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Ford (F) Unites With 3M & GE Healthcare to Combat Coronavirus

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Ford Motor Company (F - Free Report) recently announced its decision to collaborate with 3M and GE Healthcare to jointly combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Through these partnership, Ford will leverage its manufacturing and engineering resources to rapidly increase the production of urgently-needed medical equipment and materials for healthcare staff, first responders and COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the company aims to manufacture more than 100,000 face masks each week and leverage its in-house 3D printing technology to create disposable respirators for healthcare workers.

Notably, Ford will partner with 3M for expanding the manufacturing capacity of the Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR). The companies will focus on integrating their complementary strengths and resources to meet the global demand spike for personal protective equipment, on account of the coronavirus crisis. This new respirator could be produced in a Ford plant by the United Auto Workers (UAW) workers.

Ford is looking forward to manufacture new-generation PAPRs at one of its manufacturing plants in Michigan, eventually allowing 3M to increase production by ten times to combat the deadly virus.

Further, Ford is teaming up with GE Healthcare to boost the production of GE's ventilator design, in order to assist patients with respiratory failure or pathogen-caused trouble in breathing. The companies will also bring out a simpler design that Ford could begin manufacturing at one of its plants, in addition to a GE location.

Meanwhile, Ford’s U.S. design team, along with the UAW union, is beginning to test clear full-face goggles for first responders, which can be an effective way to reduce exposure to coronavirus, when combined with N95 respirator masks. Ford is targeting to make more than 100,000 masks a week at non-vehicle manufacturing facilities in Michigan, including using 3D printers to help.

Ford currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Various other auto bigwigs that have temporarily shut down auto plants are taking necessary steps to assist in the production of key medical equipment amid the virus mayhem. U.S. top carmaker General Motors (GM - Free Report) is collaborating with Ventec Life Systems to boost the production of respiratory care products to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. EV maker Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) has also joined forces with medical device maker Medtronic to make ventilators in a bid to battle the health hazard.Volkswagen (VWAGY - Free Report) is in talks with authorities and has established an international task force to explore options, while Daimler AG and BMW AG are also exploring options to use 3D printers to produce ventilators.

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