| California pump manufacturer engages resources to develop temporary ventilator
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California pump manufacturer engages resources to develop temporary ventilator

When officials in Huntington Beach, Calif., became concerned whether enough ventilators would be available to treat the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, the city turned to Blue-White Industries, a local manufacturer of chemical metering pumps, flowmeters and water treatment accessories.

City officials asked Blue-White, a longstanding member of the American Water Works Association, to quickly develop and build temporary ventilators that met multiple Rob Gledhillspecifications and requirements. Without hesitation, Blue-White’s engineering team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Gledhill (pictured right), took up the round-the-clock challenge.

“Although the request was outside the scope of the products that Blue-White has manufactured for more than 60 years, we jumped at this opportunity to be of service,” said Gledhill.

“The initial design parameters called for us to automate the manual process of squeezing a manual valve bag (Ambu Bag) in emergency conditions to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients having difficulty breathing,” he added. “This process is meant to be used as a temporary measure, lasting from a few hours to three days, to sustain a patient until a long-term ventilator becomes available.”

Blue-White staff collaborateFor two weeks, seven of Blue-White’s most experienced engineers – mechanical, electrical and manufacturing – collaborated with Gledhill to design, develop and test prototypes. They drew on the expertise of local doctors, respiratory therapists and professors. (Photos courtesy of Blue-White)

“With a strong desire to be of service, and with will and determination, we produced what we believe is an exceptionally high-quality and reliable piece of equipment,” said Gledhill. “We developed the Blue-White Temporary Ventilator using 100 percent in-house parts, raw materials and existing equipment.”

Blue-White’s ventilator (pictured right) currently is in long-term testing and has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval. In the meantime, Blue-Blue-White's temporary ventilatorWhite’s team is developing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack so the ventilator can be portable.

As the provider of an essential service for the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, the manufacturer has taken precautionary measures to protect the health of its employees, customers and partners, in order to remain open for normal business.

“We are immensely proud of our engineering team, as well as everyone at Blue-White who encouraged us in our efforts,” Gledhill said.