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Automotive industry . . . help produce much-needed medical equipment

Published by: James Attwood, Deputy editor, AUTOCAR magazine, on Tuesday 07 April 2020.

automotive industry . . . help produce much-needed medical equipment

. . . the automotive industry is putting aside its troubles and racing to help, with both small suppliers and global OEMs offering their skills and machinery in rapid-scale mechanical engineering and production to help produce much-needed medical equipment.


The Autocar Pro bulletin delves deeper into the business of the automotive industry. Our latest piece analyses how the industry is making ventilators to support the NHS. Please forward to any interested colleagues - they can join the mailing list by clicking here.


The coronavirus pandemic will have a profound impact on the global car industry, and one that won’t truly be felt for years. The near-worldwide introduction of lockdowns and social distancing measures has forced car factories to shut and dealerships to close, prompting sales to slump and billions to be wiped off the value of major manufacturers. . . .


The auto industry in Canada are also involved:
First Ontario-made medical masks ready for use, says premier
Ontario-made medical masks are rolling off the line at a GTA auto parts manufacturer thanks in part to engineers at McMaster University.

The ASTM Level 3 masks made by The Woodbridge Group and INOAC corp. were tested by teams at the university to tweak design and performance.

On Tuesday morning Premier Doug Ford was on hand in Woodbridge, Ont. to personally pick up the first load of 1,000.

"These masks will be made here in the millions," he said during a media update later in the day.

"This is what the workshop of Canada looks like. Once we get Ontario's manufacturing powerhouse going it's a machine that can't be stopped."

Here's the head of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (a Canadian industry group) talking about how auto makers can help with manufacturing medical supplies.
How auto parts manufacturers could help during the COVID-19 crisis

As auto plants in North America temporarily close due to concerns about coronavirus, Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, is working on having auto parts manufacturers adapt to produce medical supplies.

Volpe said manufacturers can make 500,000 of a given part every year. Right now, the country needs masks, gowns, goggles and ventilators, and Volpe is looking to assign some of the auto manufacturers' capacity to help with the cause.

"Their response has been overwhelming from model auto parts makers we're in. Just get us the specs," he said.

Volpe said right now they're working with the province and in some cases are in direct contact with medical supply companies to see if they can get a contract to make these products.

"The response was so swift, so many," he said. "I almost have too many companies saying 'Let's do it,' because I don't know that we need to make that much stuff."


I think the crisis shows the importance of Engineering, Science, and Technology to both the security and welfare of the West. That includes manufacture domestically instead of relying on things being made far away, and subject to a long journey to the end user.

Looking at HM Government's information and advice:

Offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business

The support needed includes things like:
  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
  • social care or childcare
How UK F1 is Fighting Back Against Coronavirus - Project Pitlane

Impressive response and impressive large factories - all that size and equipment for Two cars

Mercedes F1 now producing 1,000 positive pressure breathing devices per day

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