<title> Engineering Companies around the Globe Fighting against Covid-19
<description> What is the contribution the engineering industry has already made to battle with Covid-19? This article reveals the most impactful solutions developed by engineers worldwide.
How Engineering Companies Worldwide are Already Helping to Battle Covid-19
In this article, readers will discover the activities which engineering companies around the globe undertake to cope with the coronavirus infection. In particular, they will get to know regarding the following issues:
· Key things engineering companies should do to assist the medical industry in battling Covid-19;
· The solutions/initiatives global manufacturers in just about every industry have already represented concerning Covid-19 treatment.
Well, if you desire to get acquainted with the latest achievements on coronavirus performed by various engineering industries, you should momentarily start reading this article!
Covid-19, with its origin in Wuhan (China), has led to global disruption and pressure to healthcare systems worldwide. It is the key thing that all of us should make an effort to help significantly minimize the number of cases we are observing.
It is not a secret that a great number of businesses have temporarily stopped functioning or are working with the core staff to minimize the virus spread. However, for those in engineering businesses, employees find themselves with a terrible workload. The reason is engineering specialists possess certain skills and qualifications that truly support national health services in fighting against coronavirus.
Now, let’s consider three main directions for engineering industries where they may implement their potential to support healthcare organizations.
Three Strategies to Battle Covid-19
While many engineering companies have already represented all kinds of extremely creative projects, we should understand that there are just three main directions where they badly need help:
· Develop personal protective equipment.
It is a fact that all of us are feeling pressure and discomfort when we have to take care of personal protective equipment in case leaving home to go shopping or so. But for the medical staff who is working on the frontline, it is greatly important that they use the appropriate personal protective equipment. The last one helps to keep safe from Covid-19 when doctors and nurses face infected patients.
The above-mentioned has led to a demand for such medical equipment as N95 fluid-resistant face masks, surgical gowns/aprons, and disposable gloves that interfere with the spread between doctors and Covid-19 patients.
Those things are essential in protecting medical specialists from contracting the virus themselves. Moreover, specialists from other industries start calling for similar protective measures (as offered to hospital staff) to be brought into their workplace;
· Produce respiratory equipment.
Quite hard symptoms of Covid-19 have led to an urgent requirement for numerous substantial items of healthcare equipment. Basically, the strong need for respiratory ventilators is increasing because the majority of hospitals find themselves without the financial opportunities to handle a great number of coronavirus cases.
That lifesaving equipment is so crucial at the moment, that many governments have made a request for engineering businesses who may deliver ventilators to offer their services;
· Design temporary hospitals.
In many countries, people have already gained Wuhan's infection pattern and the duration of the coronavirus. Such countries have also shortly reached a peak where temporary hospitals are a must to be built to cope with the intensively rising number of Covid-19 cases. A perfect example to follow around the globe is NHS Nightingale built in London to manage the demand for care. This hospital was constructed in just nine days!
Additionally, providing the healthcare system with any kind of empty shipping containers means the medical system will possess more temporary intensive care units for people in life-threatening conditions.
Ways Engineering Companies Already Assist
Taking into account an increased demand for personal protective equipment, temporary hospitals, and lifesaving medical equipment, a wide range of engineering companies have already initiated those critical supplies.
· For instance, such aircraft giant as Airbus has started developing up to thirty thousand ventilators to support the NHS Nightingale as part of the strategy introduced by The Ventilator Challenge UK consortium;
· Airbus has received numerous orders for the ventilators from the UK government who are supporting the manufacturing of the prototypes. However, they realize that Airbus can’t produce the required quantity of ventilators on their own. So, Airbus has recently started collaborating with other members of the consortium.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in close cooperation with an Italian design company has designed intensive care units constructed from shipping containers to handle the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
The intensive care units have been built in the way so that they may be put together to prepare mobile field hospitals. An obvious advantage is that it is easy to arrange such mobile hospitals and they have identical conditions of containing infection as traditional hospitals have. This solution may be easily implemented in other countries in case they receive enough empty shipping containers from engineering companies;
· The engineering teams from the printing industry are also delivering support in equipping hospitals to battle Covid-19 with 3D printers. The company Stratasys produced more than five thousand disposable face masks for medical institutions in the US.
In case you desire to offer similar services Stratasys does as well as encourage others in your position to do the same, it is time to check the Engre marketplace. This is an ideal environment where all the industries find talented teams to bring any engineering idea into life.
Looking at the above-mentioned it seems that engineering companies have faced a unique business challenge to use the qualifications and skills of their best employees to help battle coronavirus. All of us should bear in mind that whether you get inspired from what other companies are doing, or you know how to help in another method, healthcare systems worldwide will appreciate any assistance businesses may give.
Now, let’s get to know about a few of the most wonderful solutions introduced by reputable engineering enterprises to fight the spread of COVID-19 as well as optimize lifesaving measures for more infected patients. It is going to be truly interesting!
Initiative Made by the White House
Recently, the White House has launched the initiative called the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium . Its goal is to provide both tech leads and Covid-19 researchers around the globe with access to the world’s most authoritative IT resources.
The Consortium involved such credible members as Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Lab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, and NASA.
Top universities like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and tech enterprises (including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon) joined the Consortium as well.
According to IBM, the Consortium is going to deliver approximately three hundred petaflops, seven hundred seventy-five thousand central processing unit cores, and thirty-four graphics processing units of computing power.
As mentioned by Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, these super productive IT systems will provide the researchers with the opportunity to execute a truly huge number of calculations in bioinformatics, molecular modeling, and epidemiology. Such calculations would have taken much longer via traditional platforms.
Achievements of Engineers in the Subsea Industry
What is the subsea industry implementing to cope with Covid-19? Let’s look at the example of the UK’s underwater engineering industry that is transferring its best practices and expertise to tackle the pandemic.
According to the Subsea UK, a few underwater engineering businesses possess the relevant producing expertise, particularly in breathing equipment, valves, life support equipment, and specific control platforms.
JFD Global, one of Subsea UK’s members, has already designed and brought to market an innovative respiratory ventilator.
Giovanni Corbetta (director of JFD Global) commented that they had invented an extremely flexible, modular ventilator. It is efficient, safe, and may be produced and supplied quickly around the world. Their target was to release the ICU treatment facilities from the intense pressure and save lives, as Covid-19 gained its peak in many countries.
Viewport3, the company from Aberdeen (Scotland) which specializes in 3D scanning for the subsea industry has implemented its 3D print design expertise. They designed a platform for adaptors to unite the equipment from the diving industry so that it can be used as a moderate form of respiration or ventilation.
As Richard Drennan (Viewport3 director) comments, the engineering teams are able to deploy 3D printers offshore. That allows engineers to overcome difficulties regarding location without the necessity to ship equipment. Viewport3 focused on the development of a suitable design as well as post-print manipulations. Such things may be easily replicated by medical engineers.
Such an adaptor needs approximately four hours of print time. Its post-print assembly is around thirty minutes. That means what they can produce with their own equipment is reduced to a minimum.
Note that more than eighty percent of small enterprises will have fused deposition modeling 3D printers. So, a clear design as well as post-print instructions should be prepared. The chances rise that the UK companies will print hundreds of such adaptors to satisfy local care needs.
How about the Automotive Industry?
The auto industry hasn’t stayed away from the efforts many industries make to battle the Covid-19 virus. Regarding mass production of masks, Ford’s engineering team has started testing transparent full-face shields.
Such masks completely block the eyes and face from unexpected contact with liquids. If they pair this mask with N95 respirators, it will be a perfect way to limit potential contact with Covid-19 on the contrary to N95 respirators used alone.
The first supply in the amount of a thousand face masks will be tested at Detroit Medical Centre Sinai-Grace Hospitals and Detroit Mercy (Henry Ford Health Systems). They expect to come up with seventy-five thousand of these masks for four days. Around a hundred thousand face shields may be designed per week at Manufacturing’s facilities in Plymouth in Michigan and Ford subsidiary Troy Design. Ford has also started producing additional ventilators.
Ventec Life Systems in partnership with StopTheSpread.org is working to support Ventec in producing its respiratory care products. According to Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO, the company is expected to increase ventilator production by up to thirty-five percent. Implementing the expertise of StopTheSpread.org, Ventec Life Systems supplies a greater number of ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership helps save the lives of the infected!
The Covid-19 pandemic has led Elon Musk to get involved in the medical device manufacturing. Tesla’s engineers are sure that SpaceX particles for Medtronic MDT ventilators and BiPAP breathing equipment may be transformed for implementation as medical ventilators. They are planning to construct such ventilators at a Tesla TSLA factory.
Recently, Tesla engineers have created a prototype ventilator that consists of parts taken and modified from electric vehicles. They demonstrated their device in the video where an engineering team in surgical gloves and shields represent their solution. The most exciting thing is that the device is built with exclusively automotive components! Its construction doesn’t possess any specialized pumps or compressors needed by the companies that manufacture medical ventilator production.
According to Joseph Mardall, Tesla’s engineering director, the company decided to use the particles they perfectly know. As a result, such particles may be produced fast and in great volume. Moreover, they implemented the components that they are sure in the fail-safety of.
The device includes the following parts:
· touchscreen display panel (identical to Model 3 electric cars) which controls the intake of oxygen as well as carbon dioxide output;
· a Model 3 infotainment platform;
· lithium-ion battery;
· an oxygen mixing chamber.
However, note that it is just a prototype, so, we have no idea when Tesla will be able to supply the devices in high volume. A good thing is that Tesla got approval for the use of the devices for the infected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Automation and Robotics Companies Joining Covid-19 Battle
Can you imagine a human-like robot that helps medical staff to cure patients with COVID-19? Meet Tommy! It is a robot nurse that assists flesh-and-blood doctors in giving care service to infected patients at the Circolo Hospital located in Italy. Tommy possesses a touch-screen face that records e-mails and other messages from patients and delivers them to medical personnel.
Nowadays, they witness a truly sharp increase in coronavirus testing manipulations. The last demands a large number of blood tests to be done. Traditionally, such a procedure is manually performed by lab specialists in medical institutions. As nurses comment, blood testing is an extremely monotonous as well as time-consuming procedure. A few European robotics enterprises have found out a solution on how to automate those things:
· In Denmark, the engineering lab at Aalborg University Hospital had already enjoyed the automation while performing blood testing. Daily, about three thousand blood samples are meticulously sorted by two KUKA robots . Such a miracle occurs in the biggest hospital in the North Jutland region. Employees feel a strong relief of an enormous scope of work. Now, they have time to deal with more sophisticated responsibilities instead of performing a list of routine tasks.
KUKA robots will come in hand for many countries because the healthcare sector worldwide has already reached its limits during coronavirus crisis. So, Aalborg University Hospital has satisfied the urgent request for expanding laboratory capacity. With the help of KUKA robots, lab specialists will be able to convert test installations for test variants flexibly and quickly;
· A valuable thing about robots is that they are immune to Covid-19 (and any other kind of infection), unlike medical staff. That is why BoKa Automatisierung (Bavarian automation company) introduced the concept of a completely automated system that reminds us of the customer experience in a drive-through café where customers drive their cars to wait in a line and pass by a few windows to order, pay, and receive their food.
With the help of the tablet, a driver is able to come forward with the identification via the car’s side window. Then, a robot arm gives the driver the test tube. After the sample is taken, the test tube is returned automatically. Later, each driver is informed via smartphone of Covid-19 test result;
· Denmark-based UVD Robots, Odense is currently designing the UV-Disinfection Robot. What are the benefits of such an invention? The super mobile robot may independently move into a hospital room and radiate UV-C light to destroy dangerous bacteria and other microorganisms.
The UV-Disinfection Robot ensures hospitals guarantee around ninety-nine percent disinfection level, minimizing risks for the infected, their relatives, and medical personnel. As far as the pandemic is a global problem, the company supposes that the UV-Disinfection Robot will travel around the world because its pluses are obvious;
· It seems that Denmark is a number-one supplier for breathtaking robotic solutions to cope with Covid-19! Again, Denmark-based Life Science Robotics ApS, Aalborg has demonstrated ROBERT to the world community. This invention is aimed at helping the infected patients with mobility therapy. The robot is especially useful in times of strict social distancing policy because it substitutes in some cases a human-doctor, thus minimizing the number of contacts between patients and medical staff;
· RobShare GmbH, a company located in Germany, supports the nation in remote visits in care homes. The Germans appreciate the solution because it allows staying in contact with their nearest and dearest during the prohibition to make visits.
A telepresence-based robot called James visits the infected in the quarantined apartments. By the way, RobShare provides people with rental of the robot free of charge.
According to Konstantin Dick, marketing communications director at RobShare GmbH, the company doesn’t earn a euro from this campaign. They just need that their basic costs to get covered. For that purpose, they are in an active search for investors. This will enable the team to release and deliver the project to care homes for free.
Innovative Tools for Data Queries Regarding Covid-19
Verizon Media has recently unveiled a few resources for engineers to support them in organizing coronavirus data which is publicly available. Yahoo Knowledge Graph has given such resources as an application programming interface, a dataset, and a dashboard. That combination helps developers examine and navigate coronavirus data.
As Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, states, the only way they can assist is taking part in organizing the high volume of data that currently exists and continues releasing daily. The company is ready to share its technology to make up top-performance data visualizations concerning Covid-19 in the world.
The Yahoo Knowledge COVID-19 dataset is available under a Creative Commons license. It unveils such info as the locations of the infected, number of cases, recoveries, and deaths. Moreover, the data may be filtered by country and city/state.
The info is taken from healthcare organizations as well as government websites. Verizon Media also introduced a specific application programming interface that allows engineers to explore the dataset. Based on that thing, engineers may create their own Covid-19 schemes, applications, and simulations.
Not so long ago, Verizon Media reacted to the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge by Kaggle. For the initiative, the company has developed another product concerning the data set for queries.
The company representatives believe that the ideal thing is to number the dataset. The last contains more than forty-four scholarly articles. They are accessible for searching with Vespa Cloud. All you need is to visit CORD-19 API Query and get started with a few sample queries or even more advanced ones.
The principle “to number the dataset” is created to enable medical personnel and engineers to get quick access to the data about Covid-19.
All the above-mentioned proves that many engineering companies are doing a great job so far. By designing innovative solutions, mankind still has a hope that the Covid-19 pandemic followed by the economic crisis will fade away soon. Robotics, the automotive sector, and even the subsea industry demonstrate a new development path at this time. What is most important now is that they show the initiative to find opportunities and solutions during coronavirus and a global economic recession.