What does Elemaster do?
Established in 1978, Elemaster has been successfully operating on the international scene as a Mechatronics Service Provider, offering design and production services for high-tech electronic equipment.
How was the company involved in the mechanical ventilator project Milano Ventilatore Meccanico?
Through common acquaintances: Professor Galbiati contacted our CEO Gabriele Cogliati, who did not hesitate one moment and convened us in a video call on Zoom on Sunday, 14 March, at 2 pm.
What role did you play?
I dealt with the executive part of the project, as project manager, working alongside Professor Galbiati 24 hours a day, Saturday and Sunday included.
You built the prototype in a very short time. What were the decisive factors?
Knowledge, determination and more than 100 researchers operating in 9 time zones, with the support of Elemaster, which during the lockdown made a team of 40 people available, the production of printed matter (Eleprint) and testing laboratories (Eletech).
What contribution did the researchers make?
A crucial one, on the fluidics part and on the software and data analysis part.
What about the other partner companies?
They were fundamental for the execution of prototypes and simulations in a short time. We encountered maximum cooperation from them. Our aim was to develop an all Italian supply chain. We obviously found fertile ground in our region.
Can you describe the role of the Camozzi Group in the project?
The Camozzi Group provided the heart of the system. We arrived at the solution in two steps. At first, we focused on proportioning valves that were already in the catalogue. When we needed to add pressure regulators, I started to discuss integration with Daniele Giorgi of Camozzi Automation and we arrived at the current product.
In addition to obtaining the FDA certification in record time, did you get other certifications?
Today we are in the final phase with the CE trademark in Italy and the TUV in Canada.
What activity are you engaged in at this stage?
We are setting up factories in Canada and the US for production and have tests underway in various pulmonology clinics in Europe.
Your upcoming goals?
Once we have obtained the CE certification, we will start production in the new plant in Montevecchia (Italy). In September, we will begin work on an enhanced version of MVM which will be ready at the end of 2021, with a particular focus on home care and the localization of components not yet produced in Italy.
Can you tell us an episode that will remain forever impressed in your memory?
There were several. For sure we learned a lot from one of them: “Where there’s a will there’s a way!” In the midst of the pandemic on Sunday, March 29, - to solve the “ramming” issue - we were suggested from Canada, on Saturday night, to use a proportioning valve made by an American manufacturer. We found the only two specimens in Europe at its Italian distributor, which we asked to open for business on Sunday morning. At 11 am, I had the valves, at 2 pm we asked a company in Besana Brianza (Officina Meccanica Varé) to open for business.
They produced the valve body based on a hand-made sketch by Sergio Parmaggiano of the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, which I jealously preserve. At 7 pm, we had the system test underway and the first rudimentary prototype of a working MVM, with which we made the first clinical tests at the San Gerardo Hospital in Monza.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
Certainly, to protect the people you love. I didn’t see my mother for 2 months, my wife and I slept in separate rooms (she works at the Vimercate hospital) and my son stayed with my sister-in-law.
The project was badly suited for social distancing, having to work shoulder to shoulder with several researchers from various Milan universities and the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, but especially when there were lives at stake I learned to do the utmost without bothering with schedules, fatigue or difficulties.