Ventilator: how to solve the supply of hundreds of parts

Affected by the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, prevention and control measures have been tightened around the world, and the smooth and orderly operation of the global industrial chain supply chain has been impacted to varying degrees. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China held a meeting on April 17 and proposed the tasks of “six guarantees” such as ensuring the stability of the supply chain of the industrial chain. So, how to deal with the impact of the epidemic on the supply chain of the industrial chain? From now on, this newspaper will launch a series of reports on “stable supply chain stability”, so stay tuned.

There are hundreds of parts for a ventilator, and the industry chain is spread all over the world. At present, most of the core component supply of ventilator comes from Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and other countries. Although there are also domestic manufacturers, the performance is different from foreign products. When the overseas epidemic situation has not been fundamentally alleviated, there is still a link in the ventilator supply chain, which makes the production capacity subject to customization.

Accumulated supply

Nearly 47,000 ventilators

On April 17, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology organized a video conference to promote the orderly production and supply of planed ventilator. The meeting emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen the coordination of the industrial chain, assist enterprises to solve the problems of parts and components supply, coordinate the upstream and downstream coordination of the industrial chain to promote production and increase production; strengthen quality and safety control, strengthen the quality supervision and after-sales service of raw materials, processes, and factory inspection System.

According to the medical material production guarantee situation introduced by the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism Press Conference, as of April 8, China has cumulatively supplied nearly 290,000 various types of ventilators (including 3,000 ventilators) to various countries There are nearly 18,000 similar ventilators (including more than 4,000 ventilators).

It is understood that the ventilator is mainly divided into two types of planing ventilator and non-planing ventilator. The non-planing ventilator belongs to the second type of medical equipment. It is usually an active assisted breathing for general patients. There is no need to cause trauma to the body. A mask is used to provide ventilation through the nose to assist the patient in breathing. Invasive ventilator belongs to the third category of medical equipment, usually for high-risk emergency patients to passively maintain breathing, built-in turbine or external high-pressure oxygen, cut the trachea in the neck, use a cannula to connect the ventilator to the trachea to provide patients with Ventilation support.

Yuan Zhen, deputy general manager of Jiangsu Yuyue Medical Equipment Co., Ltd., said in an interview with a reporter from China Electronics News that noninvasive ventilators and invasive ventilators are used for patients in different states. When the patient is mild, the nasal high-flow humidification treatment instrument supplements the patient with oxygen. If the disease progresses to a certain degree and the gas exchange function cannot be successfully completed independently, non-invasive ventilator-assisted breathing is needed to promote cardiopulmonary coupling enhancement, thereby absorbing more oxygen, expelling the carbon dioxide generated in the body, and avoiding hypoxemia and hypercarbonation. Hememia. Invasive ventilator is usually used in ICU when the patient has been unable to breathe spontaneously in a particularly serious situation or even critically ill.

The upstream and downstream industrial chains of ventilator production are long, and the technical threshold is high. How can China further increase the capacity of ventilator?

Chips and algorithms determine the quality of the ventilator

The ventilator is a medical device, which is difficult to develop and requires high accuracy and sensitivity. Yuan Zhen told reporters that the ventilator needs to accurately monitor the breathing signals of the human body, control the rhythm, flow and pressure of the breath, and accurately control the pressurization and decompression of the fan through the software. Pressure ventilation therapy. The requirements for effectiveness, safety, comfort and noise level are relatively high, so the requirements for hardware performance and software algorithms are more stringent.

“Taking Yuyue as an example, we have set up a silent room and a semi-anechoic room to test where the noise of the ventilator appears, as well as the sound and sound, built an EMC electromagnetic compatibility laboratory, and purchased a large number of clinical test equipment Carry out a large number of experimental tests and clinical verification to ensure the safety, effectiveness and reliability of the ventilator. “Yuan Zhen said.

Zhao Baoyue, deputy general manager of CCID Consulting’s Internet of Things Industry Research Center, said that the components of the ventilator include compressors, turbo fans, sensors, chips, circuit boards, filters, valves, display devices and so on. The core components are mainly turbofans, sensors, chips, etc. The software and chips are the key to the big data processing of the ventilator. Domestic supporting enterprises mainly include MCU chips, FPC (flexible circuit boards), gas flow sensors, pressure sensors, temperature and humidity sensors, magnetic sensors, heat flow meters and other related production enterprises.

Liu Jiping, founder and chief strategist of Hangshun Chip, told China Electronics News that the quality of the ventilator and its effectiveness depend on the MCU’s processing capabilities and software algorithm technology capabilities. According to the air supply method, the core technical difficulty of the ventilator is divided into low, medium and high grades. The processing capabilities of the MCU chip performance and key algorithms determine the quality of the ventilator. High performance, better stability and reliability.

Hao Yongjin, chairman and general manager of Xiamen Bolian Technology Co., Ltd., told reporters that the difficulty of FPC for invasive ventilator lies in the non-magnetic local area, stable electronic signal, strong resistance to electromagnetic dry scratch and other extreme performance requirements; sensors The difficulty of FPC is reflected in high integration, 3D folding and assembly in a small space, ultra-thin and thin, stable electronic signals, and strong resistance to electromagnetic interference. After continuous innovation, the FPC for Pylon Technology ventilator has been used in large quantities in top international medical companies. Gao Shengguo, technical director of Zhengzhou Weisheng Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., said that at present, the performance of domestic flow sensors and pressure sensors can already meet the needs of the whole machine, but the short-term production capacity cannot meet the market outbreak demand.

There is still a link in the industry chain

The reporter learned during the interview that the main factor restricting the further increase of ventilator output is the supply capacity of upstream manufacturers. Due to the large number of non-invasive ventilator production parts and the long supply chain involved, only the production capacity of each supplier in the industrial chain can be synchronized to increase the output of the ventilator.

“From the Spring Festival to the present, the company’s key products related to the epidemic have not been stopped, and they have been working overtime to produce a little bit. At present, Yuyue can produce 1500 non-invasive ventilators every day. Even so, it still cannot meet market demand.” Yuan Zhen told reporters from China Electronics News.

“There are hundreds of parts for a ventilator, and the industrial chain is spread all over the world. The globalization of the industrial chain restricts the capacity and efficiency of ventilator. At present, most of the core components supplied by ventilator are from Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Although other European countries have domestic production, there are differences in performance and overseas products, and there is still a link in the ventilator industry chain. “Zhao Zhenyue said.

It is gratifying that the competent department has begun to organize the docking of domestic excellent sensor and chip companies and ventilator companies to form a joint research team. Yuan Bao told reporters: “Joint research is the most feasible way at present. The whole machine enterprise puts forward related chip and sensor needs and demands. The component company conducts research and development according to the demand, and the products produced are verified by the whole machine enterprise. Medical product verification takes a long time. Therefore, joint research may not solve the problem of capacity in the past two months, but in the future, this cooperation is very necessary. ”

Yuan Zhen also said that aside from the epidemic, for the sake of supply chain security, supplier response speed, service capability and cost, they will choose domestic component companies for matching under the same conditions.

“Because the biggest problem for overseas companies is that the supply chain is uncontrollable, and the delivery time is relatively long, and the response speed is relatively slow. For example, when we adjust the technical solution, foreign component manufacturers will not immediately improve according to the requirements. Therefore, we are very willing to Cooperate with domestic suppliers to do some common R & D and innovation to achieve localized support. “Yuan Zhen said.

He also suggested that domestic component manufacturers should further improve product quality and reduce production costs. When the production order returns to normal, they can participate in international market competition with high-quality products.

When referring to the production of ventilators by the three major car companies in North America, Yuan Zhen said that the production of ventilators has high technical barriers and thresholds, without long-term technical accumulation, verification testing, and rich clinical knowledge, I want to produce in a short time The ventilator is quite difficult. “This is also the reason why a well-known American car company and the UAE government department are seeking cooperation with Yuyue, let us carry out technology and production line output, and establish a ventilator production line in North America and the UAE.”