When Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) announced in April that it had tapped Foxconn to manufacture ventilators at the Chinese company’s Wisconsin plant, then-Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said that Medtronic is also working with “major players” in Asia to expedite ventilator production.
This week, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Vingroup, announced that it had inked a deal for two of its companies — VinSmart and VinFast Manufacturing and Trading — to supply 50,000 ventilator parts to Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic in the U.S. and Ireland over the next year. The deal went into effect in June, Vingroup said in a statement this week.
In March, Medtronic publicly shared the design specifications for its Puritan Bennett 560 ventilator and began collaborating with a number of international partners that can supplement part of the production process, according to Madan Krishnan, VP of Medtronic’s minimally invasive therapies group for the Asia Pacific region.
Using that open-source information, Vingroup developed the VSmart ventilator, VFS-510, with 70% locally supplied components, including the device’s core components. The production was licensed in June by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, which has shipped VSmart ventilators to Russia, Ukraine, and Singapore, according to Vingroup.
“No single company can meet the global ventilator demand alone,” Krishnan said in a joint statement with Vingroup. “The partnership with Vingroup will be one that will see them manufacturing components within our ventilators. Their support in this manufacturing process will aid us to further increase our ventilator supply.”
The first components should be exported to Medtronic in August, according to Vingroup.
Vingroup also announced that it has launched a machine and components division to develop international partnerships for design and production. VinSmart designs and manufactures PCBA circuit boards, switches, antennas, molds, and completed products such as connected devices (IoT), electronic products, electronics, refrigeration, computer equipment and medical products, according to company vice chair Le Thi Thu Thuy.