Ford’s Project Apollo boosted supply of lifesaving equipment to fight coronavirus

In addition to helping 3M boost production of N95 masks, workers helped it build air-purifying respirators. Ford simultaneously began making its own respirators using a makeshift design that included fans used in cooled seats on F-150 pickups, hoods from assembly plant paint shops, 3D-printed parts and portable tool battery packs that could allow the devices to run for up to eight hours.

Ford converted part of another Michigan facility to make ventilators, and it assisted GE in boosting production of its own models. At a separate site, Ford workers designed a scalable face shield using foam and rubber pieces from vehicles.

To date, Ford has helped build tens of thousands of ventilators and respirators and millions of face shields and masks.

“I hope that through the darkness, collectively, everybody can be inspired,” Jim Baumbick, who spearheaded Project Apollo, told Automotive News. “If teams are focused on a mission, trying to get things done and working together, being open to listening and learning, amazing things can happen.”

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