Luxury automaker Ferrari has started making parts to convert snorkel masks into respirators for treating patients with covid-19 coronavirus and protecting medical workers.
The idea of adapting the masks, originally suggested by Italian engineers, is now being used in several countries to deal with the increase in demand for respirators during the pandemic.
Ferrari on Thursday stated that it had started making thermoplastic valves and fittings for masks by making the use of its 3D printing technology at its Maranello plant.
It stated it prepared to manufacture several hundred pieces of the equipment, which would be used in hospitals in Italy and by health service workers.
Some valves have been developed by diving equipment producer Mares to fit their underwater masks and make respirators for patients suffering from respiratory failure.
Other fittings are being provided to Italian digital-manufacturing group Solid Energy, which will utilize them to transform snorkel masks by sports retailer Decathlon into protection for healthcare employees.
Chairman John Elkann stated it would make results available to other companies of a voluntary screening project that Ferrari released last week on the health of its workers and their families aimed at gradually resuming the company’s two production sites located in northern Italy.
Ferrari has stopped operations at its two plants until May 3, when Rome is expected to start easing restrictions across the nation on non-essential business activities.
As part of the scheme the automaker will give workers the opportunity to use a mobile app which will help trace potential coronavirus exposure.
In addition, Elkann stated that he, Chief Executive Louis Camilleri, other top managers and board members are going to take partial or full pay cuts for the rest of the year, using the funds to help local officials face the health emergency.
About 172,434 people in Italy have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 22,745 people in the country.