ISTANBUL, Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The University of Cambridge Open Ventilator System Initiative team, supported by Europe’s leading consumer durables company Arçelik, with its subsidiaries Beko in the UK and Defy in South Africa, has received The President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service. The award was presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a result of their efforts in manufacturing affordable ventilators for developing countries during the pandemic.
Awards given by the Royal Academy of Engineering seek to recognise and reward the very best engineering talent whose achievements make a huge impact on society.
Cambridge-based experts assembled a global manufacturing team comprising of Defy and Denel in South Africa, Prodrive and Beko in the UK and Arçelik in Turkey to develop a high-performance ventilator for manufacture in South Africa. The ventilator became the first intensive care ventilator to be manufactured in the continent.
The initiative brought together extensive research, design, manufacturing and testing capabilities to enable the mass production of cost-effective mechanical ventilators named Impilo at Defy’s Jacobs factory in KwaZulu-Natal.
This project mirrors COVID-19 relief efforts undertaken by Arçelik, which, to date, has produced 5,000 life-saving mechanical ventilators at its electronics facility in Turkey on a not-for-profit basis, to meet both domestic and international demand. 2,607 of these ventilators have already been sent to 18 countries including some of the hardest hit African countries such as Somalia, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Libya. Now, the advanced technology, manufacturing and supply chain capabilities of Arçelik and its brands are leveraged through the power of collaboration to help save more lives in countries in need and in particular, Africa.
Polat Şen, CFO of Arçelik, responsible of Sub-Saharan Africa operations, says: «We’re honoured to have been involved in The Open Ventilator System Initiative alongside many talented academics, experts and engineers. It’s a source of pride to be recognized with the Royal Engineering Academy Award, considering the potential impact of this initiative on hardly challenged developing countries. Our team has played a vital part in fighting coronavirus and the project should be held up as a model example of cross-industry collaboration. At Arçelik we want to be part of the solution; working collectively with businesses and governments to fight COVID-19 globally.»
With over 30,000 employees throughout the world, 12 brands (Arçelik, Beko, Grundig, Blomberg, ElektraBregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, Defy, Altus, Dawlance, Voltas Beko), sales and marketing offices in 34 countries, and 23 production facilities in 9 countries, Arçelik offers products and services in more than 140 countries. As Europe’s second largest white goods company according to market share ranking based on quantity, Arçelik reached a consolidated turnover of 5 billion Euros in 2019. With almost 70% of its profits coming from the international markets, Arçelik is the R&D leader in Turkey – holding more than 3,000 international patent applications to date with the efforts of 1,600 researchers in 15 R&D and Design Centers in Turkey and R&D Offices across five countries.
Impilo is a full-function ventilator and can therefore be used whether a patient is sedated in an invasive mode, or requires assisted ventilation triggered by their own breathing while awake in non-invasive settings, and also with patient-triggered conditions.
Prototype versions of Impilo were developed under the specifications of the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the World Health Organisation’s requirements for ventilators. Pre-production versions of the ventilator have been manufactured in the United Kingdom and are locally manufactured by Defy and Denel Land Systems. The production version is being fast-tracked by Defy Appliances and Denel Land System to ensure it is ready to be delivered in South Africa.
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