Ford is stepping up to help fight against the coronavirus as the company announced it is ramping up efforts to support healthcare workers by aiding in the production of essential protective gear.
The automaker said it has started 3D-printing face shields for health workers to help keep them protected as they treat patients suffering from COVID-19 as well as those who are exhibiting symptoms.
The first 1,000 shields produced by The Blue Oval have reportedly been shipped out to local hospitals in Michigan, while another 75,000 shields are expected to be completed by the end of this week and another 100,000 from two Ford facilities the week after.
Ford is also set to donate 200,000 N95 masks to the medical community, which will be acquired from Chinese facilities and other areas of its business.
On top of this, Ford also said it has teamed up with companies 3M and GE to support the design and manufacturing of respirator masks and ventilators.
Ford and 3M are producing a powered air-purifying respirator mask design, which workers from the United Auto Workers could help build in one of Ford’s facilities. According to reports, the two companies scoured Ford parts and picked components that could be used for the design. This includes fans from an F-150’s ventilated seats to allow airflow, as well as a portable battery that can keep the respirators powered for eight hours.
Ford is also partnering with GE Healthcare to work on a simplified design for ventilators. The ventilators will be built at a Ford plant and a GE facility.