Less than two months ago, Ford (NYSE:F) enlisted in the war on coronavirus, teaming up with 3M (NYSE:MMM) to produce powered air-purifying respirators, or PAPRs, to be worn by health workers fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. These battery-operated devices, designed by 3M, would utilize parts Ford already had in stock from its car manufacturing operation and have enough juice to provide wearers filtered air to breathe for up to eight hours between charges.
Less than two months later, they're ready for shipment.
Only 40 days after announcing their collaboration, Ford and 3M announced this morning that they have 10,000 new PAPRs ready to begin shipping. Some devices even have shipped from Ford's Vreeland facility near Flat Rock, Michigan, already. "Ford could not stand by while healthcare workers in this country placed their lives on the line to help others without even having proper protection," said Ford Enterprise Product Line Management vice president Jim Baumbick in a statement. "That's why we kicked off an all-out sprint to protect those who are so selflessly helping patients afflicted with this terrible virus."
"We thank Ford for partnering with us to quickly develop and deliver more of these critical healthcare supplies to the heroes working on the frontlines of this unprecedented health crisis," said Bernard Cicut, vice president, 3M Personal Safety Division.
The release did not mention pricing, but PAPRs ordinarily cost about $1,800 per unit, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The companies say, however, that "any profits they earn from the sale of the PAPR" will be donated "to COVID-19 related nonprofit organizations."