Ford Launches "Project Apollo" to Build Respirators
There are industries that helped spread the Wuhan Virus in America, but are at the front of the line in demanding a bailout while doing zero to help. And there are other industries that not at the front of the bailout line this time around, but actually are helping.
Ford Motor Co. plans to build respirators, ventilators and face shields in partnership with its UAW work force, manufacturing company 3M and GE Healthcare to aid medical workers as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm their supply.
Known internally as “Project Apollo” and inspired by the quick-thinking ingenuity of the Apollo 13 space mission, executives on Tuesday said Ford workers plan to use car parts and factory tools to help get some equipment out to doctors, nurses and first responders as early as this week.
Ford said it initially would be able to make up to 1,000 respirators per month, helping 3M boost production of them tenfold. Officials on a conference call said they’re working to begin production in a matter of days or weeks.
In addition, Ford plans to produce up to 100,000 face shields per week, also in Michigan. Roughly 75,000 of these shields are expected to be finished this week, and more than 100,000 face shields per week will be produced at Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing's facilities in Plymouth, Mich.
If you buy the projected extrapolation numbers, which are hopefully wrong, this may end up being a drop in the bucket. But it still means lives saved.