In response to a pressing world-wide need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Husky Corporation engineers have designed a rapid-manufacture ventilator. The units are simple, yet reliable. The Husky ventilators can be produced inexpensively from readily available components, delivered at minimal cost, and used promptly with little operator training.

Here is a short video clip showing how the Husky ventilator operates:


Necessity is the Mother of Invention: “How Can We Squeeze This Bag?”

Ventilators take over when a patient’s lungs don’t function, or even fail, which is a condition of those most aggressively affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has created a severe shortage of ventilators, which are often very expensive devices.

The inspiration for the Husky ventilator was prompted when nurse anesthetist Nick Till asked his friend, Husky Corporation Engineering Manager Zach Holcomb, if he could think of ways to use manual resuscitator bags as stand-alone respirators. “How can we automatically squeeze this bag?” prompted Holcomb and Husky Design Engineer Derek Willers to launch the project.

The result in a few short days produced a ventilator apparatus using a standard size 1500ml resuscitator bag, compressed by a rubber ram attached to an air cylinder that is used in product testing applications. The apparatus will deliver air or oxygen at adjustable flow rates appropriate for patients in need.

Husky, designated an ‘essential industry’ as part of the Defense Industrial Base by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during the Covid-19 outbreak, believes it will be able to produce approximately 500 ventilators weekly.

The Husky ventilator embodies the “necessity is the mother of invention” approach taken by U.S. industry in response to mobilization during World War II; equipment was made quickly and without a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ that would add time and cost.


Next: Confirmation of Feasibility

The proof of concept for the Husky ventilator is comprised of readily available components or those which could quickly be produced with a 3D printer. The key component is the air cylinder, operated by compressed air, to “squeeze” the resuscitation bag repeatably and reliably. It’s the same type of air cylinder used in the equipment Husky Corporation uses to test its industry-leading fuel nozzles and components, which often require test cycles that number in excess of several hundred thousand or more without failure.

The ventilator progressed from idea to proof of concept in approximately one week, with refinements and improvements already being added to enhance the programmable controls that adjust the flow rate and compression frequency with precision and ease. Husky is actively seeking confirmation of the feasibility of the ventilator apparatus from a biomedical engineer, pulmonologist, respiratory therapist or similar medical expert prior to making the product available.

Husky is additionally looking at an electric version of the ventilator, rather than one that uses compressed air, for use in areas away from hospital rooms that do not have access to compressed air. The company is also exploring applications where the ventilator could be deployed to third world countries, where a low-cost ventilator would be potentially invaluable.

Contact Husky Corporation at 800 325 3558 for additional information.