Ford partnering with GE, 3M to build ventilators, respirators, face shields

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. plans to build respirators, ventilators and face shields in partnership with its UAW work force, manufacturing company 3M and GE Healthcare to aid medical workers as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm their supply.

The automaker Tuesday said it will use fans from F-150 pickup seats, portable tool battery packs and 3D-printed parts to quickly assemble disposable air-purifying respirators alongside 3M at its advanced manufacturing center near Detroit in Redford, Mich.

Ford said it initially would be able to make up to 1,000 respirators per month, helping 3M boost production of them tenfold.

In addition, Ford plans to produce up to 100,000 face shields per week, also in Michigan. Roughly 75,000 of these shields are expected to be finished this week, and more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth, Mich.

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