Volkswagen tests ventilator output to combat coronavirus crisis

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German automaker Volkswagen stated on Friday it was joining other automakers across the world to find out use of 3D printing to make hospital ventilators in order to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Governments are enlisting automakers such as Ford, General Motors, Ferrari and Nissan to increase production of ventilators and other equipment they are short of to deal with the fast-spreading disease.

Volkswagen stated it had assembled a task force, was carrying out tests of materials and checking supply chains to observe how it can use 3D printing to help produce hospital ventilators and other life-saving equipment.

“Medical equipment is a new field for us. But as soon as we understand the requirements, and get a blueprint, we can get started,” Volkswagen stated, adding that prototype components had been printed and its Skoda arm was added in the project.

A representative stated Volkswagen, which has more than 125 industrial 3D printers, was in close contact with governments and other officials to assess needs.

General Motors stated it was collaborating with Ventec Life Systems to allow the medical device maker to leverage the U.S. automaker’s logistics and expertise to construct more ventilators.

“We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our nation’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” GM CEO Mary Barra stated.

Volkswagen’s sports car brand Porsche also stated on Friday it aimed to help in relief efforts. “We are collecting ideas about what we could do in terms of humanitarian help,” Chief Executive Oliver Blume stated on a call to talk about revenues.

BMW stated it was also ready to help. “The production of components using 3D printing technology is a possibility,” it stated.

Coronavirus has so far infected over 317,309 people and killed 13,643 worldwide.

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