Published on March 31st, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Ford Will Make 50,000 Ventilators in 100 days
President Trump may have had to use wartime laws to get General Motors to start producing ventilators, but Ford has instead taken the initiative themselves. They’ve collaborated with GE Healthcare to start producing as many low-cost ventilators to help treat COVID-19 patients as soon as possible. They say their target for the next 100 days is 50,000 units with another 30,000 per month after the initial batch if it’s necessary.
The ventilator they’ll be producing is designed by Airon Corp, and it doesn’t require electricity to operate.
Here’s the press release with more.
Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, announced today it will begin producing in Michigan a third-party ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed.
Ford will provide its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production, and GE Healthcare will provide its clinical expertise and will license the current ventilator design from Airon Corp. – a small, privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products. GE Healthcare brought the Airon Corp. design to Ford’s attention as part of the companies’ efforts to scale production of ventilators quickly to help clinicians treat COVID-19 patients.
The GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, addressing the needs of most COVID-19 patients. Its production can be quickly scaled to help meet growing demand in the U.S.
Ford will initially send a team to work with Airon to boost production in Florida, and by the week of April 20, will start production at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., quickly ramping up to reach full production to help meet surging demand.
Ford expects to produce 1,500 by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4 – helping the U.S. government meet its goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.
Ford’s Rawsonville plant will produce the ventilators nearly around the clock, with 500 paid volunteer UAW-represented employees working on three shifts. Airon currently produces three Airon pNeuton Model A ventilators per day in Melbourne, Fla. At full production, Ford plans to make 7,200 Airon-licensed Model A-E ventilators per week.
The Airon-licensed Model A-E ventilator is the second Ford-GE Healthcare ventilator collaboration. Last week, Ford and GE Healthcare announced a separate effort to produce a simplified ventilator design from GE Healthcare. The combined ventilator supply will help address the increasing surge demand for ventilators around the U.S in the fight against COVID-19, each well suited to meet time, production volume and patient care requirements.
GE Heathcare and Ford consulted with medical experts in determining the Airon-licensed Model A-E ventilator is well suited for COVID-19 patient care. The design is expected to meet the needs of most COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing. The ventilator is designed for quick setup, making it easy for healthcare workers to use – and can be deployed in an emergency room setting, during special procedures or in an intensive care unit, wherever the patient may be located.
Ford, along with the companies it is supporting, will provide additional updates as these special projects progress.