Greetings all

Over the last couple of days I have been considering different ways that the issues with the provision & manufacture of ventilators & PPE equipment could be addressed.

I have come to the conclusion that one actually has to be quite selective with different levels of efficacy & efficiency in terms of time & exaction to standards, there are inconveniences and conveniences that have to be taken into account.

For these reasons I have identified 5 different approaches with some quick off-the-head advantages & disadvantages.

Option 1, Open Source:

New designs which incorporate entirely flexible manufacturing techniques
+ Guides to Manufacture & Assembly

- Minimal supply chain requirements

- Higher & more stringent engineering analysis requirements
- Needs to pass red tape

Option 2, Open Source:

New designs which incorporate entirely bought-in parts
+ Guides to Assembly

- Existing manufacturing equipment

- Harder to optimise effectively, less flexible in terms of component interfacing
- Needs to pass red tape

Option 3, Open Source:

Hybrid designs incorporating a mixture of the above
(This one best fits the designs shown on here so far I believe)
+ Guides to Manufacture & Assembly

- Greater vulnerability to setup & provision failure / hold ups

- Tailoring for specific locations e.g. engineering business heavy areas or especially straigthforwards proximity to both 3D printers & part suppliers
- Needs to pass red tape in severe cases

Option 4, Existing Manufacturers:

Replication & Reverse Engineering services for manufacturing processes for existing products (Metrology, Scanning,
+ (supplied by manufacturer)

- No or minimal red tape as already approved
- No upfront design elements
- Strongly centralised & existing supply chain / supplier list
- No or minimal IP conflicts if they are a factor

- Slow response as entire lines need completion
- Large, complex operations
- Larger organisation & range of skillsets required
- Strong QHSE & logistics requirements (complete machinery)

Option 5, Existing Manufacturers:

Augmentations for existing or related products
+ Guides to Manufacture, Operations & Assembly


- Responsive air multipliers / multiple tubes (see Elon Musk twitter discussion etc.)
- Multi-machine control & monitoring to relieve strain on training of staff
- Modifications of existing similar equipment (industrial masks, diving equipment)

- Reduced manufacturing & manning requirements
- Minimal upfront design elements

- Red tape
- Specific training / usage
- Highly specific Part sourcing
- Hard to optimise

I am considering starting up a business/organisation to deal with the crisis by way of Option 4 which is my pet favourite but mileage may differ.

Let me know what you chaps think in the comments below.

Best regards

Joseph K.