Ford Motor Co.is speeding up plans to produce ventilators in cooperation with General Electric Co.by selecting a simpler design of the medical devices and will aim to churn out 50,000 units in the next 100 days.
Production will start the week of April 20 from its Rawsonville Plant, near Ann Arbor, of the Model A-E ventilator made by Airon Corp., which GE Healthcare is licensing and brought to Ford's attention as part of a previously announced partnership to increase ventilator production.
Ford says it will employ a number of tactics to help keep the UAW workers at Rawsonville safe and mitigate the risk of infection, including enforcing social distancing, pre-screening workers before they enter the building, using barrier shields and plastic face shields that a Ford subsidiary is making in suburban Detroit.
The ventilators will be produced "around the clock" with the aid of 500 paid volunteers working in three shifts.More news: Chris Paul Speaks on How Kobe Bryant Impacted So Many People’s Lives
For this endeavor, the American carmaker is again teaming up with GE Healthcare, which will license the ventilator design from medical-equipment specialist Airon Corporation. The company said this is helping the federal government meet the goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.
"By producing this ventilator in MI, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that's our number one priority", said Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford.
The ventilators operate on air pressure without a need for electricity. "By producing this ventilator in MI, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that's our No. 1 priority".
Currently, Aion produces three of the ventilators each day at its plant in Melbourne, Florida.More news: Coronavirus outbreak exacting huge toll on Chinas economy
"From the days of Rosie the Riveter, UAW members have stepped up during hard times in this nation's history for the good of us all", said UAW International President Rory Gamble. We are working very closely with Ford to make sure that all CDC guidelines are followed and that we are exercising an abundance of caution inside the plant. Ford engineers and manufacturing employees have been working onsite there to help GE Healthcare ramp production more quickly.
"Starting in April, we're producing a ventilator with @GEHealthcare, leveraging the design of @AironCorp's FDA-cleared ventilator", the company announced on Twitter.
GE expects to double ventilator output from the Wisconsin plant during the second quarter, Tom Westrick, GE Healthcare's vice president for quality, said during a call with reporters on March 30. "We continue to be encouraged by how quickly companies are coming together in innovative ways to address this collective challenge".More news: Coronavirus kills I Love Rock ‘n Roll co-writer Allen Merrill