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GM Inks $490 Million Ventilator Contract Under Defense Production Act

Partnership with Ventec to yield 30,000 ventilators by August
#covid-19 #facilities #GeneralMotors


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General Motors has been awarded the first ventilator production contract under the Defense Production Act.


Issued by the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the $489 million deal calls for GM to supply 30,000 ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August. More than 6,100 are due to be delivered by June 1.

Ventec Partnership

GM is collaborating with Seattle-based Ventec Life Systems on the program. The companies have been voluntarily working together since March 20.

Production of Ventec’s integrated VOCSN (ventilator, oxygen, cough, suction and nebulization) device is expected to start at GM’s Kokomo, Ind., facility as early as next week. The facility normally makes small, precision electrical components. The VOCSN was FDA approved in 2017.

Safety Protocols

More than 1,000 GM employees eventually will be part of the program. 

Ventec VOSC  (Image: Ventec)

Special safety protocols are being implemented to help protect the workers from spreading or contracting the virus. These include:

  • Checking the temperature of workers as they arrive and requiring them to immediately sanitize their hands
  • Wearing medical-grade protective masks
  • Employing one-person workstations positioned at least 6 feet apart
  • Cleaning and sanitizing common touch surfaces at least three times per shift
  • 30-minute intervals between shifts so workers can clean their workstations
  • Using different doors for entering and exiting the facility to minimize contact among workers

Growing Industry Support

Several other carmakers and suppliers also are ramping up production of ventilators and other lifesaving equipment and personal protection equipment to help combat the coronavirus.

Ford plans to begin making compact ventilators in Michigan by April 20. The machines were designed by GE Healthcare’s Airon affiliate, a Florida-based maker of pneumatic life support devices. The partners aim to produce 50,000 units by July 4.

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