Ferrari joins virus fight, helping to turn snorkel masks into PPE

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Ferrari has officially begun producing the bits and pieces necessary to convert masks designed for snorkeling into respirators that can be used by patients suffering from COVID-19 symptoms and by medical workers to avoid contracting the virus. The Italian automaker is making thermoplastic valves and fittings at its plant in Maranello using “additive manufacturing technology,” otherwise known as 3D printing.

Mares, a maker of some of the snorkeling masks being used in the project, assisted in the designs of some of the components to ensure proper fitment. Some of the other fittings produced by Ferrari are being supplied to Italian digital-manufacturing group Solid Energy to transform snorkeling masks made by sports retailer Decathlon into protection for healthcare workers. Nuovamacut Gruppo TeamSystem assisted with the logistics.

Chairman John Elkann said it would make results available to other firms of a voluntary screening project that Ferrari launched last week on the health of its employees and their families aimed at gradually reopening the company’s two production sites in northern Italy.

Ferrari has halted operations at its two plants until May 3, when Rome is expected to start easing nationwide restrictions on non-essential business activities. As part of the scheme Ferrari will give workers the opportunity to use a mobile app which will help trace possible coronavirus exposure.

In addition, Elkann said that he, Chief Executive Louis Camilleri, other top managers and board members had agreed to take partial or full pay cuts for the rest of the year, using the funds to help local authorities face the health emergency.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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Saurabh Shukla

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