Ford Ge Ventilator Plan 1540

Ford, GE Launch a New Ventilator Project

March 31, 2020
In their second collaboration this month Ford will start manufacturing a new GE-licensed, Airon ventilator in Michigan, at up to 50,000 units by July 4.

Ford Motor Co. outlined a new collaboration with the GE Healthcare unit to produce up to 50,000 FDA-approved ventilators within 100 days, and up to 30,000 per month thereafter as needed. Manufacturing will be done at Ford's Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich.

The ventilators will be based on a design licensed by GE Healthcare from Airon Corp., a new design that operates on air pressure, not electricity. It is developed for quick setup, making it simple for healthcare workers to use in an emergency room or intensive-care unit, or wherever a patient may need it.

Production of the new ventilator design can be scaled up quickly to help meet growing U.S. demand, according to Ford's announcement.

It's the second announced collaboration by Ford with GE Healthcare during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month the two reported separate effort to produce a simplified, GE-developed ventilator design. The combined supply of ventilators will help address the U.S. government's goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.

Late last week, General Motors presented its plan to produce up to 200,000 VOCSN critical-care ventilators, in partnership with Ventec Life Systems.

Airon is privately held company specializing in high-tech pneumatic life support products.

Airon currently produces three pNeuton Model A ventilators per day in Melbourne, Fla. At full production, Ford aims to manufacture 7,200 Airon-licensed Model A-E ventilators per week.

The Rawsonville plant will have 500 paid volunteer, UAW-represented employees producing ventilators on three shifts.

Ford plans to produce 1,500 GE/Airon Model A-E ventilators by the end of April; 12,000 by the end of May; and 50,000 by July 4, toward the U.S. government goal to produce 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.

“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” stated Ford president and CEO Jim Hackett. “By producing this ventilator in Michigan, in strong partnership with the UAW, we can help healthcare workers save lives, and that’s our No. 1 priority.”

Latest from News

Maximilian Pogonii | Dreamstime
Pratt & Whitney
Liujunrong | Dreamstime
Dmitry Kalinovsky | Dreamstime
Spirit AeroSystems