Production to start by early June
Ashok Leyland Ltd. (ALL), the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, has developed a low-cost ventilator which it would start manufacturing by early June 2020.
“We have developed a first-mile ventilator. Usually, it is called a respirator. We have mechanised it and converted it into a ventilator using sensors and controls. We will start producing it by early June,” said a senior ALL official on the condition of anonymity.
According to him, a team of 50 ALL engineers had developed readied this the ventilator at low cost but with all the essential features. The development phase had been completed. Testing, certification and clinical trials would conclude in the next few weeks, said the company in a statement.
“Initially, we will produce 40 units per day and then, production can be doubled every three days. We are not looking at big numbers or putting up a new production line. The product will be sold by our resellers,” the official said.
Additionally, it has tied up with two city-based firms — Kriti Kare India Pvt. Ltd. and Phoenix Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd. — to assist them in overcoming the challenges of large scale production ofmid-range and high-end ventilators in a short span of time. These ventilators will be available from the middle of this month-May 2020.
Under this arrangement, ALL will help with component sourcing, supply chain, logistics, manpower for production planning and in-line quality maintenance which will help the manufacturers, said ALL in a statement.
“We have teamed-up with ALL who are providing us major support in developing these ventilators. Our ventilators will be majorly used in the treatment of COVID-19 80% of cases pertaining to COVID-19 patient. We will be supplying 250 pieces in May, 1,000 in June and 4,000 in July. Till recently, we were making about 40 units per week as the demand was less,” said G. Krishna Kumar, managing director, Kriti Kare.
According to Mr. Kumar, the ventilators required the import of certain critical components and ALL chipped in to help them. Since 2014, the company had supplied 220 units across the country. It had 11 employees and plans to add 40 more to ramp up its production.
Meawhile, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. said that it had sent ventilators (prototype 4) made by France’s Air Liquide Medical to the Tamil Nadu Government and was awaiting its nod.
HMIL had tied up with the Indian subsidiary of French company Air Liquide Healthcare to supply ventilators that was made in from its Sriperumbudur factory. Hyundai offered its facility to ramp up and reduce cost of production.
Meanwhile, ALL reported nil sales during April 2020 due to closure of plants across India to combat COVID-19.
ALL had sold 13,626 units (domestic sales and exports) during the year-ago period in the medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs) segment comprising trucks, buses and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). Of this, exports alone during April 2019 stood at 485 units.
“These are truly unprecedented times, and both the government and industry need to work even more closely across the supply chain to bring the industry back on its feet. The recovery of the auto industry is vital for the revival of the overall economy. For the first time ever in the history of the automotive industry in India, we have seen a ‘zero sale’ month in April 2020,” saidVipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland.
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