BEL supplies 30K ventilators in 4 months amid corona pandemic

Contributing its share to the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has rolled out a whopping 30,000 ventilators in four months to treat Covid-19 patient across the country, an official said on Sunday.

“We have delivered 30,000 ventilators in a record time of four months for intensive care units (ICUs) in state-run hospitals across the country for treating Covid-19 patients and make India self-reliant in high-end medical equipment,” the official of the city-based defence behemoth told IANS here.

The Health Ministry had in April placed an order with the BEL to make 30,000 ICU ventilators to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure for combating the coronavirus pandemic across the country.

The ventilators were made in collaboration with the Mysuru-based Skanray Technologies Ltd under a licensing agreement while the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided the design.

“The indigenisation efforts to make critical components such as medical-grade valves, oxygen sensors, and flow sensors are a game-changer in becoming self-reliant in mature medical electronics systems,” asserted the official.

On receiving the order from the Ministry, the public sector enterprise had set up a production line in two weeks to roll out 500-1,000 ventilators a day.

Braving odds due to the Covid-induced lockdown restrictions that disrupted the supply chains, the ventilators were manufactured in a record time with the support of the Karnataka government, which deputed an IAS officer to resolve issues with the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in making its components.

“Feedback from doctors and hospitals enabled us to upgrade the ventilators with additional modes of operation through software for treating local patients,” the official added.

In a related development, the company has issued the request for proposal (RFP) to supply 5 import-substitute products (components) as part of the government’s self-reliance initiative.

The products to be made in the country by Indian firms are brazing wire, motion platform, 6 degrees of freedom and payload 1000-2000kg, dummy weapons for small-arm simulators, single-board computer, and 62X day zoom lens.

Brazing wires are special alloys, imported from Germany and the US, and used in vacuum brazing process to join dissimilar metals parts in medical devices like X-ray and MRI machines.

Motion platform and 6 degrees of freedom and payload 1000-2000 kg is a critical sub-assembly for vehicular simulators, being imported from Australia.

Dummy weapons are critical components for various small-arms training simulators, imported from Sweden.

“The simulator allows the user to choose any firing position, be it standing, kneeling or lying down. A number of such simulators can be installed for collective training,” said the official.

The single-board computer is a system controller module for an indigenously designed, manufactured ELINT System (electronic intelligence) deployed on the borders. The board is imported from the US.

The 2X day zoom lens is a part of the long-range day surveillance equipment, imported from the US for the Army and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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