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FROM V8 ENGINES TO VENTILATORS: FORD PARTNERS WITH 3M, GE TO MAKE MEDICAL GEAR

Ford Motor Company Announces An Encompassing Collaboration With Two Other American Icons

Ford
Photo via Ford

The Arsenal of Health is in its early stages, and as in during World War II, the Detroit automakers are rolling their sleeves up, and using their expertise, infrastructure, and manpower to produce incredible amounts of medical equipment. Yesterday, we reported on the efforts taking place at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors. And today, Ford Motor Company has announced a sweeping collaboration with Minnesota-based 3M Technologies and Boston-based General Electric to produce a trio of necessary medical equipment for the healthcare sector to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic. The combined age of the three American companies is 360 years old.

With 3M, Ford is looking to scale up the manufacturing of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). The two companies are working on a “new design” for this equipment, utilizing parts from both companies to meet the urgent demand in the healthcare industry. For its part, Ford is exploring production of the new PAPR in a Ford facility in addition to what 3M can produce. Creatively, off-the-shelf parts will be put to use. For example, fans from the ventilated seats of the Ford F-150, and 3M HEPA air filters will run on portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours.

Ford
Photo via Ford

At the same time, Ford and GE Healthcare are working together to expand production of a “simplified version” of GE’s existing ventilator design. This device will be used to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.

Independently, the Dearborn automaker will assemble more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week at a UAW-staffed Ford manufacturing site for intended use by medical professionals, factory workers and even store clerks. 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. At full speed, more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth, Mich.The company’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan will manufacture components and subassemblies for the face shields using in-house 3D printing capabilities.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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