GLOBAL NEWS HEALTHCARE

Ford Collaborates with 3M, GE, UAW to Speed-up Production of Medical Devices for Covid-19 Patients and Healthcare Workers

Healthcare
Healthcare
Above: Ford operators and assemblers assemble medical face shields/Image Credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, is collaborating with global Multinationals like 3M, the American conglomerate, GE Healthcare, a leading global medical technology and life sciences company, to lend 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.

Ford also leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce components for use in personal protective equipment

Ford will also work with UAW – the United Auto Workers, an American labour union, who will be the backbone of the manufacturing process. In co-operation with UAW, Ford aims to assemble more than 100,000 critically needed plastic face shields per week at a Ford manufacturing site to help medical professionals, factory workers and store clerks.

According to Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman, “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. 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.”

Ford has focused its attention to manufacture three important products namely, Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, Ventilators & Respirators and Face Shields.

Respirators and Face Shields

Healthcare
Above: Operators work on new products being manufactured for tackling Covid-19 crisis/Image Credit: Ford Motor Company

Ford’s U.S. design team is rapidly iterating to test the transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders. The face shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.

Roughly 75,000 of these face shields are expected to be finished this week and more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth, Mich.

Ventilators

Ford and GE Healthcare are also working towards ramping up production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare’s existing ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by COVID-19.

Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

Ford’s U.S. design team also is quickly creating and starting to test transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders. The face shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.

Ford is leveraging its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich., and in-house 3D printing capabilities to manufacture components and subassemblies for use in personal protective equipment.

Speaking on the collaboration, Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO said, “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. 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.”

Ford Motor Company will continue to update on the support it is providing in helping the Covid-19 patients and also the healthcare workers who are in the line of fire.

Any company or individuals who interested in contributing to this effort can submit their information at the official Ford New Ideas website.


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