First Shipments of Ford Respirators Arriving Nationwide
Ford Motor Company on Wednesday sent its first shipment of powered air-purifying respirators to medical facilities across the United States. The Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPR, designed in collaboration with 3M, will help frontline healthcare workers stay safe and healthy as they work to save lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very grateful to Ford and 3M for this shipment of air-purifying respirators,” said Steve Schaefer, senior vice president of Support Services at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. The VMMC was the first customer to take delivery of the Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPRs.
“This important equipment will help ensure the safety of our patients, doctors, nurses, and other members of the Virginia Mason care teams during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Ford and 3M worked together to turn the PAPRs from concept to product in under 40 days, with the automaker leveraging its expertise in everything from seat trim manufacturing to 3D printing to bring the project forward. Production kicked off at Ford’s Vreeland facility in mid-April with some 90 paid UAW volunteers assembling more than 10,000 respirators over the past weeks. Ford says it has the capacity to make 100,000 or more respirators.
3M will sell the Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPR through its distributor network, and the respirators can also be bought directly from Ford. Any and all profits made from the PAPR will be donated to nonprofit organizations helping in the fight against the coronavirus.
Ford sending 500K reusable gowns to New Jersey
Another aspect of Ford’s mobilization during the crisis is manufacturing reusable gowns, and the state of New Jersey has placed an order for 500,000 units to be delivered in the near future. Ford says that its production capacity accommodates 200,000 gowns a week and that 400,000 gowns had already been shipped nationwide prior to NJ’s order.
The washable gowns are tested to meet federal safety standards and can withstand up to 50 washes.
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