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Ford Mustang factory to build respirators for coronavirus fight, UAW says

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Ford is designing a respirator for first responders and medical workers that uses a fan from the ventilated seats of the F-150 pickup and may manufacture it at the factory where it builds Mustangs.

The United Auto Workers has posted a hiring notice for shifts at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan to build the respirators starting as soon as April 6. Production will reportedly take place in the Roush Building at the complex, where work on the assembly line that builds the Lincoln Continental and Ford Mustang has been temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with all of Ford's North American facilities.

The 10 millionth mustang was manufactured at the facility in 2018.

Ford hasn’t commented on the post, but has already begun manufacturing protective face shields and will soon start producing ventilators for patients at other locations. The UAW post said the factory will run 10-hour shifts seven days a week and that the paid-volunteer jobs will be assigned based on seniority.

(Ford)

Ford has show prototype designs for the respirator it is developing with 3M, which incorporates the F-150 part, the rechargeable battery from a portable power tool and a 3M HEPA filter with other off-the-shelf and custom parts. The automaker previously said it was exploring the feasibility of building them at a rate of 1,000 units per month at its Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is currently used to 3D-print brake parts for the Mustang Shelby GT500, then will ramp up production.

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