3M and Ford are collaborating on specific ways the companies can rapidly combine complementary capabilities and resources to help meet a surge in demand for personal protective equipment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
3M’s powered air purifying respirators use a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare. 3M’s PAPR systems can offer a more comfortable user experience for wearers who need respiratory protection for an extended period of time.
“We’re exploring all available opportunities to further expand 3M’s capacity and get healthcare supplies as quickly as possible to where they’re needed most – which includes partnering with other great companies like Ford,” said Mike Roman, 3M chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “It’s crucial that we mobilize all resources to protect lives and defeat this disease, and I’m incredibly grateful to Ford and their employees for this partnership.”
“3M is providing vital personal protective equipment for medical workers and we’ve empowered our engineers and designers to move as quickly as possible to help 3M grow PAPR production using common parts to speed this up. We are also volunteering our facilities for additional production,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO.
Overall, 3M has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to a rate of more than 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month. In the United States 3M is producing 35 million respirators per month; of these, more than 90 percent are now designated for healthcare workers, with the remaining deployed to other industries also critical in this pandemic, including energy, food and pharmaceutical companies.
Here, our history inspires your future.
More than a century ago, 3M started as a small-scale mining venture in Northern Minnesota, then named Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Now a global powerhouse, our products improve the daily lives of people around the world.
But our success and longevity were not apparent from the start. We tried. We failed. We tried something new. Repeat cycle. Innovation and perseverance drove our founders, and it continues to drive 3Mers today.
From Humble Beginnings to Fortune 500
When 3M began in 1902, our five founders had a simple goal: to mine for corundum, a mineral ideal for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. Turns out, what they thought was corundum was really another low-grade mineral called anorthosite.
Discovering the poor-quality mineral could have caused an early end to our fledgling company, but our founders persisted. Why? Because something more important was born that first year: the spirit of innovation and collaboration that forms the foundation of 3M today. So instead of calling it quits, we turned to different materials, applied them to other products, gained the trust of important investors and built up sales little by little.
Scientific, technical and marketing innovations produced success upon success over the years, eventually making 3M a constant name on the Fortune 500 list. Today, more than 60,000 3M products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries. One third of our sales come from products invented within the past five years, thanks to innovations from the thousands of researchers and scientists we employ around the world.
With corporate operations in 70 countries and sales in 200, we are committed to creating the technology and products that advance every company, enhance every home and improve every life.