Using 3D printing, fans from its air-cooled vehicle seats and in-house engineering capabilities, Ford Motor Co. is getting into the medical supply business — albeit temporarily — to support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The automaker is moving forward with four initiatives:
- Collaborating with General Electric on what it calls a simplified version of a ventilator manufactured by GE Healthcare.
- Working with 3M on air-purifying respirators. According to the company, the respirator could be made at a Ford factory using existing 3M and Ford components, including fans from the Ford F-150’s seats.
- Producing facial shields in-house.
- Manufacturing N95 masks in house using 3D printing capabilities.
The first thousand face shields are being tested this week. Ford said it could make 75,000 shields this week and 100,000 shields per week thereafter at Ford facilities in Michigan.
Bill Ford, executive chairman of the company, explained the company’s efforts on the Today show. Watch the full interview below.
Ford provided video of the facial shields being developed at its Advanced Manufacturing Center, Redford, Mich.