Canadian Manufacturing

NSK Monocarrier accelerates certification of ventilators for COVID-19

The Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0 employs a "frictionless" piston design

November 16, 2020  by CM Staff

StarFish Medical Ventilator

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — StarFish Medical has called on NSK to deliver up to 7,500 Monocarrier linear actuator assemblies for use in their Winnipeg 2.0 Ventilator.

In early Spring 2020, the Canadian government announced Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19, authorizing the immediate production of ventilators by a group of companies led by StarFish Medical. Over the course of just 6 months, a redesign of the original Winnipeg Ventilator was developed, suppliers were selected, and government certification was granted.

According to Michael Stofferahn, Senior vice-president, NSK Americas, “The entire NSK Americas organization has responded with speed and precision in providing the engineering and manufacturing support that medical suppliers need in this period of crisis. That we can deliver for a company like StarFish Medical is testament to our rapid design and engineering capabilities, highly scalable production capacities, and our agile logistics platform.”

The Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0 employs a “frictionless” piston design. The piston is precision-machined so that its diameter is only a fraction of a millimeter smaller than the diameter of the cylinder in which it moves along a central axis. The absence of a physical seal or contact between piston and cylinder reduces the resistance to piston motion, making it possible to obtain very high flow rates, according to the company.

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StarFish Medical engaged Toronto-based Celestica, Inc. to co-ordinate the supply chain and its vendor network for manufacturing.

“As soon as we received the StarFish innovative and manufacturable design for the new Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0, we leveraged our engineering, supply chain, and certified manufacturing expertise to source critical parts and begin production of up to 7,500 units without delay,” said Kevin Walsh, vice-president, Celestica. “These ventilators are essential to treating critically-ill COVID-19 patients, so speeding time-to-market has never been more critical.”

The Monocarrier rodless linear actuator series combines three core NSK Automation technologies: precision-ground ball screws, linear guides with K1 lubrication, and support bearings.