CBS Detroit – In World War II America stepped up as the arsenal of Democracy producing the munitions and supplies the allies needed during the war. During that time, Ford was among many companies tasked with taking it’s manufacturing know-how to the war effort. Particulary the long process of making bombers. With the help of Ford, a B-24 Liberator bomber rolled out of the hanger every hour at Willow Run.

Credit: Amazon.com – Filmmaker Peter Berg

When the Coronavirus Pandemic hit, while the world stopped, Ford went to work transitioning from making F-150s and Mustangs, to face masks, face shields, and respirators. Filmmaker Peter Berg, who is known for the film and TV series “Friday Night Lights”, “Lone Survivor”, and “Patriots” day teamed up with Ford Motor Company to produce “On The Line”. A documentary showcasing Ford Motor and UAW workers’ response to making vital supplies needed at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In the film, Jim Baumbick who is the vice-president for Enterprise Product Line Management at Ford says, “Our plants were down. What’s also unique is we have all this equipment in a automotive vehicle. So this really is about that kind of scrappiness and use what we got.”

That scrappiness not only applied to the transition to making ventilators but in little things as well. Such as when elastic was in shortage for facemasks, Ford used weather stripping.  Ford has a goal of making 100 million face masks and has fulfilled its contract to make 50,000 ventilators for the Federal Government.

You can watch the video directed by Peter Berg here, which also premiered at Aspen Ideas Now.


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