Automaker Ford Motor Co. revealed that it has joined other major U.S. manufacturers in the push to produce thousands of ventilators and respirators needed in the fight against COVID-19.
Ford said its partnerships were code-named “Project Apollo” after the Apollo 13 launch in 1970 when a lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank failed two days into the mission, forcing the astronauts to improvise a fix.
Ford and GE Healthcare will expand the production of GE’s ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by the pathogen. In addition, they are developing a simplified design that Ford could begin making at one of its plants. The plan is to get the new design approved quickly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Tom Westrick, vice president and chief quality officer at GE Healthcare, said on a conference call.
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