Ford Enters the Fight Against COVID-19

Since late March, Ford has been working in close collaboration with 3M to develop urgently needed powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) to help healthcare workers across America as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 3M is a leading provider of personal protective equipment, including powered air-purifying respirators, which are needed now more than ever. Through partnerships with companies like Ford, 3M is able to greatly increase capacity of its own PAPR production. Ford and 3M are operating under the guidance and approval of the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to design and develop these much-needed PAPRs, and they are making excellent time

In fewer than 40 days, Ford and 3M have been able to design and develop PAPRs by combining Ford's vehicle air conditioning expertise with 3M's knowledge of medical devices. To create the PAPRs they are using off-the-shelf parts such as vehicle ventilator fans and power tool batteries. Ford's Advanced Manufacturing team was able to expedite the PAPR prototype through the use of 3D printing. To date, 90 paid UAW volunteers working at Ford's Vreeland facility near Salt Rock, Michigan have assembled more than 10,000 PAPRs and have the capability of making 100,000 more.

The PAPR includes a hood, which leverages Ford engineers' vehicle seat trim expertise, and face shield to cover health care professionals' heads and shoulders. A high-efficiency (HEPA) filter system provides a supply of filtered air for as long as 8 hours. The air blower system is similar to the fan in Ford F-150's ventilated seats and is powered by a rechargeable, portable battery. This allows the respirator to remain in constant use by first-line defenders. These innovative Ford-built PAPRs have already begun shipping to American facilities, with the first shipment going to a medical center in Seattle, Washington.

To maximize speed and efficiency, 3M is selling and distributing the Ford Limited-Use Public Health Emergency PAPR through its authorized distributors, but these PAPRs may also be ordered directly from Ford. Both companies are donating all profits from the sale of the PAPR equipment to COVID-19 related nonprofit organizations.

In addition to PAPRs, Ford is also producing reusable, washable medical gowns for healthcare personnel, 400,000 of which have already been shipped to healthcare facilities across the US and 500,0000 will soon be sent to New Jersey. These new gowns can withstand up to 50 washes.

Read more information on Ford's fight against COVID-19, including its new NASA-inspired Project Apollo team that is working in collaboration with GE Healthcare to make and supply PPE and health care equipment.

Hilltop Ford is proud to be part of the Ford family and is here to help you with all your auto needs. Located in Richmond, California, Hilltop Ford is open for vehicle sales and service, all of which can be scheduled online, over the phone, or safely in person. Our East Bay Ford dealership is following CDC guidelines including social distancing and frequently disinfecting high-traffic areas. If you need auto help, Hilltop Ford is here for you.

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