3M ramps up respirator production

3M and Ford collaborate to make more air purifying respirators.

3M and Ford Motor Company have partnered to increase the production of 3M’s powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs).

3M and Ford are collaborating on specific ways the companies can rapidly combine complementary capabilities and resources to help meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare 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.”

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 per cent are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies. The company also manufactures respirators at locations in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

In addition, 3M is increasing its investments, primarily in the U.S., to expand its global capacity by over 30 percent in the next 12 months. The company is also maximising production of a wide range of other products used in the COVID-19 response globally including hand sanitisers, disinfectants and filtration solutions.

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