As the state of California scrambles to obtain more ventilators, a Silicon Valley company has stepped up and is refurbishing older ventilators to fill the urgent need during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo toured the Bloom Energy facility in Sunnyvale, where work on the ventilators is already underway.
“At the end of the day, we know the one treatment that works is ventilators, so we need more Blooms,” Newsom said.
Before coronavirus, Bloom Energy was making fuel cells, but the company saw a need and switched gears. The company put together a “tiger team” with government leaders, downloaded a ventilator manual and taught employees overnight how to repair ventilators. They then set up an assembly line and went to work.
“A week ago none of us knew anything about ventilators, but we knew that manufacturing is in our DNA, and innovation is in our DNA,” said K.R. Sridharan, Bloom Energy CEO.
The company delivered its first 20 repaired and upgraded ventilators to hospitals this week and employees are now working on refurbishing 200 more.
The company said it’s doing the same thing at its facility back east.