Ford and 3M to make respirators and ventilators to combat COVID-19 crisis
Ford, along with its automotive OEM partner 3M, has just announced its efforts to help in the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. Ford looks to assist by providing components from their parts to build respirators or ventilators. The designs released by Ford used 3M filters and will additionally use the Ford F150 seat air blower motor that is typically found in the ventilated seats.
Ford is also looking to produce pressure masks that will take contaminated air and put it through a filter and then pass that clean air into the mask using a blower. Food has chosen this small compact 12v motors as they don’t require a lot of power and are quite compact in size making it ideal for this use case scenario. Another is that since these blower motors have to run at half the speed as what they are used to, it extends operational run time by double (or by approximately 10 hours) in comparison a standard-issue purpose-built respirator gives an operating time of 12 hours.
One great advantage of having an Automotive manufacturer get on board to increase the supply of respirators is that they have access to off-the-shelf parts in large quantities and once these designs get approval from the medical governing bodies, scaling up and mass production can be tackled quite easily by these automotive giants. Ford has already started delivering face shield masks made using 3-D printers to build the entire components. We will have to stay tuned to hear more about the respirator that they have developed using the seat blower motor from their pickup truck, but here’s wishing them all the very best. As in the current state of things all efforts to combat this global pandemic are welcome.