Coronavirus Covid-19 – Mahindra’s Bag Valve Mask to cost less than Rs 7,500

Mahindra’s low-cost Ambu lifesaver designed in 48 hours

Mahindra Group's Kandivali and Igatpuri teams who have worked on the Bag Valve Mask Ventilator and produced this in 48 hours

About ten days ago, Anand Mahindra, the chairman of the Mahindra Group, announced plans to use the company’s manufacturing facilities to make ventilators to fight the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the Mahindra Group’s engineering and design teams worked on manufacturing ventilators and building prototypes. India, like many other countries across the world, faces a shortage of life-saving medical devices such as ventilators, which, according to US prez Trump are ‘very expensive.’ (The implication is that the cost of a single ventilator is something like US$ 100,000 or Rs. 75 lakhs).

The company has already indigenously developed a prototype of a bag valve mask, which is commonly known as an Ambu bag and could cost less than Rs 7,500 (US$ 100) according to a company statement. While sharing the update on 26 March 2020, Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra, tweeted, “The company along with two large public sector entities is working with an existing manufacturer of ‘high spec ventilators’ to help them to simplify design and scale-up capacity. On the other hand, we are working on an automated version of the Bag Valve Mask ventilator (also known as Ambu bag). We hope to have a Proto ready in 3 days for approval. Once proven, this design will be made available to all for manufacturing.”

Goenka also acknowledged the support from individuals and other companies towards Mahindra Group’s efforts to make ventilators and said that a prototype is likely ready in 3 days for approval.

Mahindra applauded the team of engineers from his company involved in making the prototypes. He tweeted, “So, so proud of our Kandivali and Igatpuri teams who confined themselves to the factories and without sleep produced this in 48 hours. With humility, we will seek guidance from specialists on the usefulness of the device. Whatever the outcome, they have shown India fights back.”

Mahindra said in another tweet that the Ambu-bag developed in-house is a game-changer in quickly providing large numbers of low-cost lifesavers, particularly when ICU ventilators are still scarce. “We are simultaneously working with an indigenous maker of ICU ventilators. These are sophisticated machines costing between 5 to 10 lakhs. This device is an interim lifesaver, and the team estimates it will cost below Rs 7,500.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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