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Minnesota Manufacturer Responds to COVID-19 Effort With Ventilator Actuation Prototypes

In an effort to support the global need for medical ventilators, Minnesota-based Tolomatic has dedicated a team of engineers to the development of highly efficient emergency ventilator concept systems using electric linear actuators. The proposed technologies are the first step in creating innovative emergency ventilators for patients around the world.

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tolomatic, a global leader in linear motion technologies, has applied its expertise to develop automation solutions for manual resuscitators, which are needed worldwide to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tolomatic’s solution is a new type of ventilator that operates using an electric linear actuator. These prototypes automate a non-invasive, positive-pressure resuscitator (also self-inflating bag, bag valve mask or ‘AMBU’ bag/Artificial Manual Breathing Unit). The device, used primarily in emergency situations when traditional ventilators are not available, provides oxygen to patients requiring breathing assistance. The bag valve mask is positioned over the patient’s nose and mouth. An assistant manually squeezes the bag to provide airflow via a combination of ambient air and an oxygen cylinder and connecting tube. Squeezing the bag manually is workable for short durations, but not viable for longer term care. It can also create air flow inconsistencies, as well as require extra time and labor to stabilize the patient. Tolomatic’s approach is to automate this traditionally manual process using their electric linear actuators and insure patients would continue to get air for days or weeks.

Tolomatic’s hope is to spark interest and conversation with potential partners in developing a final design solution that can be submitted for approval.

Advantages of Automated ‘Ambu Bag’ via Linear Actuators

Tolomatic screw-driven linear actuators convert rotary power from a servo motor into linear motion. This provides smooth and consistent operation of the system, allowing the device to control the velocity, the acceleration and the distance of any move at any point in time. This controlled motion allows for a more continuous volume of air per compression cycle and a more typical breathing cycle.

Ambu bags with an automated single-direction camming solution or pneumatic actuator do not allow for varying the stroke length; only the breath frequency. As a result, the “tidal volume” of air flow to the patient is always the same, and the motion profile is counter to a typical breath cycle.

In contrast, linear actuator systems can change the frequency of the induced respirations and also the volume, which is not possible with fixed displacement rotary devices. The total control of motion from a linear electric actuator allows for much more flexible air flow that could now be modified for a patient’s age, size or current needs.

This solution offers reliable long life, and has the ability to integrate in alarm features in case of motor faults, or possible sensors around the airflow quantity and quality.

Tolomatic Seeks Partners for Final Design Solution

“We are not a medical device manufacturer and this design has not been approved by any regulatory bodies,” said Andy Zaske, vice president of sales and marketing, Tolomatic. “However, many of our customers are, and our hope is that this might spark some interest in partnering with us on an approved final design solution. We stand ready to offer our motion control expertise to help solve critical challenges during this time. Contact us for assistance with your applications. Together we will make it happen!”

About Tolomatic

For over 65 years, Tolomatic has been a leading supplier of electric linear actuators, pneumatic actuators and power transmission products for factory automation. Its extensive product line also includes servo-driven high-force actuators and configured linear-motion systems. Tolomatic’s electric linear and pneumatic actuators are used in a variety of industries, including the automotive, packaging, material handling, medical, food processing, entertainment and general automation industries. For more information, contact Tolomatic, 3800 County Road 116, Minneapolis, MN 55340. Phone: 763-478-8000 or 800-328-2174.

www.tolomatic.com.

Visit Tolomatic’s Linear Actuator Blog

IMAGES, PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS

Images: https://www.dropbox.com/transfer/AAAAANW1ur0TwmbN8Mi39fo538R18Z06mENNCvHAUsP9YIXrf6H_qqk

Photos 1a and b: Ambu bag prototypes

Tolomatic electric linear actuators can be used in ambu bags to automate a non-invasive, positive-pressure resuscitator, providing a more continuous volume of air per compression cycle and a more typical breathing cycle. Tolomatic’s hope is to spark interest and conversation with potential partners in developing a final solution that can be submitted for approval. Shown: Prototype with ERD rod actuator (left); prototype with BCS rodless actuator (right).

Photo 2a and b: Prototype with ERD rodstyle actuator

A Tolomatic design concept uses the ERD rod-style screw drive electric actuator to automate the ambu bag’s manual process, controlling the velocity, acceleration and distance of any move at any point in time. Automating the manual process enables non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for extended periods of time (days or weeks).

Photo 3a and b: Prototype with BCS rodless actuator

A Tolomatic design concept uses the BCS rodless screw drive electric actuator to automate the ambu bag’s manual process, controlling the velocity, acceleration and distance of any move at any point in time. Automating the manual process enables non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for extended periods of time (days or weeks).

Contacts

Media contact:
Laudan Fenster
[email protected]
651-216-9827

Tolomatic contact:
Andy Zaske
[email protected]