Along with General Motors and Tesla, Ford is using its production facilities to manufacture respirators, ventilators and plastic face shields.
On Tuesday, Ford announced that it is working with 3M, GE Healthcare, and UAW to create Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, ventilators, and plastic face shields for healthcare workers managing the COVID-19 outbreak and patients with the disease.
We're proud to work with @3M, @GEHealthcare and @UAW to lend our engineering and manufacturing expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/fzMMDjgVmS— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) March 24, 2020
The design team is working on developing transparent, full-face shields, over 100,000 of which are expected to be produced per week in cooperation. The company's 3D printing facilities will be used to additionally produce components for other personal safety equipment.
Furthermore, the company is working with 3M to design a new respirator "leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers." For example, fans from Ford's F-150 cooled seats along with 3M's HEPA air filters and portable tool battery packs are being used to power the devices.
Finally, the company will produce a "simplified" version of GE's existing ventilator to support those with the disease struggling to breathe.
GM and Tesla have likewise been working to increase the available supply of coronavirus-oriented medical equipment by either purchasing some from abroad or manufacturing more at their facilities.