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Thermo Fisher and Ford Partner to Scale Production of Collection Kits for COVID-19 Tests

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 Apr 2020
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Waltham, MA, USA) has tied up with The Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI, USA) for manufacturing support to help it quickly expand the production of COVID-19 collection kits for patient testing.

Ford is expanding its efforts to design and produce urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for health care workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus. Ford, with design and testing consultation from 3M, has developed a new powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). It has commenced production of this PAPR and has the ability to make 100,000 or more units. Ford is also collaborating with the UAW for producing face masks for internal use globally and pursuing certification for medical use. To help further protect health care workers, Ford is leading efforts to manufacture reusable gowns from airbag materials with supplier Joyson Safety Systems.

Additionally, Ford is lending its manufacturing support to help Thermo Fisher Scientific quickly expand its production of COVID-19 collection kits for patient testing. Thermo Fisher’s engineering team at the company’s site in Lenexa, Kansas, is combining their expertise with the manufacturing expertise of Ford’s nearby Kansas City Assembly Plant engineering team, to set up additional collection kit production machinery. The Ford team has also helped Thermo Fisher adapt machinery that currently runs glass vials for other products to run plastic vials required in drive-through coronavirus test collection.

“Ford's engineers brought a fresh perspective to production expansion, and together, we'll more than triple the number of collection kits we can deliver each week starting April 20,” said John Reuss, senior director, microbiology business for Thermo Fisher. “It’s great to see different industries coming together to solve a common problem."



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