DENSO Receives Automotive Innovation Award for Collaboration with Ford Motor Company on Respirator Components

22 November 2021

Ford Motor Company and DENSO have received an Automotive Innovation Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers' (SPE) Automotive Division. They earned the honor for their alliance to produce respirators for frontline workers battling COVID-19. It was a project that represented unprecedented mobilization across the companies to ramp up new production and help those in need.

Over the span of roughly 25 days in 2020, hundreds of DENSO employees – including designers, manufacturing engineers, and production workers – came together to develop components for Ford's powered air purifying respirators (PAPR). Despite a short timeline, Ford, DENSO and its supply chain quickly brought this medical-grade personal protection equipment to mass production.  

"Our motivation in this project was to do whatever we could to help frontline workers, who put their lives at risk to help save others. We are so grateful for all they have done to protect our communities during the pandemic," said Sergio Pujols, vice president of Energy Management Engineering at DENSO. "Our gratitude also extends to Ford – for giving us the opportunity to participate in such an important initiative and having trust in us to achieve it – and to all our employees who supported. Because of their DENSO Spirit, they helped us realize one of our core goals: contributing to a better world for all."

For almost 50 years, the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Program has been one of the world's most prestigious and largest competitions of its kind. Dozens of teams made up of OEMs, top tier suppliers and polymer producers submit nominations of their parts, systems and vehicles for consideration. Ford Motor Company and DENSO were honored in the "Innovative Automotive Industry Plastic Solutions for COVID-19 Protection" award category. The recognition was given for their ability to navigate condensed schedules and difficult circumstances to manufacture desperately needed respirator components.

Ford and DENSO were honored alongside fellow SPE Automotive Innovation Award winners at SPE's 50th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Wednesday, November 10, in Livonia, Michigan.

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DENSO is a $44.6 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 200 facilities to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company's 168,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 10.0 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. For more information about global DENSO, visit

In North America, DENSO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 51 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,700+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) and 41 sites. In fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, DENSO in North America generated $9.3 billion in consolidated sales. DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion inside the company and beyond – a principle that brings unique perspectives together, bolsters innovation and pushes DENSO forward. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career: For more information, go to