History of 3M Aberdeen
In 1974, 3M constructed a new 150,000 sq. ft. facility on 160 acres northeast of Aberdeen and employed approximately 200 people within the first two years of the ground breaking. The Aberdeen facility began manufacturing masks for the Personal Safety Division. Within a couple of years, the plant added the Tape Division which would include tape slitting of a wide variety of industrial tapes. Since then, our facility has grown to a 430,000 sq. ft.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, an increasing national concern and awareness of air borne hazards, such as certain dusts and fumes, fueled an increasing demand for respirators. Over the past 30+ years, 3M has continued to develop economical, high-efficiency filtering respirators which serve world markets.
At Aberdeen, we are proud of our plant’s ability to quickly adapt to new products and changing market conditions. The 3M Aberdeen facility worked closely with organizations like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) when the SARS outbreak occurred. Our products have been used by people involved with a number of crises, including the Mount St. Helen’s eruption, cleanup of the fallen Twin Towers, the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and most recently, for work around Bird Influenza.
Since tape converting operations of industrial tapes began in Aberdeen in 1976, the tape operation has grown to include coating and converting tapes for five main customer divisions: Automotive Division, Industrial Adhesives & Tapes Division, Aerospace Division, Electronic Markets Materials Division, and multiple Health Care business divisions. All these divisions have shown growth over the years, with Automotive Division growth prompting a 50,000 sq. ft. expansion in 2007 for an Automotive Focused Factory. The 3M Aberdeen tape making area serves seven divisions for products for a wide variety of industrial applications, such as attaching parts to automobiles, protecting high wear surfaces on planes and helicopters, and attaching components in electronic equipment.
Key Historic Milestones for 3M Aberdeen
- 3M Aberdeen came to the rescue for the people of eastern Washington State immediately following the Mt. St. Helens eruption on May 18, 1980. 3M Aberdeen's respirator masks would serve a vital role in helping the victims and survivors to breathe more comfortably and to be able to endure the volcanic dust, ash, and debris.
- OSHA recognized 3M Aberdeen for its role in providing respirators to the rescue/cleanup efforts immediately following the tragedy of Twin Towers. When tragedy hit New York City on 9/11/01, 3M Aberdeen responded immediately by sending respirators to New York City within 24 hours. 3M Aberdeen would also be called upon again within a few weeks of 9/11 to supply respirators to protect against the threat of Anthrax against U.S. government agencies.
- 3M Aberdeen ramped up its production of respirators when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus hit Asia and North America. Aberdeen respirators were supplied to countries all around the world during the epidemic outbreak of SARS in 2003.
- In 2005, 3M Aberdeen was called upon to help stop the spread of Avian Flu also known as the Bird Flu. Strong demand kept the plant running 24 hours and 7 days a week until the threat would be eliminated. Later during the summer of 2005, Hurricane's Katrina and Rita would strike the southern central United States and 3M Aberdeen was able to help by providing respirators to the affected states in their cleanup efforts.
- In 2009, 3M Aberdeen employees worked around the clock, 24 hours/7 days a week for approximately 12 months, to produce high quality, economical filtering facepiece respirators to respond to the H1N1 (also known as Swine Flu) outbreak. During this outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) released interim recommendations for facemask and respirator use to help reduce novel Influenza A (H1N1) virus transmission. Its website included a picture of one of the respirators manufactured by 3M Aberdeen as an illustration of a NIOSH-approved respirator. 3M’s respirator meets the N95 standard, which means the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) tested and approved it to have a filtration efficiency not less than 95 percent of airborne particles.