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People A Call To Action: James Dyson Designed CoVent, A New Ventilator To Fight Covid-19

A Call To Action: James Dyson Designed CoVent, A New Ventilator To Fight Covid-19

James Dyson
James Dyson
By Karen Tee
May 06, 2020
The billionaire inventor James Dyson took just 10 days to design CoVent, a new ventilator to help hospitals fight Covid-19

When British billionaire James Dyson relocated his global headquarters to Singapore last year, he made headlines for buying the most expensive penthouse in the country for S$73.8 million. Now, the inventor, who is best known for creating the Dyson brand’s cordless vacuum cleaners and heat-controlled hair dryers, has thrust Singapore back in the international spotlight—this time for making a much-needed contribution to humanity’s fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.

It began when British prime minister Boris Johnson phoned Dyson in March just as the Covid-19 crisis was unfolding in the UK. Dyson immediately sprang into action to build a new model of ventilator. As the coronavirus attacks the patient’s respiratory system, large numbers of this life-saving equipment are urgently needed around the world to assist patients who encounter complications that result in breathing difficulties.

“The UK government requested a design for a ventilator that was safe, effective, efficient in conserving oxygen, easy to use, bed-mounted, portable and not needing a fixed air supply,” said Dyson in a memo to staff that was shared with the media. “The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time.”

The idea was to use the company’s expertise in components such as digital motors, battery packs, airflow technology and Hepa filters, to build medical-grade ventilators.

See also: Tatler Heroes: Individuals Around Asia Leading The Fight Against Covid-19

James Dyson
Photo: Erik Tanner/The New York Times/IC Photo

Just 10 days after Johnson’s call, in collaboration with The Technology Partnership, a Cambridge-based group of science and innovation companies, Dyson unveiled the CoVent prototype. This device is engineered to deliver high-quality, filtered air by harnessing Dyson’s air-purifying technology.

One key feature is that it has been designed to be portable so that it can be used in different settings, such as in field hospitals or during the transportation of patients. Most importantly, CoVent “can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume”, Dyson said.

The British government has placed an order for 10,000 units. In addition, Dyson has also pledged to make another 5,000 machines for the international effort to treat coronavirus patients.

In Singapore, Dyson’s local operations, which include its global research and development hub and a manufacturing plant, are playing a key role in the construction of these new ventilators. The motors for the CoVent machines are being produced by 300 robots that are running round the clock in Dyson’s Singapore Advanced Manufacturing facility in the Tuas industrial district. The completed motors will then be shipped to the UK.

“Hospitals are the front line in the war against Covid-19,” Dyson said, emphasising the importance of this production line. “As with any battle, there are many challenges to overcome, not least the availability of essential equipment which, in this case, means ventilators.”

See also: LVMH Halts Handbag Production In Favour Of Medical Gowns For Frontline Workers

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People James Dyson Dyson Covid-19 Novel Coronavirus Medicine CoVent Coronavirus Entrepreneurs Technology


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