Polymer bushing and wear material manufacturer Vesconite Bearings is standing by to help manufacture ventilators in case the Coronavirus pandemic spirals.
Last week, the company sent 25,000 emails to customers and contacts throughout the world asking whether any had experience in making ventilators.
With no expertise in this technology but, with 70 CNC lathes and machining centres, and injection-moulding and mould-making departments, and a desire to assist those who may require ventilators, the company received several favourable replies.
Among these are the recommendation that companies come together to produce a current design if a manufacturer makes their drawings available, or licenses them for use over this critical time.
Alternatively, it was proposed to manufacture a traditional design, the Manley Ventilator, which is a simple and robust mechanical device that the company may be able to reverse engineer if it can find a unit in working order.
“If you have ventilator expertise or know a company that does have the expertise, we would like to hear from you,” says CEO Dr Jean-Patrick Leger.
The Coronavirus is likely to result in a need for hundreds of thousands of ventilators worldwide: data shows 5-10 % of people infected need to be supported on ventilators for two to three weeks.
“We know nothing about making ventilators, but we can help,” says Leger.