When officials in Huntington Beach, Calif., became concerned whether enough ventilators would be available to treat the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, the city turned to Blue-White®, a local manufacturer of chemical metering pumps, flow meters, and water treatment accessories.
City officials asked Blue-White® to quickly develop and build temporary ventilators that met multiple specifications and requirements. Without hesitation, Blue-White’s engineering team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Gledhill, took up the round-the-clock challenge.
“Although the request was outside the scope of the products that Blue-White® has manufactured for more than 60 years, we jumped at this opportunity to be of service,” said Gledhill.
“The initial design parameters called for us to automate the manual process of squeezing a manual valve bag (Ambu Bag) in emergency conditions to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients having difficulty breathing,” he added. “This process is meant to be used as a temporary measure, lasting from a few hours to three days, to sustain a patient until a long-term ventilator becomes available.”
For two weeks, seven of Blue-White’s most experienced engineers – mechanical, electrical, and manufacturing – collaborated with Gledhill to design, develop and test prototypes. They drew on the expertise of local doctors, respiratory therapists, and professors. “With a strong desire to be of service, and with will and determination, we produced what we believe is an exceptionally high-quality and reliable piece of equipment,” said Gledhill. “We developed the Blue-White® Temporary Ventilator using 100 percent in-house parts, raw materials, and existing equipment.” Rob says of team Blue-White’s effort and the resulting success, “We are immensely proud of our engineering team, as well as everyone at Blue-White® who encouraged us in our efforts,” Gledhill said.