As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise around the world, more and more auto manufacturers are lending their respective mights in industry to the overwhelmed healthcare system. The latest automaker to chip in is Mercedes-Benz.
With the help of 3D printers, Mercedes-Benz has offered its support, signaling that they are ready to make individual components for medical equipment or build entire devices like respirators.
“With our highly competent team and years of experience in 3D printing technology, we are ready to make our contribution to the production of medical devices. Our expertise and specialist knowledge are available for production; now it is up to the medical technology sector to contact us. Our 3D printers are definitely available,” said Jorg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG.
Mercedes-Benz did not specify as to what components or medical equipment they will make. They did say, however, that they can make up to 150,000 plastic and metal components. With the need for ventilators, respirators, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) at an all-time high, front line health workers, as well as medical facilities need all the help they can get.
Other automakers such as Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and Kia are already busy making medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE). Last week, the Blue Oval brand began making ventilators, respirators, and other PPEs alongside 3M and General Electric Healthcare. Meanwhile, FCA and Ferrari are being tapped to build ventilators in order to help patients that have difficulty breathing.
As for Kia, the Korean auto brand is looking to make face masks at its Yancheng plant in order to help front line health workers protect themselves while in the line of duty. They have yet to state as to when they will begin, nor as to how many they will be producing.
With global demand for automobiles at an all-time low, automakers are looking to re-purpose their factories to fight the global pandemic, as well as aid those that are in the front lines.