Locally produced ventilators to be rolled out this month

Published Jul 10, 2020


DURBAN - The Council for Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) is set to roll out locally 10,000 produced mechanical ventilators by the end of this month.

The CSIR solution is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device that uses an innovative design to provide a mild level of oxygenated air pressure to keep the airways open and, thus, assist with breathing.

The machines come at the right time when Covid-19 cases are on the rise. More than 3 500 people in South Africa have died so far.

“This way, we remain true to the role of the CSIR – which is to perform research and development (R&D) that is cutting edge, involves local industry in their niche areas, and ensures that together we address issues that are of national importance,” said Martin Sanne, Executive Manager of CSIR Future Production: Manufacturing.

Under the project name, ‘CSIR L.I.F.E.’ (Lung Inspiratory Flow Enabler), the system uses standard, hospital-grade oxygen supply, and features easy-to-use, on-device flow gages to adjust Fraction of Inspired Oxygen in steps of 10% oxygenation.

Siemens provided the necessary software support for the product lifecycle management, as well as software to facilitate rapid production scaling. This included components for systems engineering processes, computer-aided design tools, manufacturing execution tools, as well as quality management solutions that would ensure compliance with health product regulations for certification.

Using a digital product lifecycle design methodology also ensures that the product can be manufactured in multiple factories in the industry and in large volumes. The device can be used in both high-tech clinical environments, as well as temporary settings, such as field hospitals and quarantine facilities that have been established across the country to handle rising Covid-19 cases.

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