MAHINDRA RACING PARTNERS UNITED IN COVID-19 EFFORT

As the world collectively navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, Mahindra Racing’s partners are working hard to contribute where they can, using their particular skills and specialities.

Formula E and the FIA announced in March that the 2019/20 season will be temporarily suspended, considering the challenge the current health crisis poses to the organisation of events in city-centres. The decision, made in coordination with the relevant local authorities to temporarily freeze races held in highly-populated cities, was taken as the most responsible course of action, due to the continued spread of coronavirus and the World Health Organisation officially declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.

While everyone pulls together across the globe during these tough times, we outline what our valued partners are contributing to the global response.


SHELL

Shell is in the midst of a huge global effort to assist in the pandemic. From those personnel working on platforms out at sea to those at service stations keeping fuel flowing for those who need it, they are key in keeping people moving and operating. Natural gas is helping to power hospitals. Shell’s chemical plants are diverting resources to producing isopropyl alcohol as fast as they can; this makes up about half the content of the hand-sanitising liquid being used to keep the virus down around the world. And the fuels Shell is producing are powering the trucks bringing food from warehouses to shops… and powering the ships getting goods from around the globe to restock the warehouses. This is alongside Shell’s commitments to its customers, partners and wider society by ensuring the continued production of natural gas and other energy supply to keep houses heated and vehicles moving. They have 70,000 people logged in around the world doing their work from home, wherever they can find space.

Shell is grateful for the work of all the key workers like doctors, the nurses, the supermarket workers who work hard every day to keep us safe. That’s why in more than 15,000 participating retail sites across 30 countries, Shell is providing free food or drink to health-care professionals such as nurses and doctors, as well as truck drivers and the delivery people who are vital to maintaining supplies.

There are then, of course, efforts on a national level. One particular example is the group of Shell Companies in China. The Executive Chairman, Xinsheng Zhang, shared a personal insight in terms of the organisation’s response to COVID-19 on the frontline of the outbreak in Wuhan, including a donation to the Wuhan Charity Foundation, partnership with independent charity, One Foundation to provide medical supplies and a Changbei natural gas project and medical supplies. Additionally, they undertook a project involving the repurposing of Shell retail stations as help centres, providing free refueling for ambulances and medical supply vehicles, free screening services to customers, anti-epidemic education for the local community and free lubricant oil changes for medical staff.

UMICORE

What is not widely known is that one of the screening methods used at places of significant public gatherings, such as airports and train stations, utilises infra-red (IR) thermal imaging optical components manufactured by Umicore.

The human body temperature can fluctuate greatly depending on the health of the individual.  Screening for viruses and illness with thermal imaging cameras has been used for many years in densely populated areas where the risk of contamination is higher than normal.  The purpose is as a preventative safety measure to try to identify possible infected individuals early on, when perhaps they are not showing any outward signs or symptoms of illness, and use the information to help inform a triage system of care.

The use of thermal imaging in medical screening does not necessarily mean that specific viruses can be detected, only that some individuals might require further tests to get definitive results.  In addition, environmental and other factors should be considered that could give rise to false-positive readings.  However, early detection is regarded as an important aspect of helping to contain widespread outbreaks.

As research into COVID-19 continues and we learn more about the early detection of the virus and its physiological effects on the human body, it might be possible to further utilise IR technology and be even more specific in our early detection screening.

The Umicore range of IR optical products are at the very forefront of thermal imaging capability, and are already being utilised around the world in a myriad of different ways for the early detection and control of the COVID-19 virus.

For further information on Umicore infrared products please visit https://eom.umicore.com/en/infrared-optics/

ZF

ZF has bought a small, faltering facemask company that was for sale in southern China and moved the production line machinery to its own Zhangjiagang plant near Shanghai. Since installation at the start of March, ZF have been making 100,000 masks a day, with any surplus products being made available to the medical auxiliaries, the needy and the Chinese government for the fight against COVID-19 in the local communities.

With around 14,000 employees in approximately 40 factories in China and new mandatory regulations for facemasks, ZF recognized its existing supplies would run out in March so moved to ensure that production could re-start following the Chinese New Year break and extended company downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst also contributing to the efforts to fight the health crisis in China.


BANBUTSU

Delivery powered by banbutsu: Banbutsu is leveraging its technology, by partnering with Mobility Service Providers and brands to respond to the increased demand for home delivery services and engage. The platform will tap into the pool of recently laid-off workers to support the increased demand for delivery service. "banbutsu is all about building strong and sustainable relationships between brands and their customers. The Corona pandemic is forcing the world to redefine the essence of relationship. With the increased reliance on digital tools in the absence of physical connection, it's more important than ever that we support and accelerate this transition. We are providing our platform's technology to equip brands and mobility providers around the world with a powerful channel to overcome and grow with this crisis." - Michael Wolters, MD banbutsu

Education Support by Veritas Entertainment and LVL: LVL, a first-of-its kind gaming and esports venue in Berlin which is owned by Veritas Entertainment, had to delay its March 26 grand opening. They have decided to leverage their state-of-the-art broadcasting facilities to support educators who have had to move all classes online. Thomas Fellger, CEO of Veritas and iconmobile group says "LVL is about giving gaming/esports a real home, where they feel understood and recognized as real professionals with skills. the idea of the location was to merge the digital with the physical life. Based on the current situation we use our online communities, state of the art production capabilities to bring families and friends etc together and enjoying their lives with being part of a team, a game and or a community."

iconmobile, the parent company of banbutsu have also launched the online portal "Wir sind" ("We are") in Germany. Small businesses in particular are struggling with the lockdown caused by COVID-19, as they are not prepared for delivery and online services. "Wir sind" is a free-to-use online platform, which aggregates these service offerings at a municipal level and makes them accessible to the locals. Florian Gulden says, "We see small local businesses and restaurants struggle. They are not well prepared for online business. But we see a lot of innovation capacity triggered by the crisis. They adapted their offerings quickly. We want to provide them a simple to use platform, that helps them to do the first steps. And maybe its the first one of many to follow."

VOXDALE

Voxdale has designed a 3D-printable adaptor for the Ocean Reef snorkeling mask so that it can be transformed to an oxygen delivery device. This new setup prevents exhaled particles from contaminating the room or ambulance and the surroundings of the patient.

Bart Verleije, Voxdale Chief Operations Officer, explained: "Choosing Product Development as a career, I have always felt a strong desire and motivation to design and develop life changing products. In a capitalist society, we must be wary and question if every new product or adaptation of a product is led by the intrinsic willingness to make the world a better place. BUT… in these unusual yet very interesting times, I have received a call from a doctor who is, like many others, facing a big challenge finding solutions that are easily scalable to provide oxygen to COVID-19 patients in hospitals and other (temporary) buildings or even in ambulances. He wouldn't want to take credit, but let’s say “James” is a hint. His team was inspired by the recent news items featuring a newly designed adaptor for Decathlon's snorkeling masks. (thanks for the inspiration, Yanko Design). Having a similar mask (Aria from the Ocean Reef brand) available, his idea was to combine it with a venturi system (a virtual valve that ensures dynamic alveolar ventilation and that is installed in any standard hospital room). To do so, he needed some help to design and produce an adaptor for it. Same story, different specifications let’s say!"

He continues: "To keep a long story short, a couple of hours after our first phone-call and a brainstorm, I just started drafting! 'One night of no sleep' later the file was ready to be 3D printed at our Voxdale fab-lab and half a day later we ran the first tests and were able to adjust the design before testing in the hospital and on a first COVID-19 patient. Amongst the tests, we also performed some initial CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations to make sure enough oxygen flow reached the patient through this adaptor. So today in these harsh times and as a Product Designer, I cherish feelings of joy knowing that Voxdale and I have contributed to a greater cause... Test results came back ‘super’ convincing! We claim no IP on this design and wish to share the 3D print(-ready) files with everybody. Let’s allow everybody to use, modify or improve it.”

More information can be found here: https://www.voxdale.be/downloads/medtech/covid-19_james_oxigen_delivery_device_adaptor_3dfiles/


MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA

The Chairman of the Mahindra group of companies, Anand Mahindra, made a personal statement on his Twitter as follows:
Going by various reports from epidemiologists, it is highly likely that India is already in Stage 3 of transmission. Cases could rise exponentially with millions of casualties, putting a huge strain on medical infrastructure. A lockdown over the next few weeks will help flatten the curve & moderate the peak pressure on medical care. However, we need to create scores of temporary hospitals & we have a scarcity  of ventilators.
- To help in the response to this unprecedented threat, we at the Mahindra Group will immediately begin work on how our manufacturing facilities can make ventilators
- At Mahindra Holidays, we stand ready to offer our resorts as temporary care facilities
- Our Projects team stands ready to assist the Govt/Army in erecting temporary care facilities.
- The Mahindra Foundation will create a fund to assist the hardest hit in our value chain (small businesses & the self-employed). We will encourage associates to voluntarily contribute to the Fund. I will contribute 100% of my salary to it & will add more over the next few months. I urge all our various businesses to also set aside contributions for those who are the hardest hit in their ecosystems

Mahindra is at the forefront of corporate India’s fight against the pandemic. Within 48 hours of Group Chairman Anand Mahindra putting out his original tweet, teams at the company’s Igatpuri and Mumbai plants had made a working prototype of a ventilator machine.

Dr Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, revealed that based upon expert feedback and more research, the teams will develop two more prototypes. Version 2 will see Mahindra’s engineering team and two large public sector undertakings work with an existing manufacturer of high specification ventilators to simplify the design and ramp up production. This new prototype will be lighter and more compact than existing models.

The third prototype will be that of an automated version of the Bag Valve Mask Ventilator, commonly known as the Ambu Bag. This could cost as little as Rs. 7,500 compared to the Rs. 5-10 lakh cost of a traditional ventilator. The artificial manual-breathing unit, or ambu bag, is a self-inflating device that is typically used to help patients with breathing problems.

On 31st March, Dr Goenka shared a video of a working model of the low-cost ventilator, announced that testing had begun and that they were waiting for approvals. “This could be a game-changer in quickly providing large numbers of low-cost lifesavers, particularly when ICU ventilators are still scarce,” tweeted Mr. Mahindra.

Mahindra’s Kandivali plant has begun the manufacture of face shields, based on a design sourced from partner Ford Motor Company. The face shield fully protects the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids. Paired with N95 respirators, the face shields will be a more effective way to limit exposure to the virus. Initially beginning with 500 masks a day, Mahindra intends to ramp up the production to meet the huge requirements for face shields.

Mahindra Group is carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and taking actions to ensure that all its employees are safe and are helping to limit the spread of the virus within the communities in which it operates. A summary of contribution to external society includes:
- Repurposing engineering capabilities to manufacture PPEs - ventilators, respirators, face shields and masks for health care workers
- Making network of resorts available as Temporary Care Facilities to Government
- Logistics arm ensuring transportation continuity of essential goods & people
- Providing masks & sanitisers to Police and BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) staff
- Repurposing crop care production towards disinfectants & sanitizers