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Coronavirus pandemic: Ford designs respirators and ventilators with 3M and GE

March 25, 2020, 06:01 PM IST by Bilal Ahmed Firfiray
Coronavirus pandemic: Ford designs respirators and ventilators with 3M and GE

- Ford has developed a scaled Powered Air-Purifying Respirators for the health care workers

- GE and Ford collaborated to put into production a simplified ventilator for Coronavirus patients

Amidst the global Coronavirus pandemic, Ford has joined forces with firms like 3M, GE Healthcare to provide their manufacturing expertise in rolling out medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus. Ford also plans to assemble more than one lakh face shields per week using its in-house 3D printing machine.

Ford Aspire Exterior

The Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR) is developed along with 3M leveraging parts from both the companies and it would be useful for first responders in the healthcare sector. An ingenious solution was used to develop the PAPR where fans from Ford F-150’s cooled seat was used along with 3M HEPA filters to create a mask keeping air-borne contamination at bay. A portable tool battery can power these respirators for up to eight hours. Plans are to produce the PAPRs at the Michigan facility as well apart from Detroit boosting the manufacturing furthermore.

Ford Aspire Exterior

Meanwhile, the patients suffering from respiratory failure will benefit from a simplified ventilator co-developed by Ford and GE Healthcare. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location. However, this initiative requests help from U.S. government officials as well.

Additionally, Ford’s U.S. design team has also created and started 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. The first 1,000 face shields will be tested this week across various hospitals in Detroit. Roughly 75,000 of these shields are expected to be finished this week and more than one lakh face shields per week will be produced at Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth, Michigan.

Ford Aspire Exterior

On the other hand, in China, joint venture partner Jiangling Motors has donated 10 specially-equipped ambulance vans to hospitals in Wuhan. Ford has so far committed sending Henry Ford Health Systems 40,000 surgical masks as well. The American carmaker is open for additional contributions from other companies and individuals in their effort against the novel Coronavirus.

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