Foxconn to produce ventilators at Wisconsin factory

Foxconn Wisconsin deal is now under scrutiny.
Image: YouTube | CNBC Television

Foxconn announced it is teaming with medical equipment company Medtronics to manufacture ventilators out of its Wisconsin factory on Tuesday. The firm is repurposing its American facility to address the shortage of breathing machines caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The corporation, best known for assembling Apple’s iPhone, said it intends to begin production within four to six weeks, but did not specify output volume.

Foxconn COVID-19 Response

Though based in Taiwan, Foxconn maintains significant production capacity in China. As such, the corporation has been grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the year. Following a mandate from the Sino government, the company shuttered its mainland facilities in February and only returned to standard output levels in late March.

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Despite facing major operational disruption, the manufacturer put its resources into fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Two months ago, Foxconn began producing face masks at its Shenzhen plant to help halt the spread of the respiratory disease. In March, the corporation’s Sharp subsidiary turned its Japanese television factory into a medical gear mass-production hub capable of producing 150,000 face coverings a day.

Component Makers Efforts to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic

Notably, Foxconn isn’t the only semiconductor company to take an active role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 1, Analog Devices announced it would prioritize the shipment of components utilized in making medical devices. The firm also shook up its production line to fast-track the manufacturing of desperately needed healthcare equipment. Moreover, the company joined the Open Source Ventilator project to expedite the development of new breathing machines.

Similarly, Apple Mac Pro manufacturer Flex stated it would ramp up its ventilator production earlier this week. Though the firm typically makes around 30,000 breathing machines a year, the company committed to producing that same volume every month beginning in May or June.

Even component makers that lack the resources to produce medical equipment have joined the battle against the viral pandemic.

Mobile chipset giant Qualcomm donated $1 million to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund and is working to provide relief for affected communities in China, India, and Italy. Intel pledged to donate $50 million to coronavirus research and patient care, while Cisco Systems is putting $225 million in cash and services toward preventing the spread of the illness.

Besides, Nvidia made its genome sequencing tool available to researchers for free to speed up the hunt for new coronavirus treatments.

In the future, 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a dark time for the entire world. However, this year should also be thought of as a period when manufacturers acted selflessly in the face of a global crisis.


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