MRO Magazine

Canadians Top 9 in Global Ventilator Design Competition


Engineers from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) and Fanshawe College finished in the top nine in the Code Life Ventilator Challenge. The competition had teams design a low-cost, easy-to-use medical ventilator to help patients affected by COVID-19. The competition team incorporated common parts that usually go in Toyota and Lexus vehicles (sensors and molded bearings) with components manufactured using in-house 3D printers. The team beat out over 1,000 entries from 94 countries.

“Our team at Toyota couldn’t be prouder. This challenge gave us a new sense of purpose during these times and also taught us that, as complex as a project might seem at the beginning, once you break down the requirements, there are always solutions to the most difficult problems,” said Leon Drasovean, an Engineering Manager at TMMC. “A lot of the credit also goes to our partners at Fanshawe College’s Respiratory Therapy program. We’ve been working closely and seamlessly together for the past several weeks to design a ventilator prototype that would eventually help those in need during this pandemic.”

The Agorize online innovation platform hosted the challenge with the Research Institute at the McGill University Health Centre, and the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. The goal of the competition was to develop open-source ventilator designs that any manufacturer can build.

“At Toyota, we often face new challenges – it’s something we do every day when building vehicles,” said Chris Loates, a member of the team and a Project Engineering Analyst at TMMC. “When something doesn’t go as planned in our manufacturing facilities, we have to quickly regroup and fix it. We brought that training and approach to this design competition.”

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Drasovean and Loates, were joined on the team by Moe Bdeir, Engineering Analyst, TMMC, Daniel Adam, Mechanical Designer, TMMC, and Yvonne Drasovean and David Wall, Professors of Respiratory Therapy at Fanshawe.

“Working together with the engineers at Toyota has been an incredible experience. Their forward thinking and ability to adapt quickly is remarkable. We are extremely proud to have been a part of a competition that brought people together, giving of their time and knowledge to help people around the world,” said Y. Drasovean and Wall. “We are extremely proud to have been a part of a competition that brought people together, giving of their time and knowledge to help people around the world.”

The Challenge worked with shortlisted teams to ensure compliance, testing, materials and engineering meet the required standards during the competition.


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