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Ann Arbor’s Adaptive Energy Shifts Manufacturing from Fuel Cells to Intubation Boxes and Face Shields

April 7, 2020 Regional Updates
Surgeon intubating patient

For University of Michigan alum Michael Edison and his college roommate Ranvir Gujral, pivoting from manufacturing fuel cells to manufacturing critical health care equipment in response to COVID-19 was a way to harness his team’s ingenuity and manufacturing skills to benefit the greater good. With the right team and manufacturing facility already in place, Edison, CEO of Ann Arbor’s Adaptive Energy, and Gujral, the company’s owner, were able to quickly establish Arbor Apothecary to make intubation boxes and medical face shields that are in high demand.

“When we started Arbor Apothecary, we planned to make hand sanitizer, but the Adaptive Energy team very creatively determined we could use our skills to produce what front line medical professionals are in need of most,” Edison explained. “We’re hustling hard to keep up with the demand; the team is committed to doing our part in this time of crisis.”

The affects of COVID-19 caused a dip in fuel cell orders and Adaptive Energy was forced to place its manufacturing staff on unpaid leave.

“Establishing Arbor Apothecary means we can bring back the staff we had to place on leave,” said Edison. “And, even better, we have the space and equipment to handle more demand, and hire even more to keep manufacturing on pace with orders for our products.”

Edison and the Arbor Apothecary team are ramping up capacity to manufacture 10,000 face shields and 20 intubation hoods a day. The company is committed to sourcing supplies from Michigan companies.

“Our longer-term vision is to create a network of Michigan manufacturers, large corporate donors, and the health care community,” Edison said. “By bringing together those with needs and those with means to help fulfill those needs, we can do what we do best here — create and build things — and save lives.”

For more information, including how you can donate face shields to the medical community, visit