Honda North America has an expansive footprint for manufacturing in the U.S., covering not just territory but processes. The automaker has stamping, electronics and even in-house injection molding.
So when the coronavirus pandemic began to spread, Honda sprung into action to temporarily repurpose those facilities in the fight against the coronavirus.
Eric Walli, regional planning leader for Honda North America, led the early efforts to evaluate dozens of possible activities to respond to the pandemic.
In March, Honda took on to the desperate need for personal protective equipment by using its network of 3D printers at five manufacturing plants to make the frames used to produce face shields for health workers.
Demand was so great that Honda's engineering team in Marysville, Ohio, devised a faster production method by using its own injection molding normally used to make vehicle components such as instrument panels.
"We make a car about every 50 seconds, and that's the same type of approach that we're taking for these face shields," said Hugo Beltran, associate chief engineer for Honda Engineering North America.
In April, hearing of early concerns that U.S. hospitals could face a shortage of medical ventilators, Honda also began making a critical component for the devices. Honda transformed a technical center in Marysville into an assembly area for diaphragm vacuum compressors developed by Dynaflo Inc. Dynaflo partnered with Honda to meet skyrocketing demand.
"The compressor is a key component of critically needed medical ventilators that provide a constant source of air to stricken patients," said Rick Schostek, executive vice president at Honda North America.