Moutier, 13/05/2020

Tornos participates in overall effort to combat COVID-19 through its long-standing partnership with Hamilton

Coronavirus pandemic: Respiratory assistance devices are currently part of the products that can make the difference between life or death for thousands of patients. Switzerland-based Hamilton, the world leader in the manufacture of ventilation solutions, is doing everything it can to meet the demand, in particular by increasing its production capacity by 50 percent compared to last year. At the heart of this production ramp-up are several Tornos machines which are running at full capacity to produce one of the nuts essential to proper ventilator function. This is one of the ways Tornos brings its expertise to the frontline in service of health care professionals combatting the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Although little publicized prior to the coronavirus pandemic, ventilators play a major role in the treatment of patients with severe respiratory symptoms and offer them better chance of survival. Manufacturers are working hard to meet the ever-increasing demand for ventilators, which has been growing since the end of January. “We work day and night, including weekends, and do not spare any efforts," announces the Graubünden, Switzerland-based company.

Hamilton's medical division was founded in 1983 after discussing the future of medicine with a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) employee who had become an anesthesiologist. Company executive Steve Hamilton developed the vision of closed-loop ventilation to automatically coordinate blood gas values with the operation of the ventilator; the result: an intelligent ventilator that improves patient safety and reduces the workload for doctors while leaving them in control.

Hamilton therefore offers solutions for every situation: not only ventilators with the same standard user interface and using the same intelligent ventilation technologies, but also accessories and consumables specially designed to optimize ease of use and patient safety. Less mediatized at present but just as indispensable, Hamilton is also a leader in high-quality diagnostic systems, whereby research and development in the life science sector is promoted. At the same time, Hamilton also distinguishes itself with other leading systems for medical technology, pharmacology and laboratory analysis. And it is in this particular field that Tornos has been able to distinguish itself for 22 years, by offering Hamilton a high-precision solution with its DECO range. 

At the time, Hamilton was facing major problems with the supply of a very fragile component for automated pipetting systems with multichannel pipettes. Tornos was asked to respond to this problem and immediately proposed an appropriate solution. Hamilton was delighted with the precision of the DECO 2000 from the outset and subsequently ordered six more machines, two of them for its Romanian subsidiary. Twenty-two years later, the Tornos machines are still running at full speed in Bonaduz, today more than ever.

"We manufacture several of the essential parts of our ventilators on an EvoDECO 10," explains Verenio Vitali, a polymechanic at Hamilton who works mainly on Tornos lathes. Similarly, a very important component for our dispensing units in the Robotics division is produced on the EvoDECO 10. This is a PEEK Q-nut used in the dispensing units. This is "only" a small component, but it plays an important role in the entire process. This is a good opportunity for Tornos to build an even more solid reputation and continue a collaboration that began shortly after the launch of Hamilton, the medical equipment manufacturer in Switzerland.

Today more than ever, precision and reliability are of the utmost importance for devices used for artificial respiration. Accuracy and reliability are also required for medical diagnosis and for the analysis of chemical substances. Hamilton and Tornos have been able to combine their expertise to meet this ever-increasing demand. Tornos, with its many years of experience and solid expertise in the medical field, is therefore part of a dynamic that corresponds to its new market orientation, even more focused on the Medical & Dental sector, putting people at the center of its concerns, and putting technology at the service of public health and well-being.