PSA and Valeo, among other companies led by Air Liquide, have been asked by the French government to study the possibility of increasing respirator production to provide 10,000 of the machines in 50 days in a bid to aid the coronavirus battle.

Faced with the compelling need for more respirators on its national territory, the aim is to see if the process can be viable between the beginning of April and mid-May.

In response, Air Liquide, PSA, Schneider Electric and Valeo have set up a Task Force composed of around 30 purchasing and industrialisation experts to define an action plan to increase the production of Air Liquide Medical Systems respirators, which are already referenced by many hospitals in France and abroad.

To meet the industrial challenge, the contribution of 100 partner companies will also be sought to provide the 300 essential components necessary for production.

“In addition to its participation in the task force which has mobilised its engineers full time since 22 March, PSA is directly contributing to increasing production potential with the creation of a specific workshop in its Poissy factory with more than 50 volunteer employees, in order to be able to start producing the central block of the system, under the conditions of the reinforced health protocol implemented on our sites,” said a PSA statement.

“These elements will then be delivered to Air Liquide for assembly and final checks at the Air Liquide Medical Systems industrial site in Antony.

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“In order to also provide human support to Air Liquide to strengthen its production in Antony, PSA will offer to volunteer employees of its Research and Development site in Vélizy to join the Air Liquide factory in Antony, located a few kilometers [away]

“These employee volunteers will be part of an initiative the Group is implementing: ‘The PSA reserve,’ which will be made up of employee volunteers. PSA’s social partners are in support of the company’s contribution to manufacture ventilators for hospital.”