Engineering company increases ventilator component production

Article by Amanda Jasi

IMI Precision Engineering, a pneumatic motion and fluid control technology company, has rapidly adapted its Switzerland-based manufacturing capability of an essential valve component, to help meet increasing and urgent demand for ventilator units.

Ventilators are used in the treatment of patients made severely ill by coronavirus. With patients of the virus increasing, countries around the world are facing shortages of the critical equipment.

IMI’s FAS Flatprop valve enables precise control of very low or high flow rates. The company significantly enhanced its production capability to help meet rapidly-increasing demand to support healthcare systems.

The currently semi-automatic production line at the FAS manufacturing plant is being transitioned to fully automatic status by the end of March. Production is to be manned around the clock.

To help meet increased demand, Swiss authorities have given IMI special status, enabling the company to produce the valve for extended hours during the week and over the weekends.

Martin Maas, Managing Director of Fluid Technology at IMI, said: “The current demand for ventilation solutions from worldwide healthcare systems has put pressure on all parts of the supply chain. The FAS Flatprop valve is an important component within the ventilator. As such we are working in partnership with ventilator manufacturers on an international basis to ensure we speedily supply the valves they need to help save lives.”

“Our teams are working extremely hard to rapidly adapt our manufacturing capabilities so that we can meet this critical need. The flexibility demonstrated by our committed and skilled workforce, allied to our production abilities, means we are confident we can help play our part in delivering what is required during these challenging times.”

Recently, IChemE’s Pharma Special Interest Group called on its members to come forward and help supply ventilators and ventilator components following a request from the UK Government, to help fill a shortage of the vital equipment. Additionally, three UK consortia led by Meggitt, Nissan, and McLaren recently announced work to develop a new medical ventilator.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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