Altus PLCs are used on mechanical ventilators to fight COVID-19

Altus PLCs are used on mechanical ventilators to fight COVID-19

20 Abr 2021

As previously mentioned a few times on our Blog, Altus is engaged in different projects for the production of equipment that can help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these initiatives has already gone through all stages of development and should be available in the Brazilian national health technology market in the upcoming months. Created by Setup, one of the companies certified by Altus Integrator Certification Program, the project comprises the production of two models of respiratory ventilators using the technology of our products.

The equipment is being developed through a project supported by the partnership between two public agencies that are working on an initiative to encourage the development of products, services or processes aiming to address the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve managed to develop both prototypes and now we are negotiating with two companies to place them on the market. The expectation is that the agreement with one of them will be closed in the coming weeks ”, says one of the associate partners of Setup.

Altus technology base

According to them, the ventilators can reach the market at a cost 25% lower than those currently available in the country. One of the factors that allowed this reduction is directly linked to Altus: the decrease in the dependence on imported components. The equipment uses our  IoT Ready Nexto Xpress PLCs as a technological base, an advanced control and automation solution developed and manufactured in Brazil.

In this application, the Xpress PLC is responsible for the control of all electro-electronic and electro-pneumatic equipment, as well as the user interface, alarms and communication with an HMI. The architecture aims to ensure the functioning of all ventilation modes and premises of the respiratory ventilator.

In addition to the fact that it is a product manufactured in the Brazilian territory, other differentials mentioned by the integrator that made Altus equipment to be chosen for this project were the excellent cost-effectiveness of the Xpress PLC family and the fast and effective service of our Support and Technical Assistance teams.

According to the project, one of the ventilators will be turned to emergencies and another model, more robust and with a greater number of functionalities, for use in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The two pieces of equipment will be manufactured based on the same production platform. Developed by the engineers at Setup, it will be possible to unify the mechanical and pneumatic parts of the equipment through the software designed by the company`s own specialists.

Other design differentials

In addition to the lower cost, other competitive advantages of the ventilators that are being developed by the company in comparison with the ones that already exist on the market, are the noise level as well as the lighter weight, since each piece of equipment weights approximately 16 kgs. “The solution we were able to provide for this problem made our ventilators one of the best in terms of noise emission. In addition, they will be among the lightest on the market, ”says the developer.

Autonomy is another differential of the ventilators developed by the company. The equipment has a battery with a charging capacity for up to six hours of use, which enables its application in remote service centers or in emergency areas such as field hospitals.

In the specific case of the ICU model, which has more complex functionalities, the equipment will still be able to meet an old demand from doctors and nurses: the simplification of procedures.

Based on a specification made in conjunction with the medical community, this equipment would make possible the use of new practices through an emergency button that changes the breathing mode of the equipment, bringing more options for health professionals in the search to save lives, especially in case of a cardiac arrest.

Differentiated commercial conditions for the production of ventilators

A study made by the Brazilian health system agency shows that about 56% of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 need mechanical ventilation to breathe. This data demonstrates the importance that these and other equipment in development can, as soon as possible, strengthen the National Health System in the fight against coronavirus.