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Ford Prepares To Manufacture 50,000 Ventilators In 100 Days

Ford Prepares To Manufacture 50,000 Ventilators In 100 Days
The United States based auto giant Ford has said that it would be manufacturing as many as 50,000 simple ventilators within 100 days for the coronavirus patients and added that its plans include continuation of production of 30,000 ventilators every month from then on.
The ventilators will be made at its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the automaker said. The company added that 500 United Auto Workers union members have volunteered to work in te the factory for making the ventilators.
Licensed by GE Healthcare, Florida-based Airon Corp currently manufactures the ventilator. Ford and GE Healthcare have been working together to increase the production of ventilators.
No electricity is required for operating the Airon Model A-E ventilator that Ford will manufacture but will be able to work on air pressure alone. At its factory in Melbourne, Florida, three such ventilators are made every day by Airon currently.

Ford's plant will produce the ventilators around the clock with three shifts of workers, Ford said, and it will make 7,200 of the devices per week. Efforts of GE Healthcare to increase production of its own ventilators that are more advanced is also being supported by Ford. It's also working on designing a simplified GE Healthcare ventilator device that Ford could also produce.
Pledges to help in the manufacturing of ventilators on a large scale have also been made by other automakers. Ventec Life Systems, a ventilator maker, has partnered with General Motors for helping to increase the production capacity of Ventec. The Tesla plant in Buffalo is to be used for the manufacturing of ventilators, the company Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, but no further details of the effort was shared by the company.
New ventilators are also being designed by a few other companies, including Dyson in the United Kingdom. The company has also promised to help traditional medical supply manufacturers to increase their production capacities.
Its intention to produce ventilators was also announced by Virgin Orbit on Monday, which makes it the first among the aerospace companies to participate in these efforts. UCI Health, a California research hospital, and the University of Texas at Austin, are the partners of the California-based rocket startup in this effort, the company said. The aim is to develop a prototype for a so-called "bridge" ventilator — which is a simple version of conventional ventilators for which will allow which large scale production in a short period of time, the company claimed.
The ventilator manufacturing efforts of Virgin Orbit is being headed by Kevin Zagorski, an engineer who typically works on rocket engine design. It would be possible for the company to manufacture of hundreds or thousands of the bridge ventilators per week at its Los Angeles factory, if the United States Food and Drug Administration gives approval for the design of the ventilator in the coming days, he said. The design and other details of the ventilators can also be shared other manufacturers in aerospace and other industries that plans to or are able to start production of the ventilators, the company said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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