Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has created a multidisciplinary working group in Brazil with the objective of increasing the national availability and supply of ventilators. This team works on two fronts: one aimed at repairing and recovering devices that are out of service in the Brazilian health system, and the other dedicated to leveraging and accelerating the local production of lung ventilators. FCA’s performance has already brought practical results on both work fronts.
“Ventilators are perhaps the most critical and requested medical devices in the world right now, given their importance for the treatment of critically ill patients. Considering the expansion of the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) in Brazil, increasing the availability of this equipment in the national health system has become an absolute priority ”, says João Irineu Medeiros, director of Regulatory Affairs for FCA for Latin America and coordinator of the multidisciplinary group dedicated to the theme.
FCA was one of the companies that helped to enable the agreement signed last week between Magnamed, the largest manufacturer of ventilators in Brazil, and the Ministry of Health for the local manufacturing and delivery of 6,500 devices by August. This increase was made possible by the support of a group of companies led by Positivo Tecnologia, Suzano, Klabin, Flex, and Embraer, and supported by FCA and White Martins, among others.
“We are acting directly in the identification and elimination of production bottlenecks and in the mapping of new lines of credit for the immediate expansion of the production capacity of ventilators in Brazil”, explains Armando Carvalho, FCA’s Deputy Director of Business Development for Latin America. “We have also made our Purchasing, Product Development, Logistics, Manufacturing and Engineering teams available to consult with local manufacturers and ultimately help increase the productive capacity of ventilators in Brazil, considering the very tight deadline imposed by this urgent situation.”
Before this joint effort by major players of the Brazilian industry, the national production capacity of ventilators was estimated at less than a thousand units per month. With this effort, it is estimated that the productive capacity can increase up to 10 times.
The other front in which FCA is acting directly is aimed at repairing and recovering out-of-service ventilators. Brazil has about 65,200 of these devices and approximately 36,000 were are out of operation due to the need for repairs. The states of Pernambuco and Paraíba maintain approximately 275 inoperative devices, while Minas Gerais has around 335.
FCA integrates the task force created by SENAI (National Service for Industrial Learning) and the Ministry of Economy, in partnership with ten large industries installed in Brazil, to repair out-of-service ventilators at the Fiat Automotive Pole, in Betim (state of Minas Gerais), and at the Jeep Automotive Pole, in Goiana (state of Pernambuco). These two manufacturing sites also function as official bases for receiving and maintaining damaged devices for the states of Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, and Paraíba.
“For all of us, working on the task force that recovers non-functioning ventilators has a very special meaning at this time. The knowledge shared by SENAI, in addition to broadening the horizons of our technical teams, gives another dimension to our expertise and skills in Engineering and Automobile Manufacturing ”, said Leonardo Amaral, manager of Regulatory Affairs at FCA and coordinator of the maintenance task force. “It is estimated that each recovered respirator can serve up to ten patients, so our work has great potential to really help save lives.”
Source: FCA LATAM