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Ford Works With 3M, GE To Increase Production Of Respirators, Ventilators

Ford Motor said Tuesday that it is working with 3M and GE Healthcare to increase production of respirators for healthcare workers, ventilators for coronavirus patients.

The partnership will help to meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ford and 3M are partnering to increase the production of 3M's powered air purifying respirators, or PAPRs.

3M's powered air purifying respirators use a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare.

Ford is exploring production of the new PAPR in a Ford facility in addition to 3M production.

Meanwhile, 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.

The ventilators could be produced at a Ford manufacturing site in addition to a GE location.

Ford, in cooperation with the UAW, 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.

On Monday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it would manufacture more than 1 million protective face masks per month. The company would donate the face masks to police, EMTs and firefighters, as well as to workers in hospitals and health care clinics.

Last Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he "had a long engineering discussion with Medtronic about state-of-the-art ventilators."

General Motors (GM) said last Friday that it collaborated with Ventec Life Systems to enable Ventec to increase production of its respiratory care products to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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