Enschede/Eindhoven, July 2014
DEMCON subsidiary delivers first series of ventilator modules
Developer of artificial respiration equipment Macawi Medical Systems of Eindhoven, taken over last year by the Enschede high-end technology supplier DEMCON, has delivered its first series of products. Macawi achieved this milestone in close cooperation with its parent company, which provided support for the further development and took care of the production. Geert van Dijk, Macawi’s CTO, explains: “Our customers find the combination of an engineering firm with so much ventilator expertise unique.”
Developer of artificial respiration equipment Macawi was set up in 2010 after the German Dräger Medical had decided to close its Dutch operation in Best. Geert van Dijk worked there as R&D Senior Technology Leader and had been involved since the seventies in the development of ventilator equipment and anaesthesia systems. Together with four Dräger colleagues, he did not want to allow the loss of this artificial respiration knowledge which is unique to the Netherlands. Under the name Macawi, they carried on with the development of an innovative high-dynamic centrifugal blower. This fits in with the trend to ventilate any patient, from premature infant to adult, with one device, by changing only the hoses. One year ago, DEMCON took over the business; its full name is now Macawi Medical Systems.
Together, Macawi and DEMCON developed a high dynamic control system for the centrifugal blower and they gave the module a redesign, reports Geert van Dijk, Macawi’s present CTO. “We made the module even better and more reliable.” The heart of Macawi’s centrifugal blower is a motor that, thanks to its clever construction and material choices, can reach no less than 90,000 rpm. This ensures that the ventilation can react to the patient immediately (at up to 200 breaths per minute), so that they never miss a breath. With its sophisticated control unit, the motor runs with low energy consumption and produces minimal heat and noise. This, added to the robust construction (also suitable for transport ventilator equipment in an ambulance or emergency helicopter) ensures a long service life – the design assumes 40,000 operating hours, or at least five years (in continuous service). “Our module is unique through the complete functionality it offers, and our customers also find the combination of an engineering firm with so much ventilator expertise unique.” DEMCON took care of getting the module production-ready, organised the supply chain, and set up an efficient assembly and test line in house. Due to this, Macawi is now ready to supply its technology in the form of an OEM module to manufacturers of complete ventilator systems and also to make customer-specific ventilator modules.
In June, all was ready. Macawi could deliver the first series of 25 customer-specific ventilator modules to a customer in Germany. Contracts have been made with other European customers, and discussions are under way with potential buyers from places including Asia and the US. For the time being, 25 units a month are going to the first customer. Within two to three years, Macawi intends to ship 250 or more modules a month to different customers, depending on the market success of their new systems into which they are integrating the Macawi module.
Besides the unique technology, Macawi’s Geert van Dijk points to the time-to-market as a success factor. “Our modules are interesting to customers because they no longer have to invest in the development. They can integrate the module straight into their systems and that gives them an edge in the market. Because we have already taken responsibility for the development. We ourselves possess all the specific knowledge for this and with DEMCON we absorb the peaks; their strength is that they have all the disciplines in house. Together, we have improved the reproducibility and service life of our modules.”
DEMCON (over 200 staff) is a high-end technology supplier of mechatronic products and systems, with as focus areas high-tech systems and medical devices. The company gained the certificate for ISO 13485 in 2011. This quality certificate for medical resources, just like the takeover of Macawi, fits in with the strategy to grow on the international medical market. The head office is situated in Enschede. There are subsidiary sites in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Oldenzaal and Münster (Germany).