Automakers Manufacture Ventilators to Ease ShortagesBy José Escobedo | Mon, 04/06/2020 - 18:49
A group of automakers are demonstrating their entrepreneurial spirit by building ventilators amid the COVID-19 crisis. Over the weekend, President Trump said in a tweet that US carmakers including Ford, GM and Tesla, had received the green light to produce ventilators and other metal products rapidly. This, also following strict mandates from governments across the world to cease non-essential activities.
Tesla is converting its facilities to build ventilators to provide them to patients suffering from the virus. In a video produced by the company, Tesla presents a behind-the-scenes look at its ventilator design process.
Like other car manufacturers, such as Ford and General Motors, Tesla engineers are building ventilators with parts from its vehicles. The reason behind this production is a simple one: car parts are available. In most cases car companies accumulate parts for final assembly. However, if they do not have essential parts, such as door handles, production lines come to a complete halt.
According to the company, the Model 3 uses its infotainment system to power a vehicle computer, which in turn, controls an air flow manifold. A suspension air tank is used as an oxygen mixing chamber. The team is also employing a Model 3 touchscreen as a controller among other parts.
It is important to highlight that Tesla is one of several American automakers that has pledged their support to either donate supplies or offer resources to make more ventilators. Currently Ford is working with GE to expand ventilator production. Ford uses its own resources to construct vents, respirators and face shields.
According to GM, the company intends to build ventilators at an Indiana-based car factory and recently announced it will soon be able to make 50,000 face masks a day. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said the company’s New York-based factory has plans to reopen in the short term and start production of ventilators.