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Mills River plant makes the glue for emergency ventilator order

MILLS RIVER — In the midst of the current pandemic, time is of the essence. So, when the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services tapped Hamilton Medical Inc. to aid the national effort by producing 25,000 ventilators in record time, the company turned to its long-term partner Raumedic for a specialist silicone adhesive in short order.

 

The adhesive is solvent- and plasticizer-free, easy to use and bonds silicones to each other and to further materials, such as metal or plastics. The single-component adhesive is used for parts of the housing of the HAMILTON-T1 critical care transport ventilator and helps to increase resistance to demanding environmental conditions.

The shortage of ventilators in the U.S. has been well publicized and covered by the national media. In April, President Trump issued an order to increase production of the life-saving devices. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded one of the largest contracts to Hamilton Medical. The first step in meeting the ambitious goal was to step-up existing production in Switzerland. In order to reach the target, it would be necessary to create an entire new assembly line and supply chain in the US, and to provide a sufficient number of components and consumables needed.

“Initially, we asked our Swiss colleagues who their suppliers were and so we were put in contact with Raumedic AG in Germany,” recalls Bob Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Medical, Inc. “We were very pleased when they informed us that Raumedic already has a manufacturing plant in the U.S., in North Carolina.” Being able to work with a team in the same time-zone and with a similar outlook on the market helped to keep the project moving as fast as possible.

“I think that all medtech companies want to make a contribution to the fight against the coronavirus”, says Martin Bayer, President and CEO at Raumedic Inc. “So, we jumped at the chance to connect with Hamilton in the USA and get them what they needed as quickly as possible.” The trend towards offshoring has lengthened supply chains and can influence the ability of companies to be responsive. Raumedic has taken the opposite path. The medtech company deliberately chose to invest in manufacturing in America to react to US customers on short notice.