In Demand: Ventilator Electronic Parts and Components Shortage in China

by | Apr 28, 2020 | COVID-19

A Rapidly Changing Situation

With the daily uptick in new infections of the novel coronavirus comes mass confusion and panic. World nations are co-operating with each other to help stop the spread of the virus, but are nonetheless competing for badly-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes face shields, masks, and most of all, ventilators.

Since the coronavirus is an upper respiratory infection, a great number of vulnerable patients – mostly the elderly – are in need of breathing apparatuses, particularly because of the high proportion of cases having spread in long-term care facilities. As a result, countries the world over are competing for supply while tech and automakers such as General Motors and Ford are switching priority and retrofitting their plants to manufacture ventilators en masse.

Even so, altering modes of production can take several months because ventilator manufacturing is a precision process requiring several steps. As it stands, the global supply can only fill about one-tenth of worldwide demand, and despite the concerted effort, the progress of ventilator manufacturers is hampered by looming (and inevitable) shortages in badly-needed ventilator components.

Ventilator Electronic Parts and Components Shortage in China

Many of the parts in desperate demand come from China, which, in normal circumstances, has the supply to meet the worldwide demand. However, the extraordinary and rapid switch to manufacturing ventilators is straining China’s supply of parts. Recent reports show that, currently, China is only able to meet approximately twenty percent of current global demand.

Efforts to supply the new swath of manufacturers are further throttled by mobility constraints. Since much of the world’s travel has been effectively halted – including a flight ban in China, shippers of ventilator components are finding it difficult to send sensors, chips, and controllers. In some cases, the parts are available, but they are unable to ship them.

Further straining the supply are the various health and safety standards, which differ from country to country. Ventilators are complex machines, and as such, have to meet varying degrees of stringent quality and safety standards, necessitating time to convert to suit the regulations of different countries. The situation is exacerbated by strictures on medical exports enforced by the Chinese government.

China has consulted other countries that make ventilator components for supplies. Foreign minister Wang Yi recently called upon Switzerland, a long-time manufacturer of ventilator components and one of only a handful in the world, for aid in supplying Chinese manufacturers.

Coordinated Efforts to Meet Supply

The fate of ventilator manufacturers, then, faces an uncertain future. Hospitals have been forced to admit only patients needing intensive care, and because of the terrible shortage of ventilators, countries such as Italy have been forced into the terrible position of having to choose who gets a ventilator. Manufacturers are as yet unable to keep up with the soaring number of infections partly because of the shortages of chips, circuit boards, tubes, and controllers, many of which come from China.

However, medical supplies companies like MyBioGate are significantly ramping up the effort to supply worldwide ventilator manufacturers.

MyBioGate is working with the largest and the most reliable manufacturers in China to provide anti-epidemic medical products and help source raw materials too. They are currently in high demand for ventilator parts and components. If you have any of these supplies in stock, please contact Dr. Ding at [email protected].