Ford has announcedto work with 3M and General Electric to manufacture ventilators and masks that are currently in short supply. Tesla and General Motors are also supporting the medical device manufacturers in their efforts to ramp up the production of devices and materials. The automobile factories stand still anyway due to the pandemic.
In particular, the need for protective equipment for medical personnel is increasing. Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and use its in-house 3D printing capabilities to manufacture components for personal protective equipment.
Ford also wants to help in other areas: 3M, for example, provides so-called blower-assisted breathing apparatus (PAPR masks) in which the carmaker wants to contribute to increasing overall production.
Both companies are also working on a new design for the PAPR masks so that standard parts can be used. According to Ford, the fans could be used for the ventilated seats of the F150 pick-up, as could HEPA air filters and batteries for power tools.
General Electrics is working with Ford on a simplified version of its ventilators, which could also be built at a Ford plant.