Channel 2 gets exclusive access to Douglas Co. factory that produces 36M masks a month

LITHIA SPRINGS, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News got exclusive access Wednesday to the largest, privately-owned medical products manufacturer in North America.

Medline’s Lithia Springs facility produces 36 million face masks a month and it just rolled out this year.

The U.S. Department of Defense enlisted the company for help.

When you think of the supply chain, most medical masks are produced in Asia. Disruptions are through the roof.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose learned that Medline masks are manufactured right here in metro Atlanta and the factory supplies hospitals all around the country.

“Thirty-six million masks a month are produced on the line right here,” said Stu Schneider, division president of manufacturing at Medline’s Lithia Springs factory.

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He showed Jose how efficient the masks are produced by the automated machines inside the factory.

“When the pandemic really got into full force in 2020, we made the decision to quickly invest into the manufacturing of masks, to make sure we had a resilient supply chain,” Schneider said.

The massive factory is about 1 million square feet. It opened in 2011 with just 20 employees. Now, there’s more than 500, including Joseph Tran.

“A typical day, clock in a 6 o’clock, hit the ground running. We work 24/7 around here. We’re making product day in day out,” Tran told Jose.

Medline said it’s the U.S. market leader of adult diapers and when the pandemic hit, it added two high-speed face mask lines to help supply retailers and hospitals around the country.

It’s a job that Tran, a Coast Guard veteran, doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s actually pretty cool because my wife works in a hospital, and she gets to see our product in the hospital. And whenever she sees the Medline logo on it, I get to say, ‘Hey, we made that out there,’” Tran said.

The Department of Defense gave Medline a $6 million contract to increase domestic production. That’s crucial because of global supply chain disruptions.

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