How Companies are Transitioning Manufacturing Plants for PPE

With the spread of Covid-19 at its peak in the United States and other part of the world, there is a need for ample production of Personal Protective Equipment. To meet up with the demands for PPE, companies are shifting the gaze of their manufacturing plants towards it production. Involved majorly in the manufacturing of PPE are car manufacturers; Tesla Motors, Ford, SpaceX, General Motors and many other privately held companies. These automobile manufacturers are teaming up with major medical and protective gear manufacturers to boost the production to meet up with towering demands.

As at the 3rd of April, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United States is nearing the quarter of a million. On the global stage, it already crossed a million mark and still growing. This is not considering over 50,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic. In order to be able to respond to the towering number, these companies are pitching in to deal with the scarcity of personal protective equipment. This will allow medical and health workers focus on saving and treating as many as possible without fear of exposure to the virus.

The scarcity of PPE has seen governments at different levels bidding against one another. The situation is even worrisome in places such as New York city which is the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. There is already a bidding war by governments especially as the local level, the situation is getting worst with the increasing number of confirmed cases of individuals with the virus. This is why local businesses with the capacity to manufacture PPEs are stepping up in order to control the spread of the virus. This is why Ford and General Motors with the capacity had to partner with medical supplies to manufacture respirators, ventilators and protective face shields. Currently, these three items are in short supply due to the onslaught of the pandemic.

The Partnership to Save Lives By Auto and Medical Supplies Manufacturers

The raging pandemic has led to a new alliance between manufacturers in two different niches. While General Motors when into an alliance with Ventec Life Systems, there is also a tripartite relationship between Ford, 3M and GE Healthcare. The modus operandi of the partnership between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems is quite straightforward. Relying on the expertise, logistics and purchasing power, Ventec Life Systems will be able to increase their production of ventilators. The partnership could translate to the production of 200,000 ventilators within the shortest time possible.

On the other hand, the arrangement between Ford, 3M and GE Healthcare is more collaborative. The manufacturers will be able to source electrical components faster in the production of respirators, ventilators and other PPEs needed by healthcare providers and the patients. At the forefront of the partnership is Auto manufacturer, Ford whose Advanced Manufacturing Centre in Redford would serve as the primary production point. In the end, around 75,000 face shields is expected to be produced in the coming weeks.

With the commendable efforts of Ford and General Motors, Elon Musk’s Tesla is not also behind in the effort to save lives. Being a resourceful individual that he is, Elon Musk is able to buy over 1,000 ventilators from China whose Coronavirus case is on the downward slope. In addition to this, Tesla is also considering a faster and cheaper means to producing ventilators and other personal protective equipment. While other manufacturers are concentrating on the United States, Tesla is adopting a global approach as announced on Elon Musk’s Twitter page.

All Hands on Deck To Save More Lives

While auto manufacturers are at the forefront of the PPE race, startups and other smaller brands are also ready to chip in efforts and resources, regardless of how little. For instance, to combat the shortage of hand sanitizers, Alcohol brands are looking into it production. So far, Airco, Endless West, and Los Angeles based Bev are shifting production towards making hand sanitizers. Involved in the efforts to combat Covid-19 are 3D printing companies who are exploring new ways to printing PPEs.

So far, the private sector is stepping into the picture to help meet the shortages of equipment and medical supplies. However, there might be a need for a more coordinated approach to bringing the pandemic to an end.