defy ventilators
(Supplied)
  • Defy hopes to start producing ventilators from May.
  • The initiative forms part of the National Ventilator Project (NVP), as the world battles to keep up with the global demand for ventilators.
  • Defy is finalising a ventilator design that can be industrialised for mass production.
  • The system design consists of components Defy currently uses in the everyday production of core appliances.
  • For more stories, visit Business Insider South Africa.

Defy hopes to start producing ventilators from May, to help deal with the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa and across sub-Saharan Africa. 

The initiative forms part of the National Ventilator Project (NVP), as the world battles to keep up with the global demand for ventilators. 

South Africa has around 6,000 ventilators available in public and private hospitals; how many are needed for local use is likely to depend on the extent to which the national lockdown, and other measures to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, succeed. South Africa's national lockdown, which came into effect on 27 March, has been extended till end of April. 

See also: South Africa hopes to build 10,000 ventilators by end June – and up to 50,000 more if needed 

With global supply chains facing unprecedented demand, South Africa's NVP aims to build locally, using parts and materials "that are readily available in large quantities on the commercial market or can be manufactured locally in South Africa". 

South Africa hopes to be building ventilators before the end of April, with a target of manufacturing 10,000 devices by the end of June, with the capacity to build up to 50,000 more if necessary. 

Defy, together with key stakeholder partners, is finalising a ventilator design that can be industrialised for mass production.

See also: South Africa’s top scientists have been put in charge of manufacturing 10,000 ventilators by June 

“Led by the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge under the Open Ventilation System Initiative (OVSI), our team of scientists and engineers - including South African researchers - are currently finalising a ventilator design that can be industrialised for mass production,” said Evren Albas,CEO of Defy Appliances. 

“Having the BEKO PLC Research and Development Centre in the University of Cambridge - one of the seven global research centres of our parent group, ARCELIK AS - is very advantageous in expediting the process. Teams are working around the clock and thanks to them, this project is succeeding insofar as our ability to optimise and coordinate concurrent engineering efforts.” 

defy ventilators
A manufacturing prototype of the OVSI, developed under the specification of the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom. The system has been tested on a certified ‘Quick-Lung’ and passed all the test conditions prescribed by the MHRA. (Supplied)

He explained that the system design consists of components Defy currently uses in the everyday production of core appliances. 

“We believe that this gives us a unique advantage. Furthermore, Defy’s flexible manufacturing capabilities, together with the design and development expertise of the consortium with whom we are partnering, will allow us to fast-track ventilator production and distribution.” 

Defy hopes to put the project into production by May 2020. 

See also: Denel is making ventilators, and may turn its casspirs into ambulances

“We also aim to expand the project beyond the borders of South Africa. Fortunately, the project consortium has influence and contacts in sub-Saharan Africa and we are hopeful that this ventilator will assist other African countries in fighting this global pandemic.” 

The company also announced a donation package of appliances worth R1.9m to be delivered to critical hospitals on the frontline of this outbreak.

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