Steering components for ventilators

Engagement | People at thyssenkrupp | COVID-19 keeps the world firmly under control. In many places there is a lack of medical equipment. In an extraordinary project, we are providing steering components to develop novel ventilators.

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected us worldwide. In some countries, intensive care capacities in hospitals were overwhelmed, with a severe shortage of ventilation equipment. At the same time, the new virus has brought people together and encouraged solidarity.

thyssenkrupp supports development of new ventilators

We at thyssenkrupp are also making our contribution in these difficult times. Thanks to our colleagues Katja Tiringer and Blaž Bratina, an extraordinary project has come together, in which we are supporting them fully. The two Slovenians have been with thyssenkrupp for some time but are still in contact with their university in Ljubljana and their professor, Prof. Dr. Damijan Miljavec. Instead of standing idly by in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of important medical equipment in many places, the two have supported his Slovenian research team in developing new types of ventilators in which thyssenkrupp steering components play a key role.

The team of the University of Ljubljana during the examination of the FEspirator in UKC Ljubljana.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana is working together with the local university hospital to develop a mobile ventilator, the so-called “FEspirator”, which it is hoped will cost only a fraction of a current standard device. For the prototypes of these ventilators, our colleagues provided them with actuators and gears normally used in our steering systems. This enabled the Slovenian team to enter the test and approval phase quickly. Because ventilators and steering systems have one thing in common – if they fail, it can be fatal.

Steering components for ventilators

To ensure that these new types of ventilators meet the high safety requirements, thyssenkrupp colleagues from the steering plant in Eschen suggested that our redundantly developed steering motors and electronic control units could be used. All steering systems from thyssenkrupp are equipped with a fallback level that in case of emergency is able to step in and keep the system running. In constant consultation with the university, the engineers prepared models for various certification procedures. The first steering motors for the innovative ventilators were sent to the university at the end of June.

The team of the University of Ljubljana at the FEspirator test in UKC Ljubljana
The thyssenkrupp team: (from left to right) Joseph Strobel, Katja Tiringer and Blaž Bratina

The project leaders Prof. Dr. Marko Topič, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marko Jankovec, Prof. Dr. Damijan Miljavec and his team from Ljubljana were thrilled by the idea and pleased about the support. If the ventilators now pass all tests and certifications, our steering components can soon help to save lives.

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