Science, Technology, and Innovation to Beat Crisis:
MIRDC's COVID-19 Initiatives
by FAITH P. MACATANGAY on JUNE 19, 2020
The Department of Science and Technology-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) joins the government in its efforts to provide solutions in this time of global crisis through science, technology, and innovation (STI). The following are the MIRDC's accomplishments:
DOST-MIRDC co-developed a local ventilator which is now ready for third party testing. The MIRDC-Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) Group, together with the Breath of Life Foundation, worked on the mechanical and electronics engineering portion of OstreaVent, a locally-developed medical ventilator. The Ostreavent is now ready for the safety testing and performance verification by a third party company, the Medequip. The team is continuing with the design of five units of commercial model. Four out of the five commercial model units will be used for clinical trials while the remaining one will be used by the AMERIAL team in developing a new model with assist control (AC) capability.
DOST-MIRDC continues to provide face shields for free to medical and non-medical frontliners in the regions through a project whose objective is to produce 200,000 pieces of face shields for donation. The Center coordinates directly with DOST Regional Offices to facilitate the pick-up, transport, and delivery of the face shield packages. Behind the successful implementation of this project are the Center’s mold-making and plastic injection mold technologies, two of the MIRDC’s prime capabilities housed in the Die and Mold Solution Center (DMSC). Since the project commenced on May 15, 2020, the Center has already produced and donated a total of 105,000 to various regions such as: 10,000 each to the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region I, II, III, IVB, V, VI, VIII, and XII; and 15,000 to Region IVA. Donations of face shields to the remaining regions will be done in the next coming weeks.
Isabela Provincial Government adopts the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) as a viable transport alternative. The province also supports the organization of a local manufacturers’ consortium to produce the additional HERT units that will be adopted in each of its congressional districts. The HERT is a hybrid, trackless train that is powered by a diesel-electric generator set and a bank of batteries. It is a locally-developed technology for mass transport solutions.
Since the community quarantine protocols have been implemented, MIRDC, in collaboration with partner organizations and material donors, produced medical face shields to augment the supply shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Face Shield for the People in the Frontline initiative operationalized 5,000 per day production of face shields using plastic injection molding technology. As of Week 7, MIRDC has produced 46,631 face shield frames. The Center’s face shield donations began using the 3D printing technology under the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCEN). Being a stop-gap measure, 3D printing was the technology used while the MIRDC geared up for mass production.
As an R&D institute, the Center has ready designs for evacuation tents, hospital beds, and crushing machine for spent medical vials. It also has agro-machineries designs for livelihood purposes. These are available for technology transfer.