Ford presented its own strategy to combat the spreading virus that causes COVID-19 disease. As part of the assistance, company cooperated with 3M and GE Healthcare to jointly increase the production capacity of masks and other personal protective equipment. It also actively operates in the area of additive production of the most necessary equipment.
Ford is the beneficiary of additive manufacturing for years and previously used them in a wide range of applications – both to optimize its vehicles and increase the comfort of its employees. In the current situation, the company has decided that their 3D printers will be used to produce personal protective equipment to be able to create up to 100,000 face shields per week.
Bill Ford, president of Ford, emphasizes that we are at an important moment in world history. It is time for action and cooperation – joining forces of companies from various industries can help provide people who are at the forefront of the fight against the virus COVID-19. The works carried out at Ford production plants will be based mainly on the additive production of components for creating personal protective equipment (including elements of visors), which will first reach healthcare representatives.
At the same time, Ford design department is working on the possibility of creating face shields that will complement the popular N95 masks to further prevent virus infection. The first covers of this type are already ready and tested by doctors at the hospitals of Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace.
In turn, in cooperation with 3M, Ford is working on a method to increase the production efficiency of PARP masks, i.e. powered air-purifying respirators. Together, companies are looking for equal solutions, allowing the possibility of adapting existing parts and considering considering starting production of masks at one of Ford’s manufacturing plants.
Ford plant will manufacture components for simplified respirators of GE Healthcare, Kieran Murphy, CEO of GE Healthcare, emphasizes that the combination of specialist knowledge of his company’s employees and Ford’s production capabilities will meet the unprecedented, growing demand of medical units for respirators.