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Mahindra begins manufacturing face shields at Kandivali plant

30th Mar 2020 6:35 pm

The carmaker has begun manufacturing face shields based on a design from the Ford Motor Corporation.

Mahindra & Mahindra, which is actively engaged in the fight against coronavirus and is assisting the government of India and medical services, has begun the manufacture of a face shield that’s developed from a design sourced from Ford Motor Corporation.

Company MD, Pawan Goenka, tweeted earlier today (March 30) that the company was beginning to manufacture the face shields at its Kandivali plant. A few hours later Vijay Kalra, CEO, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd and chief of manufacturing operation – automotive sector, M&M, tweeted that one of the canteens had been converted into a face shield assembly shop.

Designed and tested by Ford’s U.S. design team for medical workers and first responders, the face shield fully blocks the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids. When paired with N95 respirators, it can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than the respirators alone.

The ongoing Mahindra and Ford collaborative effort is a good example of automotive industry alliance partners contributing to the fight against coronavirus.

M&M also working on developing sophisticated, low-cost ventilator

Meanwhile, the company, is concurrently working on developing a sophisticated but low-cost ventilator. On March 26, in a series of tweets, Dr Goenka had said that Mahindra & Mahindra, along with two large PSUs, is working with an existing manufacturer of high-spec ventilators to help simplify the design and also scale up manufacturing capacity.

The company is hopeful of having a prototype of an automated version of the bag-type mask ventilator (known as Ambu bag) very soon. An update on this is expected on March 29. Dr Goenka's tweet read, "Once proven, this design will be made available to all for manufacturing."

It is understood that the company's personnel at the Kandivali and Igatpuri plants in Maharashtra are working to develop this low-cost ventilator, estimated to cost around Rs 7,500. Referring to the same, Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra, tweeted: "This could be a game changer in quickly providing large numbers of low-cost lifesavers, particularly when ICU ventilators are still scarce."

As per medical dictionaries, an Ambu Bag is a self-refilling bag-valve-mask unit with a 1- to 1.5-litre capacity, used for artificial respiration, which, while suboptimal for the non-intubated patient, is effective in ventilating and oxygenating intubated patients, allowing both spontaneous and artificial respiration.

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