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Jim Baumbick, Ford's vice president of enterprise product line management, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Tuesday that the automaker's newest partnership with 3M has production numbers ramping up. The partnership is focused on manufacturing personal protection equipment, including masks and face shields, for first responders.
“We've seen, just by injecting some of our manufacturing industrialization capability with their teams, 20 [percent], 30 [percent], 40 percent increase in throughput on their manufacturing lines to get much more of the existing product out today,” he said.
As of Monday, Baumbick said Ford has shipped 200,000 masks to critical hotspots and first responders. By the end of the week, the company is projecting to have shipped more than 1 million devices.
Ford announced Monday its projection to produce 50,000 ventilators by July 4, 2020. Baumbick said production is ramping up little by little in partnership with GE Healthcare.
“Today, we're starting to produce 40 percent more machines of their existing product on their current assembly lines to get more equipment to the people that need it the most,” he said. “And in parallel, we're actually scaling up another design that we're licensing through GE Healthcare that'll allow us to bring that device on in much, much higher volumes.”
Baumbick said production will cumulatively climb to meet the 50,000-ventilator goal come July, hitting a projected 12,000 mark in May.
According to Baumbick, Ford is also exploring “all means and mechanisms” to begin producing disposable respirators through 3D printing.