Dyson, the manufacturer of vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, has received an order from the United Kingdom for 10,000 ventilators. It took the company 10 days to design a new hospital ventilator for treating severe COVID-19 patients in to fulfill the alarming shortage of this device worldwide. Dyson has had hundreds of engineers working round the clock to design the ventilators from scratch.
The CoVent ventilator is still needs to pass stringent medical tests, but that is expected to happen quickly. Dyson will build 15,000 ventilators, with 10,000 going to the U.K. government and 5,000 being donated (1,000 for the U.K. and 4,000 elsewhere). The initial order of 10,000 units will begin production immediately at RAF Hullavington.
The U.K. recognized the critical shortage in ventilators in mid-March when Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for the U.K.’s entrepreneurs to help design and build an entirely new ventilator reached Dyson.
“A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the U.K. and other countries around the world,” James Dyson told Dyson employees in an internal letter on Wednesday obtained by CNN Business.
“This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume,” James Dyson added. “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 race is now on to get it into production.”
Companies around the world including Ford, GM and Tesla have been given the green light to begin producing the vital machines.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday announced that the electric car company had bought hundreds of ventilators from China and shipped them to the U.S.