by Valerie Dimond
, Contributing Reporter | July 31, 2020
“The Ford and GE Healthcare teams, working creatively and tirelessly, have found a way to produce this vitally needed ventilator quickly and in meaningful numbers,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO, in a press release.
Ford, which released better-then-expected Q-2 results yesterday, said the new design meets the needs of most COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing, can be set up quickly, and be deployed in an emergency room setting during special procedures or in an intensive care unit. The goal: 1,500 ventilators by the end of April, 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4 — helping the U.S. government meet its goal of producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. Ford said it should push out another 50,000 patient ventilators by the end of August.
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Ford also stepped up its engineering and manufacturing response for personal protective and other healthcare equipment, including more than 18 million face shields and 33-plus million face masks, more than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators in a collaboration with 3M, 1.4 million washable isolation gowns a week for three months with suppliers, and about 7,500 ambulances, so far, prioritized by JMC, a Ford joint venture in China.
As for GE Healthcare, Culp expects a solid recovery, albeit when that will happen remains unclear.
"We're working through a still-difficult COVID-19 environment, and while it's too early to predict the trajectory for the recovery of commercial aviation, we continue to plan for a prolonged return to prior levels of activity,” Culp told Bloomberg. “Still, based on what we see today and the actions we've taken, sequential improvement in earnings and cash in the second half of the year is achievable. We expect to return to positive Industrial free cash flow in 2021. We are accelerating our transformation to make GE stronger and drive long-term, profitable growth."
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