VDL Groep helps to make Demcon artificial respiration systems
Photo caption: VDL Industrial Modules employee shows the casing of the artificial respiration equipment for Demcon.

VDL Groep helps to make Demcon artificial respiration systems

23 April 2020

Three VDL companies are working hard on making hundreds of artificial respiration systems for our partner Demcon. Within three weeks, Demcon, with the help of VDL, managed to develop, manufacture and test a complete artificial respiration system in the Netherlands that can be used for artificial respiration for corona patients in intensive care units. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will distribute the artificial respiration equipment across the hospitals. Today, the first of more than 500 artificial respiration systems of Demcon will be delivered.

Because of a sharp rise in demand for artificial respiration equipment as a result of the coronavirus, Demcon ramped up production considerably. To that end, the number of production lines was scaled up, among other things, and it intensified its collaboration with suppliers such as VDL Groep.

During the past few weeks, employees of VDL ETG Precision, VDL Laktechniek and VDL Industrial Modules worked hard on parts of Demcair, as the system is called. VDL ETG Precision manufactured all of the required precision turning and milling parts and this VDL company also helps out with the assembly of the systems at Demcon. VDL Industrial Modules took care of metal sheet engineering and in a very short space of time, it also took on the design, prototype and industrialisation of various subsequent series.  VDL Laktechniek, experts in applying specialist coatings, will apply various finishes on the stainless steel casing and it also printed logos and names of various connections by means of serigraphy.

Strength through co-operation

“Our contribution to Demcon’s artificial respiration systems is a wonderful example of strength through co-operation”, Willem van der Leegte, president and CEO of VDL Groep explains. “Thanks to all our in-house expertise, our companies have contributed to the fantastically fast deliveries to the hospitals. Apart from that, it is, of course, also magnificent to make such an important contribution to systems that have a big impact on the recovery of patients who are hit hard by the coronavirus.”

Normally, the manufacturing process of medical equipment, including clinical research and certification, would take a year, easily. There were just over three weeks between Demcon starting its preparations, the ministry’s instruction to supply the first 500 devices, successful clinical tests on several patients in three different hospitals and the delivery of the first devices. The first version of the entire system was relatively simple for the sake of such high demand. Right now, engineers are working on a second, more comprehensive version that offers more treatment options.


Demcon’s entire artificial respiration system contains more than 200 different components, including the central module. Dennis Schipper, Executive Vice President of Demcon: “We buy them from a large number of suppliers. Like our other suppliers, VDL has used all its creativity to ensure a steady supply of
components under immense time pressure. The support we’ve received from everyone is heart-warming.”