Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala develops ventilator

Prototype to be sent for testing to ICMR before production

Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala develops ventilator

RCF officials with the prototype ventilator at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala. Malkiat Singh

Our Correspondent

Kapurthala, April 5

Having received instructions from the Railway Board, New Delhi, about exploring the possibility of making ventilators in train coaches, the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, had manufactured a prototype ventilator, ‘Jeevan’, which had an original design and was developed within a week and would cost less than a regular ventilator, said officials.

The ventilator prototype has been conceptualised by RCF General Manager Ravinder Gupta. It will now go for final testing at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) before being put to production to aid the country’s fight against Covid-19.

In-house medical professionals of the RCF Hospital have tested the unit and given it a go-ahead, he said. Ravinder Gupta, GM, RCF, said it was an emergency ventilator built as a defiant reply to the curse of coronavirus.

“It will be submitted to the ICMR for testing and validation and hopefully, it will be a savior of lives amid these hard times. The cost will be under Rs 10,000 without the compressor unit. Overall, Its price will still be a fraction of what regular ventilators available in the market cost,” he said.

He said it could be used as an emergency ventilator. Production was easy and could be done with locally sourced components. The ventilator was silent and it was not reverse engineering, but an original design from scratch.

Gupta said the heart of the device was the compressed air container to work the Ambu bag with air without any moving parts such as servo motor or piston or link mechanism.

“It has a microprocessor-based controller and the circuit has been designed by the RCF team. A valve has been installed to regulate the breathing of the patient whether young or old. This ventilator can be optimised to more compact size by using small-size components,” he said.

“The body has been made from coach components. The argon flow meter is taken from a laser welding machine and the compressor from an air cooler,” he said, adding that the team of the RCF needed to source just two parts — a regulator valve and a micro processor— from vendors in Delhi and Noida, which they brought using emergency transit services.

Gupta said the team of engineers from the plant, mechanical and electrical design and IT and a group of medical professionals of the RCF Hospital and the Stores Department had persevered hard for the culmination of the prototype of the ventilator. The intellectual property rights relating to the ventilator belong to the RCF.

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