Ford Helps GE with Ventilators & F150 Fans/HEPA for Respirators
Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending 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.
In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week and leverage its in-house 3D printing capability to produce disposable respirators for healthcare workers.
“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,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “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.”
Powered Air-Purifying Respirators
Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers. This new respirator could be produced in a Ford facility by UAW workers.
To go as fast as possible, the Ford and 3M teams have been resourcefully locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.
Ford is looking at how it might produce these new-generation PAPRs in one of its Michigan manufacturing facilities, helping 3M boost production potentially tenfold.
In addition, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand 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. These ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.
“We are encouraged by how quickly companies from across industries have mobilized to address the growing challenge we collectively face from COVID-19,” said GE Healthcare President & CEO Kieran Murphy. “We are proud to bring our clinical and technical expertise to this collaboration with Ford, working together to serve unprecedented demand for this life-saving technology and urgently support customers as they meet patient needs.”
Work on this initiative ties to a request for help from U.S. government officials.
Respirators and Face Shields
Meanwhile, 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.
The first 1,000 face shields will be tested this week at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospitals. Roughly 75,000 of these 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.
Ford is leveraging its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Mich., and in-house 3D printing capabilities to manufacture disposable respirators, which are needed to help filter the air healthcare workers and first responders breathe. Once approved by the proper health agency, Ford will initially start at a pace equal to 1,000 per month but will quickly grow production as fast as possible.
Ford is evaluating a separate effort not involving GE Healthcare with the U.K. government to produce additional ventilators.
In China, Ford of China joint venture partner Jiangling Motors also has donated 10 specially equipped Transit ambulance vans to hospitals in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began. Ford is also reacquiring 165,000 N95 respirators from China that were originally sent by Ford to China earlier this year to help combat coronavirus.
Ford has also kicked off a working team to help hospitals locate and secure urgently needed surgical and N95 respirators. Ford has so far committed sending Henry Ford Health Systems 40,000 surgical masks while it locates additional supplies.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels Donates to Children Hospitals
Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by Hyundai Motor America and its U.S. dealers, announces a donation of $2 million for COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Centers in partnership with children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has created a particular threat to children with cancer, many of whom have compromised immune systems. COVID-19 drive-thru testing provides a safe and trusted way for children who present risk factors to receive the care they need. As a leading funder of pediatric cancer research, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has supported the health and well-being of children with cancer since 1998.
The following children’s hospitals are the first three of ten to receive a $200,000 donation to support their Drive-Thru Testing Centers (additional hospitals to be announced):
- CHOC Children’s (Orange, CA)
- UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (Cleveland, OH)
- Children’s National Hospital (Washington, D.C.)///
ScrubaDub SaniSafes First Responders
ScrubaDub Auto Wash Centers, in partnership with Simoniz USA, a leader in professional cleaning products, has made available complimentary SaniSafe viral disinfectant wipes for the vehicles of first responders, medical personnel, police and fire departments.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Paisner-family-owned car wash company is helping first responders, medical professionals, and law enforcement feel more safe while driving in their vehicles. ScrubaDub SaniSafe viral disinfectant wipes are EPA approved and will be provided free at all ScrubaDub car wash tunnels across New England at this time. ScrubaDub tunnels will remain open to provide this sanitizing product and exterior car washes to first responders.
“The ScrubaDub family and our incredible team of employees are committed to helping the communities where we operate feel safe during this time of national emergency,” said Mathew Paisner, ScrubaDub Director of Business Development. “For over 50 years, ScrubaDub has been dedicated to giving back to the communities in which we live and work because it’s part of our core values.”
Zhor to the Rescue
-Zohr, the tire shop that comes to you, is keeping essential workers safe on the roads across the states of Texas, Kansas, and Missouri in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. The company announced it is offering 50 percent off tire services for essential workers through the end of April with the promo code CARE50. Zohr continues to provide mobile on-demand tire service while practicing social distancing and stimulating the local economy. Zohr is in the midst of a nationwide expansion with services coming to California, Colorado and Florida in 2020.
With many businesses suffering and even closing as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, Zohr is also doing its part to help stimulate the local economy of the cities and states it does business in. The company’s business model is based on a local supply chain and bypasses dependence on national suppliers and overwhelmed shipping providers.
Anheuser-Busch will be makingbottles of hand sanitizer at its Van Nuys and Baldwinsville, N.Y. factories.