As the world continues to fight against the coronavirus, more and more automakers are stepping in to build medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) that will help critically-ill patients, as well as help front line health workers.
Faced with the urgent need to have more breathing devices to help patients that have difficulty breathing, the French government recently asked several companies to make 10,000 ventilators in 50 days, between the beginning of April and the middle of May.
In response, Air Liquide, a company that specializes in gas technology for the health industry, along with Groupe PSA, Schneider Electric, and Valeo, has set up a task force that will increase the production of ventilators made by Air Liquide Medical Systems. The task force is made up of about 30 purchasing and industrialization specialists that will outline an action plan that will enable the companies to ramp up production of the medical devices.
The challenge to make that many ventilators in less than two months will not be an easy task, however. According to Air Liquide, they will need to secure a supply of about 300 components that make up the devices. In addition, they also need to reorganize production workshops and mobilize a sufficient number of workers in record time.
Groupe PSA (the parent company of Peugeot, Citroen, DS Automobiles, and a few others) will help the task force by creating a dedicated workshop at its Poissy factory with more than 50 volunteer employees in order to start building the key components of the equipment. In addition, the automaker will also be providing Air Liquide with additional employees from its Research and Development division.
“In a context where each new respirator produced can save a life, Air Liquide is currently tripling its production. Today, we have decided to go even further by taking up the challenge of producing 10,000 respirators in 50 days, with, gathered around the teams of Air Liquide, Groupe PSA, Valeo, Schneider Electric and many other partners. In the face of adversity, this approach illustrates the best of French industry, from major international champions to small and medium-sized businesses,” said Benoît Potier, Chairman, and CEO of Air Liquide.
With private companies and big industries coming together to fight the coronavirus, we're hoping that they will be able to make a big difference in helping the front liners, as well as critically-ill patients. France currently has 56,989 confirmed cases and climbing, 4,032 deaths, and 10,935 recoveries.