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Ford to help produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients

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Ford to help produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients
By:
Mar 24, 2020, 7:11 PM

Ford Motor Company has partnered with 3M, GE and UAW to help speed up production of much-needed respirators for health care workers and ventilators for patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Per a release from Ford, the automotive giant is 'lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus.'

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The company will work with 3M on the manufacturing new Powered Air-Purifying Respirators and GE Healthcare to expand production of ventilators as case-numbers soar across the country. UAW workers will assist in the production of the respirator equipment. 

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. “We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs. We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”

“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most – which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership.”

The ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.  

“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” said GE Healthcare President & CEO Kieran Murphy. “We are proud to bring our clinical and technical expertise to this collaboration with Ford, working together to serve unprecedented demand for this life-saving technology and urgently support customers as they meet patient needs.”

Additionally, the company intends to put together 100,000 face shields weekly and utilize its 3D printing capabilities to produce components needed by health care workers. 

“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

General Motors has made a similar pledge as confirmed cases in the United States now exceed 50,000.

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Author Nick DeGroot