Cornonavirus Pandemic: Ford Is Making Medical Gowns Out Of Airbag Material

Production of gowns will reach 75,000 gowns a week by April 19, 2020 and scale up to 1 lakh gowns for the week of April 19 and beyond.

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Ford has stepped up to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and has expanded its its efforts to design and produce urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for health care workers, first responders and patients fighting the coronavirus. In addition to the current production of more than 3 million face shields in Plymouth, Michigan, Ford has today begun production of the air-purifying respirator. Ford also is now producing face masks and leading an effort to scale production of reusable gowns for health care workers and interestingly, these will be made by using the same material that the company uses to make airbags in its cars.

Production of gowns will reach 75,000 gowns a week by April 19, 2020 and scale up to 1 lakh gowns for the week of April 19 and beyond. By July 4, Ford-supplier Joyson Safety Systems will cut and sew 1.3 million gowns, which are self-tested to federal standards and are washable up to 50 times.

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Ford worked with Beaumont Health in Metro Detroit to quickly design the gown pattern and test for sizing during fit and function trials. More than 5,000 gowns have already been delivered to the hospital.

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Production of gowns will reach 75,000 gowns a week by April 19, 2020 

Ford also is continuing to manufacture transparent full-face shields for medical workers. As of April 13, Ford had produced more than 3 million face shields for medical personnel and first responders. Besides the U.S., face shield production also has started globally at Ford facilities in Canada and Thailand and with Ford joint venture partner Mahindra & Mahindra in India.

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Ventilator pre-production activities are also underway in the U.K., where Ford and an industry consortium are preparing to make ventilators from Penlon. Ford is providing manufacturing engineering capability, project leadership, purchasing support and assembly of the ventilators at its Dagenham engine plant. This production will help meet demand for 15,000 ventilators ordered by the U.K. government.

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