The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to grow each day. As a result, more and more hospitals around the world are needing medical ventilators in order to try and save as many patients as possible. While the Mercedes-AMG F1 team is doing so in the UK, Ford is the latest company to answer that call to produce ventilators for the US.
Ford, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced that they will be producing 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days at its Rawsonville Components plant in Michigan. Production is set to begin next month, April 20. The automaker expects to produce 1,500 units by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4. This would help the US government meet its goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.
“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers. By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president, and CEO.
Ford will be building a unique kind of ventilator that does not require electricity to function. Instead, the GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator operates on air pressure and bottle oxygen alone. This makes it easy to set up in various areas (emergency room, intensive care, etc.) and well suited for COVID-19 patient care.
After initial 50,000 ventilators, Ford says they also have the capacity to produce 30,000 units a month. Considering it’s still uncertain when the pandemic will end, having the capacity to produce additional ventilators will surely help patients and hospitals in the long run.