VALVE WORLD EXPO 2020 in Düsseldorf with many innovations: Valves in the fight against Covid-19
Once vaccines are found, suitable production facilities must be available. Like here by GEA. Photo: GEA
Fast and effective means to fight the coronavirus pandemic are being sought out. Valves, which are used in respirators, for example, are also part of the solution. In addition, facilities equipped with valves must be available to effectively produce treatments and vaccines against Covid-19 in millions of units in short time periods. The valve industry is working flat out on components to play its part in overcoming the crisis.
Hospitals must be supplied with enough medical oxygen – an essential requirement that has been intensified during the coronavirus crisis. “In addition to stationary oxygen tanks, mobile tanks are increasingly being used in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which are urgently needed for temporary hospitals and medical stations”, explains Herose. The company’s valves are used for the technical configuration of these tanks.
According to Herose, the products require a high degree of precision, as well as complete purity, and are therefore particularly suitable for medical oxygen. “They are 100% free of oils, greases and other contaminants. This is essential, as in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere, oils and greases are at risk of quickly self-igniting.” In order to meet the increased demand for valves and to protect the health of employees, the company has worked to optimise its work and production processes. “We are aware that our valves help save lives”, says Martin Maas, Managing Director of the Fluid Technologies EMEA division.
High demand for respirators The global demand for respirators is rapidly increasing in intensive care units in hospitals. To help meet this demand, IMI Precision Engineering has expanded its production capacity for Flatprop valves in Palézieux, Switzerland. These valves control flows “and facilitate highly precise dosing of gases and gas mixtures. These properties make them essential components in respirators”, explains IMI Precision Engineering.
The global demand for respirators is rapidly increasing in intensive care units in hospitals. To help meet this demand, IMI Precision Engineering has expanded its production capacity for Flatprop valves in Palézieux, Switzerland. Photo: IMI Precision Engineering
Respirator manufacturers require a great number of complex individual parts – including safety valves for protection. “We also supply respirator manufacturers and in this way we are contributing to the protection of human life”, explains Goetze Armaturen. But the company’s products are not only found in respirators. “We also support manufacturers in disinfection technology by providing them with parts.”
Valves for FFP masks Hoerbiger Flow Control is also on the front line of crisis management. “Our piezo valves are a key component for respirators”, says Managing Director Philipp Baldermann. “We have major orders from Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.” In some cases, current monthly orders are exceeding the normal annual volume.
Festo also manufactures piezo valves that serve as air and oxygen valves in medical technology. They are noiseless, light, have very short switching times, require little installation space and are suitable for oxygen applications, for example in ventilation technology.
Valves are also part of particle-filtering half-face masks (FFP masks). As exhalation valves they ensure that the exhalation resistance is reduced. This makes FFP (filtering face piece) masks less stressful for the wearer, which is why they are preferred.
Vaccine production facilities The search for treatments and vaccines is being driven forwards on a global scale. Once they are found, suitable production facilities must be available. A process must be established “that not only allows the transfer from laboratory-scale production to million-fold scale, but also one that ensures that the quality, safety and efficacy of each individual batch of vaccine can be checked and reproduced at any time”, says the equipment manufacturer GEA.
In terms of production sensitivity, vaccines differ greatly from many other drugs. “This is because vaccines are biological drugs based on microorganisms. In contrast to chemically synthesised products, they are potentially subject to greater fluctuations. Small changes in production conditions can have a huge impact on the stability of production and the quality of the final product”, explains GEA. A strictly regulated manufacturing process therefore ensures that consistent quality, safety and efficacy are guaranteed. “For all these reasons, existing production facilities and capacities cannot be multiplied simply as desired.” GEA is in a position to develop solutions – from the planning phase through to the manufacture and automation of turnkey facilities and process lines that meet the strict requirements.
Innovative and future-oriented Medical technology is proving to be essential not only in combating the coronavirus, i.e. saving lives, but also in healing and improving quality of life. The industry is regarded as particularly innovative and future-oriented, emphasises the German Medical Technology Association e.V. In recent years, the market for medical technology in Germany, for example, has grown by over 4 percent annually. In light the coronavirus crisis, this year should certainly not be any different. In fact, medical technology will be in great demand beyond the current crisis for the benefit of mankind.
Innovations in the fields of valves well be presented at VALVE WORLD EXPO, the international leading trade fair taking place from 1 – 3 December 2020 at Düsseldorf Fairgrounds. More information can be found under www.valveworldexpo.de.