Faced with the urgent need for ventilators to treat the patients most severely affected by coronavirus (Covid-19), Air Liquide is leading a group of French industrials to produce 10,000 ventilators in 50 days – a direct request from the French Government.
Whilst its subsidiary Air Liquide Medical Systems (ALMS) has already begun tripling its production capacity to produce the first 1,000 ventilators, Air Liquide will lead a task force, comprising Groupe PSA, Schneider Electric, Valeo and 30 purchasing and industrialisation experts, to produce a further 9,000 pieces of the vital medical equipment between the beginning of April and mid-May.
To meet the immense challenge of 10,000 ventilators in 50 days, the task force will need to:
- Secure the components – Close to 100 suppliers will provide the 300 components that make up these ventilators. The purchasing experts of ALMS are working in pairs with dedicated experts of the other partners in each field to secure the supply along the implementation of the project.
- Reorganise production workshops – The production rates of certain ventilators will be multiplied by up to 70 thanks to the implementation of three additional lines, with three teams working six days a week. A pre-assembly of the mechanical part of the respirators will be executed on the site of Groupe PSA in Poissy, France. The last phase of the assembly, the control, the quality deliverance will be achieved on the Antony site, by the teams of ALMS.
- Involve additional resources – To complete the work carried out by Air Liquide teams, this intensive production program will also require the mobilisation of 240 additional operators, out of which 185 in Antony and 55 operators from Groupe PSA based in Poissy.
Air Liquide said more than 100 ventilators will be delivered per week until mid-April, and then more than 1,000 per week.
As part of its commitment to solidarity with healthcare professionals and the authorities, Air Liquide will supply these ventilators at cost price and without passing on the exceptional costs introduced by the implementation of this unprecedented industrial program.