Railways innovate a low-cost ventilator

At a time the country is grappling with a shortage of the medical equipment in its fight against coronavirus, Indian Railways has made a low-cost ventilator, Jeevan. Developed at Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory and the brainchild of Ravinder Gupta, general manager of the RCF, the prototype awaits ICMR clearance to go into production. 

It will cost around Rs 10,000 without the compressor. Once we have the ICMR approval, if we have all the materials, we will be able to produce 100 such ventilators a day,” Ravinder Gupta, a 1984-batch mechanical engineering officer of the Railways, stated. 

This medical device has been made from materials found in the factory — the portable compressor is made from an air cooling machine, the body from coach components, the argon flow metre is taken from a laser welding machine and the microprocessor from the coach information system. Additionally, two components were sourced from vendors in Delhi and Noida — a regulator valve and a microprocessor.

Currently, India has a maximum of 57,000 ventilators which cost around Rs 5-Rs 15 lakh, according to a Brookings report. According to estimates, in the worst-case scenario, India might need anywhere between 110,000-220,000 ventilators by May 15.



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