REDEFINING MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing Today|July 2020

REDEFINING MANUFACTURING
HOW VARIOUS MANUFACTURES ARE RAMPING UP VENTILATOR PRODUCTION IN A RECORD-BREAKING TIME
RITA DUTTA

VENTILATORS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN THE management of patients with severe respiratory illness and without its support, patients might not survive. It is said that around 3% to 6% of all COVID-19 patients require ventilator support.

According to experts, India had 40,000 ventilators pre-COVID and around 14,000 ventilators have been allocated by the Government for COVID-19. However, it is predicted with the current surge in cases, India might need 100,000 ventilators by August, which can spike up to 500,000 by October- November. The government of India has placed an order for 70,000 ventilators - of which around 55,000 are from local companies and rest imported.

The central government reached out to automobile manufacturers, urging them to re-purpose their facilities to produce ventilators. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also urged Bharat Electronics to collaborate with local manufacturers.

The largest order of 30,000 ventilators has been placed by the GoI to Mysuru-based Skanray Technologies, which has been manufacturing ventilators since 2013. Skanray is working on stretching its capacity to 5,000 units per month from 200 per month and then to 30,000 units per month. It already had built an additional capacity through EMS partners. However, to meet the requirement of 1,00,000 units, it forged ties with BEL for a co-branded product under the BEL-Skanray partnership.

Similarly, Ashok Leyland was approached by the government to work with and support ventilator makers and help them improve supply chain and output capacity. It readied a simple yet intelligent ventilator, at low cost but with all the essential features to aid first mile ventilation including the necessary sensors and controllers for volume and pressure monitoring, and safeguards. The ventilator development is now complete, testing, certification and clinical trials will conclude soon, followed by mass manufacturing.

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July 2020