donate their prize money to local hospital

Thanks to a donation by employees of thyssenkrupp stainless steel mill Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) to the Santa Maria Hospital in Terni, the nursing staff there are now equipped with new breathing masks.
Donations like those of the Terni team are helping to contain the Corona pandemic.

The thyssenkrupp stainless steel plant Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) in Italy donated 1,000 respirators to the Santa Maria Hospital. But that’s not all. AST employees were particularly generous and donated the prize money they won. The team had won the prize last year in an internal Thyssenkrupp competition for its exemplary occupational safety measures and safety mentality. Thanks to their helpfulness, they provided the Santa Maria Hospital in Terni not only with protective masks and clothing but also with a portable ultrasound machine.


30,000 Euro for Corona tests at the local hospital

The BILSTEIN plant in Sibiu, Romania also donated 30,0000 euros for urgently needed corona tests.

The thyssenkrupp BILSTEIN plant in Sibiu, Romania, responded quickly when the local hospital needed Corona tests to contain the spread of the novel virus in the region. Without further ado, the Sibiu site donated 30,000 euros to equip nursing staff at the city hospital with the needed tests.


thyssenkrupp Elevator equips hospital in Istanbul

The Okmeydani Hospital in the heart of Istanbul was equipped with 23 new elevators and 6 escalators by the local thyssenkrupp Elevator team in intensive work during the final stages of the installations – all of them with modifications particularly suitable for the seismically active region on the Bosporus and to make patient and material transportation within the hospital safer in the event of an earthquake.

thyssenkrupp Elevator, Istanbul, Okmeydani, hospital, Corona, COVID-19
Courageous commitment with a clear course: Despite the rapid pace of work, compliance with safety and hygiene regulations was a top priority for the thyssenkrupp Elevator team from Istanbul.
thyssenkrupp Elevator, Istanbul, Okmeydani, hospital, Corona, COVID-19
With the final installations completed the transport of patients and material in the Okmeydani hospital in Istanbul is established – even in the face of the Corona pandemic.

The courageous commitment of the installation team is of great importance at this specific time, because the city of Istanbul has not been spared from becoming affected by high COVID-19 infection rates. One of the victims of the Corona virus is Prof. Dr. Tascioglu, Professor of Internal Medicine, after whom the hospital was named. He was especially known for his great wealth of knowledge and his warm-hearted approach to patients.


Together on the front line: The service team at thyssenkrupp Elevator

Since the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, the thyssenkrupp Elevator team in China has been working tirelessly to ensure the smooth operation of elevators in medical facilities. The service team responds quickly to the needs of hospitals in the affected cities and proactively offers on-call maintenance services on site. 

If Corona means there are not enough employees in production, colleagues from the administrative department will step in to ensure a smooth supply to our customers. Here for example at our plant in Changzhou, China.

Moving from the administration to the production

The corona crisis has brought colleagues in the steering plant in China even closer together. During the crisis, the administrative staff stepped in to support their colleagues in the production to ensure that the production could continue during the crisis. After intensive training by the experts at the lines, they kept the production going. This ensured that customers worldwide continued to receive the products they had ordered.

thyssenkrupp donates RMB 2 million to support medical personnel in the fight against corona 

The Chinese business units of thyssenkrupp jointly donated RMB 2 million to the China Charity Federation. Together they want to support the fight against the coronavirus. The donation will be used to purchase urgently needed medical supplies in Wuhan and other severely affected areas. This will help to support the medical staff on the front line.

Chinese thyssenkrupp Steel Europe joint venture TAGAL donates 4,000 respiratory protection and 10,000 surgical masks

The management of TAGAL from China observed the development of Corona in Germany and decided without further ado to launch the donation campaign.
TAGAL Germany's donation packages reached Germany with the words "We share good and bad, lasting friendship".
In addition to breathing masks, TAGAL also donated masks for use in surgery and other necessary protective clothing.

The Chinese thyssenkrupp Steel Europe  joint venture TAGAL paid close attention to the spread of the epidemic in Germany. On April 7, TAGAL donated 3,000 medical N95 masks to the German Federal Ministry of Health via the German Chamber of Commerce. The following day, another 10,000 surgical masks, 1,000 medical N95 masks and 100 protective clothing were added. These will be distributed to 23 children and doctors in the Bergisch Gladbach region near Cologne and used to combat the Corona virus.

“We share weal and woe, lasting friendship”, was the warm greeting sent to Germany by TAGAL employees.


BILSTEIN uses 3D printing technology to optimise breathing masks

Wearing protective masks for several hours can quickly lead to skin irritation and painful abrasions – especially behind the ears, caused by the straps used to attach the mask. For this reason, the BILSTEIN plant in Hamilton USA supplies its employees with 3D-printed ear guards. These allow breathing masks to be conveniently attached to the back of the head rather than behind the ears.

The BILSTEIN plant in Hamilton, Ohio is using 3D printing technology to help make it easier for employees to wear respirators.
The so-called 'Ear Guards' protect the ears from abrasions, which can occur through contact with the fastening cord after several hours of wearing.

Once the employees had been supplied with Ear Guards, BILSTEIN continued the production process. As a result, over 500 ear guards and 300 surgical masks were donated to the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber distributes the urgently needed material to local medical facilities.

There are some open source 3D printing plans available on the web for free use – the ear guards used by BILSTEIN are just one of the creative solutions to make wearing the masks more comfortable: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:424911

From the 3D printer at home to serial production in the plant

This is the basic structure of the Montana Mask.
The mask consists of different components which can be adapted to the use.
The masks are produced using the 3D printers in the plant.
The special thing about the Montana mask: it is reusable and can be disinfected.
The mask is already worn by the employees.

Jannis Tsoufios, Manufacturing Engineering Manager at thyssenkrupp Presta North America, was looking for a lasting solution to protect his colleagues and himself from the novel coronavirus. During his research, he came across the Montana mask, a highly effective filter mask that can be produced on 3D printers. Without further ado, he printed the first prototype on his private 3D printer and presented it at work. It was a complete success – the mask is now produced on the 3D printers in the plant.

When it became almost impossible to obtain rubber bands to attach the masks to the back of the head, thyssenkrupp Presta collaborated with their colleagues from Bilstein in Hamilton, USA. The mask holders printed by Bilstein are used to attach the Montana mask. The close cooperation between the two sites helps protect employees at the sites against COVID-19.

Four 3D printers are currently in use to meet the demand at the plants. Around 200 masks were produced so far. The feedback has been consistently positive: Breathing is easier, the mask fits better and safety glasses no longer fog up.

However, this is only the first step 

As soon as the employees at the sites are provided with masks, production will continue. Additional masks will be donated to hospitals in the USA to equip the hospital staff for the fight against the coronavirus. They are particularly demanded in these hospitals because they can be disinfected and reused.

The data for printing the masks can be found here: https://www.makethemasks.com/about-the-mask


Helping the community in times of Corona

Many thyssenkrupp employees around the world currently spend their free time helping their communities. One of these volunteers is Letizia Puosso from the automotive components plant in Pocos de Caldas in Brazil. Together with friends she supports and helps older people in the village. The group does necessary shopping for vulnerable people so that they can avoid risky contacts.

thyssenkrupp Aerospace Brazil ramps up series production of face shields

thyssenkrupp Aerospace Brazil plans to supply at least 80,000 face shields to Sao Paulo and the surrounding area. The Brazilian people are currently in a critical phase of the Corona pandemic and protective equipment for medical personnel is required urgently.

thyssenkrupp Aerospace in Brazil helps out medical staff by producing and delivering plastic shields for the face – in order to prevent droplet infection.

With the support of the Brazilian army, thyssenkrupp Aerospace Brazil will assemble the kits which will be delivered to the final deployment sites. Last but not least: Raw material donations from some of the participating companies are what make this project possible.


Apryl Brown
  • written by Apryl Brown
  • 6. April 2020

My husband works for TKP in Terre Haute and they donated masks for us. As a local frontline worker (RN) I’m exceptionally grateful to TKP and all that they not only do for employees but also for local communities.

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