Safety, industry, and health care provider, 3M, is currently operating at maximum production, having accelerated investments to expand its global capacity to help provide the products and components necessary in the fight agains COVID-19.
Most recently, the company announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company. 3M and Ford are collaborating on specific ways the companies can rapidly combine complementary capabilities and resources (including parts and engineering capabilities) to help meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment.
Specifically, the pair are working to increase the production of 3M’s powered, air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs. For example, 3M’s powered air purifying respirators use a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare. 3M’s PAPR systems can offer a more comfortable user experience for wearers who need respiratory protection for an extended period of time.
“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get health care supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most, which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership.”
“3M is providing vital personal protective equipment for medical workers and we’ve empowered our engineers and designers to move as quickly as possible to help 3M grow PAPR production using common parts to speed this up. We are also volunteering our facilities for additional production,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO.
Overall, 3M has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month. In the United States 3M is producing 35 million respirators per month; of these, more than 90 percent are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies.