Auburn Hills firm supporting Ford, 3M respiratory gear manufacturing

AUBURN HILLS—The auto fluid systems supplier TI Fluid Systems has announced a collaboration with Ford Motor Co. and 3M to produce air flex tube assemblies for powered air-purifying respiratory systems (PAPR) in response to the increased demand caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

3M’s PAPR uses a waist-mounted, battery-powered blower that sends filtered air into a hood that helps provide respiratory protection for workers, including those in healthcare services. When Ford announced its proposed design solution for the production increase, TI recognized an opportunity to use its current design and manufacturing processes to engineer and mass produce quick connectors and a new air flex tube solution for the hood and fan pack used in the PAPR system.

Quick connector production and sub-assembly will take place at TI’s plant in New Haven, with tube final assembly taking place at its plant in Ashley, Ind., 20 miles south of the Michigan state line north of Ft. Wayne. Keeping production local will allow Ford and 3M to rapidly meet the increasing demand and to provide much-needed protection for healthcare professionals.

TI manufactures fluid storage, carrying and delivery systems primarily for the light duty automotive market. With nearly 100 years of automotive fluid systems experience, TI Fluid Systems has manufacturing facilities in 108 locations across 28 countries serving all major global OEMs.

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