On Tuesday, April 14, Ford will begin producing an all-new powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) design, developed in collaboration with 3M. This personal protective equipment (PPE) will help protect health care professionals on the front lines fighting COVID-19.
This PAPR was rapidly designed and prototyped in accordance with federal guidelines and with 3M expert support and guidance in less than four weeks.
“3M is dedicated to helping protect our heroic health care workers and first responders globally, including sharing our scientific expertise to increase supply of needed PPE,” said Bernard Cicut, vice president, 3M Personal Safety Division. “We are proud to stand together with Ford in this effort, as they have helped us increase manufacturing of existing 3M PPE products and, together, we have rapidly designed a new PAPR to help protect these heroes.”
The development team expects the respirator design will meet the pending National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) limited-use protocol to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, with approval anticipated by the end of April.
Pending approval, 3M will distribute the newly designed PAPRs through its U.S. distribution network to help bring these technologies quickly and efficiently to health care workers who urgently need them. 3M and Ford will donate any profits they earn from the sale of the PAPRs to COVID-19 related nonprofit organizations.
Since late March, Ford manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain experts have also been embedded at 3M manufacturing facilities to help increase production of urgently needed products by sharing expertise and scaling production of key components. With this additional help, 3M was able to accelerate actions to increase the output of its own PAPRs and N95 respirators at 3M’s U.S.-based manufacturing facilities.
By collaborating with companies like Ford, 3M continues to apply science in pursuit of our goal of improving every life.