This development is the first such breakthrough by a production unit and RCF came out with the prototype within a week of receiving the instructions from the government to explore the possibility of making ventilators.
Indian Railways’ Rail Coach Factory becomes first PSU to develop prototype of ventilator! The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) situated in Kapurthala, has developed a prototype of a ventilator to be used in the isolation wards or quarantine facilities which Indian Railways is creating in train coaches across the network. According to an IE report, this development is the first such breakthrough by a production unit and RCF came out with the prototype within a week of receiving the instructions from the government to explore the possibility of making ventilators. The prototype has an original design and will cost almost a fraction of what the regular ventilators cost.
The prototype has been named ‘Jeevan’ and now, the Indian Council of Medical Research or ICMR will conduct the final testing of the prototype. The test and results by ICMR will affirm whether the ventilator will be put for production across the Indian Railways network. The in-house medical professionals of Rail Coach Factory have tested the prototype and given the approval for the same. Ravinder Gupta, General Manager, RCF has said that the cost of the ventilator will be under Rs 10,000 without the compressor. So, overall, the cost will still remain to be a fraction of what the other regular ventilators are priced in the market.
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He added that it can be utilized as an emergency ventilator and its production is easy, which can be done with the smaller size components or locally sourced components. The body of the ventilator has been made from the train coach components. The heart of the ventilator is the compressed air container and it has a microprocessor based controller. A valve has been installed in the system for regulating the breathing of the patient, whether old or young. The operations of the device will be silent. The prototype is not based on reverse engineering but it has been prepared as an original design from scratch. RCF used emergency transit services to source two parts for the ventilator, amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
Indian Railways engineers, plant designers and a group of medical professionals from RCF hospital are behind the development of this device. The intellectual property rights of the ventilator will belong to RCF.
RCF, Kapurthala is one of India’s premier production units which manufactures the technologically superior LHB or Linke Hoffman Busche train coaches. The railways officials, designers and engineers are working on the preparation of the technical documents for ICMR’s perusal. By the coming week, the prototype will be sent to ICMR for testing according to instructions from the Railway Board.