To battle the coronavirus outbreak, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team manufactured an assisted breathing device approved by the British health system. A hundred devices will be delivered.
Last week, the F1 teams based in England joined forces in the Pitlane Project, to manufacture medical equipment to be used to help people affected by the coronavirus. Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, the division of the German manufacturer dedicated to engine development and design, is already able to manufacture assisted breathing devices, and more specifically continuous positive pressure ventilation (CPAP).
The project was launched on March 18 and it took less than 100 hours for Mercedes to make its first device. The engine manufacturer worked with engineers from University College London (UCL), the city’s oldest university, and University College London Hospitals (UCLH), a university hospital center. The project required a reverse engineering journey to understand how a CPAP works, so Mercedes could build the first model approved by the National Health Service (NHS), the public health system in the United Kingdom.
The production of a hundred devices will now begin. They will be supplied to hospitals in all countries after clinical trials at UCLH. UCL specifies that approximately 50% of the patients who received a continuous positive pressure ventilation assistance did not need mechanical ventilation, more invasive, but that the CPAP are not present in a sufficient number in the British hospitals.
F1 brings its unique know-how
Formula 1 teams have skills that are particularly useful in the current situation, particularly for rapidly manufacturing parts, and many of them offer their know-how.
“The Formula 1 community has expressed an impressive response to the call for support and unity in the Pitlane Project, to support national needs through various projects,” said Andy Cowell, head of the engine division from Mercedes. “We are proud to have put our resources at the service of UCL to complete the CPAP project as best as possible and as quickly as possible. ”
UCL believes that Mercedes played an essential role in this project: “It is a privilege to have been able to count on the capacity of Formula 1 (through) a collaboration made possible by the strong links between UCL Mechanical Engineering and (Mercedes ) HPP, ”said Professor of Mechanical Engineering Tim Baker.
As we reported this week, Mercedes-Benz has also recently offered its support with the manufacturing of medical equipment. Using high-performance 3D printers, individual components can be produced to serve hospitals that are in urgent need of medical equipment.