Ford’s Family of Employee Volunteers to the Fore with Global Covid-19 Face Shield Efforts
Ford manufacturing facilities around the world have accepted a new challenge as we confront a pandemic.
Throughout the IMG network, Ford employees are adapting. Adapting to new ways of living – from imposed isolation to assisting in distance learning – and, crucially, working. That the Covid-19 virus has spread so far so quickly proves that defeating it must be a global effort and deflecting the danger until a vaccine can be created is of paramount importance.
And while Ford in the US has committed to producing 50,000 ventilators by July for coronavirus patients stateside, employee volunteers across Ford’s International Markets Group are stepping up to deliver potentially life-saving equipment in the war against this coronavirus.
In Australia, Ford engineers and technical experts developed a bespoke face shield and are now producing up to 100,000 units that will be donated to frontline healthcare workers fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic. Ford Australia is also liaising with the Victorian government on ongoing needs for the supply of face shields to satisfy demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Ford India, too, is proud to lend a hand to the cause, as the team at its manufacturing plants ramp up production of further face shields. Some 40,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) face shields are already on their way to doctors, paramedics, sanitary workers, and emergency staff. Ford in India has also made a commitment to contribute $100,000 to the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF), as well as supporting the Ford Fund Covid-19 Donation Match program, which is aimed at taking care of specially-abled people in this trying time.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is producing protective face shields at its Silverton plant for donation to medical and essential personnel. Over 100,000 face shields have been produced thus far. FMCSA is hopeful of reaching its ultimate goal of half a million face shields for donation through additional contributions from the Ford National Dealer Council, its business partners and suppliers. Ford is working closely with the South African government to facilitate distribution across the country to ease critical shortages of PPE, which is essential to stem the spread of the coronavirus there.
Employee volunteers from Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) and AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) began using the FTM facility in April to produce 100,000 face shields to meet urgent demand in the country. Ford is distributing the face shields through Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, as well as the Ford dealer network, who will be donating them to people and organizations in need within their own local communities.
Taking cues from Ford in the United States, the Ford engineering team in Thailand has been supporting the design and optimization of a ventilator imagined by professors and their faculties at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Additionally, a Ford team is working with a leading hospital in Bangkok to develop a robot nurse prototype that can deliver food and medicine, helping to reduce the frequency of direct contact with patients for medical staff.
Though the ventilators are still in the pre-production stage, it’s clear that the wider Ford family is facing into this pandemic with the greater good in mind. This is not business as usual, rather extenuating circumstances, and a chance for the company to truly serve the broader communities in which it operates.