Austin company helps General Motors turn car factory into one that makes ventilators
AUSTIN, Texas - As the need for ventilators rises across the country, an Austin company is helping to turn manufacturing companies across the US into ones that produce them.
A video the White House played during one of their COVID-19 press briefings this week showed a General Motors facility being transformed into one that makes medical ventilators. Upon further inspection, you can see the efforts of Austin company Formaspace.
“I started getting these text messages and Facebook posts that our furniture on live tv right now with the president speaking,” said CEO Jeff Turk.
Formaspace creates custom environments for labs and businesses. Turk said they were contacted by GM to help convert their Kokomo, Ind. factory.
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“We shipped over 30 truckloads of product to GM in just a few days, that’s a lot of product for a company to produce and we started doing it before we had a purchase order from General Motors,” said Turk.
Formaspace made the workspaces where the ventilators are assembled and the entire plant changed from manufacturing cars to ventilators in just 11 days. “All the engineering involved in that to build that space not only from our team but the GM team those guys were working 20 hours a day 7 days a week with their sleeping bags rolled out at that plant to make that happen,” said Turk.
President Trump even recognized how quickly the joint effort at the GM plant was done. “They managed to do it in 11 days, a remarkable ingenuity to the American worker,” said Trump.
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The GM plant is set to ship out 600 ventilators this month for the country according to the president, with thousands more on the way. “I think our people can stand really proud in the Austin community and stand really proud saying people are actually pitching in and having a major impact in saving human lives,” said Turk.
Turk said they have plans to help other companies across the country do something similar in the near future.
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