Ford Motor Co said on March 30 that it will produce 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days at a plant in MI in cooperation with General Electric's healthcare unit, and can then build 30,000 per month as needed to treat patients afflicted with the coronavirus.
Rawsonville Components Plant will restart the week of April 20 to produce the Model A-E ventilator, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, supported by paid volunteer UAW workers.
By the end of April, the company expects to produce 1,500 ventilators, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4. At full production, Ford said it will be able to make 7,200 "Model A-E" ventilators per week, a far faster pace than the 3-per day of the equivalent ventilators now produced at Airon's Florida facility. "By producing this ventilator in MI, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help health care workers save lives, and that's our No. 1 priority". It operates on air pressure with the need for electricity - something that coronavirus patients are in dire need right now.
The Model A-E is said to be a less complicated version of a ventilator, a medical device that experts say is in critically short supply to help patients who have respiratory failure and need help to breathe because of the coronavirus.
Currently, Aion produces three of the ventilators each day at its plant in Melbourne, Florida. Among them is automaker Ford, which has announced that it will be producing 50,000 ventilators at its Rawsonville plant in MI. "Ford and our UAW Ford members should be commended for stepping up in these very uncertain times".
The automaker will convert an auto-parts plant in MI to make breathing machines designed by Airon Corp. and licensed by GE Healthcare starting the week of April 20, according to a statement. With Ford's manufacturing capabilities and GE Healthcare's clinical expertise, the ventilators are expected to be made as quickly as possible in order to meet the growing demand in the country.
The plant will produce a simplified ventilator design licensed by GE Healthcare from Florida-based Airon Corp.