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Mar 28, 2020 - 3:54:43 AM
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2415 posts since 10/9/2011

Please don't turn this political. I'm genuinely curious about this on a technological basis.
How does a company like GM go about rapidly starting to manufacture hospital ventilators? As an OR nurse, I'm fairly familiar with those devices and they're highly complex,both mechanically and electronically. They monitor and control numerous respiratory parameters. I'd imagine that it normally takes years to do the R&D to get one of these devices to market.
Does GM now start from scratch to build a device that they don't know squat about? Do they get information and cooperation from companies experienced with these machines?
Obviously, those devices are needed YESTERDAY, not after a couple of years of experimentation. How can they be produced STAT?

Mar 28, 2020 - 4:33:31 AM

2620 posts since 4/29/2012
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I'm guessing that they will just reverse engineer ( a fancy way of saying copy) an existing model. No R&D required, just tooling and cloning the circuits and software. Setting up Q&A will probably be the most difficult bit. The other bottleneck will be training nursing staff to use them. Who does the training when the experts are needed on the front line ?

Mar 28, 2020 - 4:42:34 AM

2415 posts since 10/9/2011

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

I'm guessing that they will just reverse engineer ( a fancy way of saying copy) an existing model. No R&D required, just tooling and cloning the circuits and software.Who does the training when the experts are needed on the front line ?


How would patent laws affect reverse engineering? Temporarily suspended in times of urgent need?
In a hospital setting,once one respiratory therapist learns the new machine he/she could train multiple other staff. Medical equipment is (hopefully) designed to be fairly intuitive to users familiar with the general principles with clearly labeled menus,etc.

Mar 28, 2020 - 4:52:37 AM

5821 posts since 8/3/2012
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I've heard that GM has made ventilators in the past.
I assume GM will mainly be doing final assembly, using existing sources for the components (circuit boards, etc.) and using existing designs.

Edited by - OldBlindGuy on 03/28/2020 05:05:27

Mar 28, 2020 - 9:17:55 AM

1737 posts since 2/10/2013

I was pondering one of those types of announcements yesterday. Manufacturing facilities have the potential to switch to production of similar products. But manufacturing equipment for something like this virus would probably require harder to find technical skills needed for production. And, trained medical personnel require a lot of training, and this takes time.

I hope I am wrong, but I think availability of of needed equipment and trained personnel will occur about the time the coronavirus problem goes into a sharp decline.

Mar 28, 2020 - 9:29:31 AM

Owen

Canada

5528 posts since 6/5/2011

 
Originally posted by Richard Hauser

I hope I am wrong, but I think availability of of needed equipment and trained personnel will occur about the time the coronavirus problem goes into a sharp decline.

...and then hold onto them for "x" years ... then sell/scrap them [i.e. the equipment, not the personnel].... just  in time for the next crisis??

Edited by - Owen on 03/28/2020 09:35:43

Mar 28, 2020 - 10:00:58 AM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16477 posts since 6/5/2008

Building the thing and running it are two different jobs.
Grab a whole bunch of 4th year med students and residents to get this moving.

The scrap value won't be much unless there's some juicy subunits inside like pumps and motors.
If so, maybe $0.15/lb. No good bits, possibly $0.10/lb, maybe $0.12/lb.

I think there's a better case to be made for moth-balling the units.

Mar 28, 2020 - 10:34:29 AM
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276 posts since 1/28/2011

A company like GM has many workers with varied skills. They have people to make molds, patterns, and forging dies for plastic and metal parts and people who know how to use these tools to make parts. They have huge forges and metal stamping machines that can make anything from a car frame to a thimble. They have workers who are familiar with all the electronics that make a car run, and that's not much different than electronics on any other product. They have many sub contractors that can do some of this for them. It can't be done overnight, but they should be able to do it pretty quickly. A company like GM does not need to do research. They can make parts and assemble them with a blueprint, without knowing anything about the theory behind it. Lots of companies make patented items. They just pay a fee to the patent holder.  GM might already be a subcontractor, making some parts for a company that makes ventilators.  A company making ventilators probably outsources most of the parts instead of making them in house.

Edited by - latigo1 on 03/28/2020 10:43:37

Mar 28, 2020 - 11:03:09 AM

tlong

USA

139 posts since 2/5/2009

G M is and always has been a diversified company. When WW ll started some of their divisions switched to making rifles and machine guns. Also the Fridgidaire appliance Co was a division of GM for 60 years

Mar 28, 2020 - 12:58:42 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

23415 posts since 6/25/2005

Modern cars are an extension of computers, so there should be plenty of tech knowhow at GM—and any auto maker.

Mar 28, 2020 - 4:04:56 PM

nakigreengrass

New Zealand

4931 posts since 5/16/2012

This is not really a manufacturing problem...it's a logistics problem. All mass production these days is done in a " just in time " component supply chain. IE...Supply companies co ordinate their individual outputs so they arrive at the on sight assemble areas within hours of them being needed. This works great for the economics of manufacturing...but can cause real problems in practical terms when things don't go to plan.

eg.The Japanese auto industry had to stop during the 2011 Fukuuskhima nuclear disaster because the car paint manufacturers were inside the cordon area.

It's is unlikely any new product will be produced...it will be more about upgrading the existing supply chains to increase the production of current ventilators. Big company infrastructures are the only mechanisms that can do this.

Edited by - nakigreengrass on 03/28/2020 16:07:32

Mar 29, 2020 - 2:57:50 PM
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89 posts since 8/20/2019

I'm a 'Dodge man'! I want a ventilator with a 'hemi' !

Mar 30, 2020 - 9:10:06 AM

71683 posts since 5/9/2007

Since we don't know it'll be good to see what GM does.
I don't think they'll be too confused about how to tool up for this and go to school very quickly on putting them together.

China just sent us 80 tons of already built stuff.They're going to send 22 more shipments.

Mar 30, 2020 - 10:23:40 AM
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DC5

USA

10986 posts since 6/30/2015
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quote:
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

Modern cars are an extension of computers, so there should be plenty of tech knowhow at GM—and any auto maker.


True, you now have to press the "Start" button to turn them off. cheeky

Mar 30, 2020 - 11:25:08 AM
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heavy5

USA

1188 posts since 11/3/2016

Hope there are no recalls !

Mar 30, 2020 - 11:58:20 AM
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Mooooo

USA

7816 posts since 8/20/2016

I wonder if they can gear up to make toilet paper. Now that would be an ass-embly line

Mar 30, 2020 - 2:05:13 PM

71683 posts since 5/9/2007

There appears to be interest in converting C-Pap machines and other devices into Breathers.

Mar 30, 2020 - 5:32:23 PM

Lynne (Moderator)

USA

5032 posts since 3/3/2003

GM may have plenty of people that can design ventilators but believe me it takes a while to build a mold or a stamping die to produce parts.
This isn’t something that happens in a couple of weeks.

My husband and I were in manufacturing nothing is fast.

Now if the molds/dies exist and GM has the presses or mold machines things may go faster but GM makes so few of their own parts I would be surprised if the infrastructure is there.

Mar 30, 2020 - 6:29:34 PM

1517 posts since 11/17/2018

GM is partnering with Ventec Life Systems in Seattle, and is using their design, so they are not starting from scratch.

venteclife.com/

GM is sourcing parts from its global supply chain.

They are converting a 100,000 sq ft facility in Indiana that will include a clean-room and two assembly lines.

Ford, GE, and 3M are partnering on a different design that starts with a stripped down anesthesia machine.

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 03/30/2020 18:35:43

Mar 30, 2020 - 7:11:17 PM

71683 posts since 5/9/2007

There are some existing parts that GM already makes,I believe.Not sure.

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