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COVID-19 Manufacturing News Digest: May 22, 2020

Alan Rooks
By Alan Rooks Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturers across the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in many different ways. These are some of their stories.

Viral Sign Deployed at Precise Tooling Solutions

Viral Sign Inc., Birmingham, Ala., has launched the company's screening technology at the manufacturing facility for Precise Tooling Solutions in Columbus, Ind. Viral Sign will enable Precise Tooling to identify the presence of virus, including COVID-19, in individuals prior to the onset of symptoms. Early identification of the potential for a contagious virus will help ensure a safe work environment for employees. Viral Sign leverages infrared imaging and an advanced screening algorithm to produce a comprehensive thermal signature of the face. In real time, Viral Sign's screening science algorithm assesses the thermal signature across regions of interest in the face to identify patterns consistent with early, pre-symptomatic influenza-like illness, including COVID-19. The total time required per person is approximately two seconds.

Monaghan Tooling Rushes Custom Ventilator Tooling Project

New England’s Butler Bros., a distributor for Monaghan Tooling Group, Dayton, Ohio, had a customer that needed custom tooling to produce 2,500 ventilator components a week by mid-April. The team turned the project around – from purchase order to signed approval print for custom tooling in 5 hours and 15 minutes. Monaghan and its Elliott Tool Technologies partners committed to help speed the production of ventilators. After review of the application, MTG engineers determined a custom designed flat-face multi-roller burnishing tool would produce the desired surface finish. The project initially had a scheduled ship date of 4/14, but ETT and MTG working closely together, were able to ship the product on April 8 – nearly a week ahead of schedule.

Advanced Industrial Marketing Launches Social Distancing, People Counting Technology in U.S.

Advanced Industrial Marketing (AIM), Indianapolis, a supplier of technology for heavy industrial and manufacturing facilities, has launched new social distancing and people counting tools in the U.S. Piloted in Europe, the two products, EGOpro Active Tag and LASE PeCo, are being used in industrial warehousing facilities and large retailers to ensure employees and customers observe social distance restrictions. This wearable tech utilizes UWB radio technology to measure the distance between two tags with a constant radio pulse. When two tags – and the people wearing them – are too close to one another, the tags vibrate and flash a red LED. This alerts the user and those around them that they have breached a minimum safe distance. In addition to wearable tags, sensors can be set in facility “hotspots” like entrances, break rooms and bathrooms to ensure social distancing is maintained off the floor and in heavily trafficked areas.

Combi-Ventilate Turns One Ventilator Into Multiple Ventilation Stations

The Irish manufacturer Combilift, a manufacturer of space-saving forklifts and other handling solutions, has developed the Combi-Ventilate, a splitter device that turns one ventilator into multiple ventilation stations. Designed to address the requirements of medical professionals in the current COVID-19 emergency, the Combi-Ventilate was developed by a team of mechatronic and software engineers with a unit currently undergoing laboratory tests with Ger Curley, Professor of Anesthesia & Critical Care at Royal College of Surgeon’s in Beaumont Hospital.

Sterilucent Granted Emergency Use Authorization To Reprocess Respirators

The U.S. FDA has granted Sterilucent Inc., Minneapolis, an Emergency Use Authorization to allow the emergency use of the Sterilucent HC 80TT Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilizer for decontaminating single-use compatible N95 and N95-equivalent respirators. Test results have demonstrated that filtering facepiece respirators may be reprocessed for use during the COVID-19 pandemic in the HC 80TT Flexible Cycle up to 10 times without a detrimental impact on filtration performance or a significant reduction in respirator fit. The system can reprocess up to 12 respirators at a time. For more information, visit www.sterilucent.com .

Synaptive Medical in Partnership with O-Two Medical Technologies to Make Ventilators

Synaptive Medical, Toronto, a developer of robotic surgical and imaging technologies, has established a partnership with O-Two Medical Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of controlled ventilation, for the production of O-Two’s e700 portable transport ventilator for patients impacted worldwide by COVID-19. As part of the agreement, Synaptive will help scale up O-Two’s production. The e700 is portable and reduces the burden on medical staff through its automated features by adapting to the needs of patients in a variety of settings. O-Two, along with several other companies as part of a consortium in Ontario, recently entered into an agreement with the Province of Ontario to manufacture 10,000 ventilators for physicians in Canada.

Partners Develop Smart Health Patch for COVID-19 patients

Together with six medical and technology companies, Henkel AG & Company, KGaA, a German chemical and consumer goods company headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, has developed a smart health patch that allows continuous, remote and wireless monitoring of the respiration, heart rate and soon also temperature of patients. The product – initially set up to monitor the vital functions of patients with heart failure and epilepsy – will be tested for the use of monitoring coronavirus patients in a Belgian hospital. The partners aim to further roll-out the technology to respond to a potential new coronavirus surge in autumn.

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