50 000 ventilators from Ford

Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare have joined forces to produce 50 000 ventilators in Michigan. A further 30 000 of these vitally needed units will be added every month, as required.

Ford is providing its manufacturing capabilities to quickly scale production. GE Healthcare is contributing its clinical expertise and licensing the current ventilator design from Airon Corp – a small, privately held company specialising in high-tech pneumatic life-support products.

“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,” says Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and chief executive officer.

The GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator uses a design that operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, thus addressing the needs of most Covid-19 patients. It 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 initially sent a team to work with Airon to boost production in Florida and, by April 20, will start production at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, quickly ramping up to reach full production to help meet surging demand.

The company 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 United States government to meet its goal of producing 100 000 ventilators in 100 days.

“We applaud Ford for its efforts to lend its manufacturing capabilities to help quickly scale the Airon-licensed Model A-E ventilator and arm clinicians in the fight against Covid-19,” says GE Healthcare president and chief executive officer Kieran Murphy. “Our deep understanding of the healthcare industry [combined] with Ford’s supply chain and production expertise will help meet the unprecedented demand for medical equipment. We continue to be encouraged by how quickly companies are coming together in innovative ways to address this collective challenge.”

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