The number of available ventilators in hospitals plays a crucial role in saving lives and in maximizing the preparedness of Hawaii’s healthcare system in the fight against COVID-19.
With national shortages of these essential machines, state and county governments have had to think creatively and leverage local resources. Bayer Hawaii was proud to contribute to one of these unique ventures by using its 3D printing capabilities to manufacture ventilator parts for an effort by two startups to build 500 ventilators from the ground up on the island on Maui.
Maui Innovation Group and HNu Photonics – the two startups spearheading the local ventilator manufacturing – were awarded $100,000 in March by the Maui Economic Development Board to kick start the prototyping and testing process. That’s when an employee of HNu Photonics reached out to Bayer to request help in the effort. Bayer Hawaii leveraged its 3D printing machines at its Maui site to manufacture gears used in the drive assembly of the ventilators.
To date, Bayer has created and delivered 50 gears to HNu Photonics. The company then used the parts to assemble the ventilator units. So far, 40 units have been completed and were delivered to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
“This really was a team project – a great example of how people from different industries can contribute to a common goal in supporting the COVID-19 defensive effort,” said Corey Barth, operations lead for Bayer on Maui. “In addition to HNu Photonics and our Bayer operations, our Bayer Security team made a significant contribution. They learned how to operate the printers and were an absolute force multiplier. Because of that, we were able to produce the parts around the clock!”
Through the technology of 3D printing, Bayer has also produced face shields for medical and other frontline workers. More than 500 face shields were printed and donated to first responders, frontline healthcare workers and other health care agencies.
Currently, more than 100 additional headbands have been printed and, once assembled with laminate shields, will be donated to those on the front line.