In the middle of April, Ford and 3M announced an effort to manufacture PAPR, a form of protective equipment for individuals to be used by medical professionals. The collaboration was originally announced at the end of March.
The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health approved the work, and Ford and 3M officially started shipping their respiration equipment. Recently, Ford stated that it would take less than 40 days to produce and deliver gear. It is aiming to create more than 100,000 units.
PAPR stands for “powered air-purifying respirators.” It includes a face-shield and a hood to allow for maximum protection for health care workers. The device uses F-150’s fans, found in the vehicle’s seat cooling system, to supply air for up to eight hours. Ford is additionally producing reusable gowns, made from airbag equipment found in the vehicles. The company continues to produce transparent face shields.
David Claeys, president of two hospitals near Detroit relayed, “The need to protect our medical teams is heightened – Ford’s gown production could not come at a better time during this crisis. Our front line health care workers are working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients and we need the necessary supplies to support them.”
The production was set to begin on May 6th, 2020. The production base is Ford’s Vreeland plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
The Ford Director of Global Body Exterior and Interior Engineering, Marcy Fisher, said “By working collaboratively with 3M to quickly combine more than 100 years of Ford manufacturing and engineering expertise with personal protection equipment design and expertise, we’re getting much-needed technology into the hands of frontline medical workers to help when they need it most.”
Additionally, those interested in contributing to this effort may submit personal information at www.fordnewideas.com.