Circuitwise joins Australian Covid ventilator team

Circuitwise has joined a consortium of innovative local businesses to manufacture emergency ventilators being developed as part of Australia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The contract is to manufacture printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies at its Bella Vista, Sydney factory (pictured) to control 2,000 ventilators being developed by a consortium of companies led by Grey Innovation.

Melbourne-based Grey won a $31.3 million federal government contract to deliver the ventilators by the end of July, with another contract going to sleep apnea company, ResMed.

Circuitwise joins other Australian SMEs in the consortium including machine tool manufacturer ANCA and automotive and serospace business Marand Precision Engineering which are machining critical components and sub-assemblies.

Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions is making the test equipment required for the ventilators at its Oakleigh, Melbourne factory.

Planet Innovation, Braemac and Hosico are also contributing.

Circuitwise general manager Serena Ross said it was pleasing to be able to contribute to the fight against Covid-19 and to support Australia’s ability to manufacture advanced technologies locally.

Ross said: “This pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of our supply chains and product developers are now realising that the new smart move is to manufacture their sub-assemblies in Australia, rather than Asia.”

Grey’s NOTUS Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program is supported by the Victorian Government and the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre.

Victoria may purchase a further 2000 ventilators and Grey Innovation is hopeful the ventilator will also be attractive to other countries, having already fielded inquiries from Asia.

The programme will manufacture under license a mechanical ventilator design from UK-based Smiths Medical. Smiths has been at the forefront of the UK government’s efforts to ramp up that country’s supply of ventilators.

According to Grey’s executive chairman Jefferson Harcourt, the decision to use a design that was already certified was the best approach.

“Using a certified design means that Grey only has to prove equivalence to Australian regulators. Certifying a new ventilator design developed from scratch would have been infeasible in the timelines required.”

Circuitwise was selected because it is one of Australia’s leading ISO 13485 certified contract manufacturers of medical devices.

It is already working with other medical technology clients delivering essential equipment for hospitals including CT injection, sterilisation, radiology and remote healthcare. C

Circuitwise services highly innovative Australian-owned business such as Nanosonics, as well as Bayer and Siemens.

Pictures: Circuitwise

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