US automakers partner with GE, 3M, others to produce medical equipment, supplies

(AP/CNN) – Ford has partnered with GE Healthcare and 3M to create more medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients.

American autoworkers are shifting from building cars to helping manufacture medical equipment during the pandemic. (Source: Ford, CNN)

The automaker is teaming with GE Healthcare to expand the production of a simplified version of GE’s existing ventilator design to help patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.

It is also assembling more than 100,000 plastic face shields per week at one of its manufacturing sites and will also use its in-house 3D printing capability to make components for use in personal protective equipment.

Ford said it also will work with 3M to produce a new kind of powered air-purifying respirator for healthcare workers.

The automaker said the respirators will be made using parts from both Ford and 3M.

In another project, Ford said it will work with members of the United Auto Workers to assemble protective clear plastic face shields.

Other automakers are also helping fill the medical equipment gap.

General Motors is working with Ventec Life Systems to boost the production of ventilators.

Fiat Chrysler says it will produce up to a million protective face masks a week. The masks will be donated to hospitals, police and emergency workers.

And California’s governor says Tesla CEO Elon Musk has donated a thousand ventilators.

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