Münchner Merkur - Oxygen for the world
Article Münchner Merkur 26. April 2020
Herrsching based company Inmatec reacted quickly: Instead of nitrogen generators, it produces oxygen generators and delivers them all over the world. The advantage: the generators filter the oxygen from the air.
Herrsching - The corona pandemic is currently keeping the whole world in suspense: In extreme cases, the Covid-19 virus infection can lead to severe pneumonia, so that patients in the intensive care unit have to be artificially ventilated by a lung machine. Generators from the Herrsching based technology company Inmatec also supply the necessary oxygen.
By March Inmatec had produced around 80 percent nitrogen generators for industry and 20 percent oxygen generators for fish farming, food industry and hospitals. Then Corona came and turned everything upside down at 72 Gewerbestrasse. "The need for oxygen for the ventilators in the intensive care units has risen exorbitantly," reports Markus Berninger from the company's marketing department. Since mid-March, the company, which has been in Herrsching since the 1990s, has almost only been producing oxygen systems. Deliveries are primarily made abroad, because in Germany in most cases liquid oxygen is being used, he says.
According to Berninger, there is no bottleneck in the bottled oxygen - but elsewhere. Inquiries for the Inmatec product, for example from Greece, Great Britain and the Czech Republic - and from customers in Africa or Asia, where the supply chain of liquid oxygen by truck is not secured, increased. This shows the advantage of the generators that produce oxygen directly from the ambient air by pressing it through a self-cleaning granulate and filtering it in this way. Dominik Fernandez from technical sales calls this "independent in-house production" with a purity of 93 to 95 percent.
“We normally breathe in oxygen with a purity of around 20 percent,” explains Fernandez. "Oxygen with a purity of 30 to 50 percent is usually sufficient for patients in hospitals." Depending on requirements, the level of purity can easily be adjusted by the nursing staff. In general, the operation is largely self-explanatory, the maintenance is carried out by service stations located worldwide. "Well maintained, the generator lasts ten to fifteen years," says Fernandez.
The industrial systems manufactured in Herrsching's 50-man operation can be delivered in just under two weeks and, depending on the equipment, cost between 8,000 and several 100,000 euros. Numerous plants are already in use in Africa. In Greece, Spain and the UK, more and more generators are supplying oxygen for ventilators in hospitals. There are further orders.
The changeover of production to almost exclusively oxygen generators was not complicated, but mainly connected with increased storage, as Fernandez explains. And when the crisis is over, operations can just as easily switch back to producing nitrogen generators.
Author: Michèle Kirner
Published in Münchner Merkur 26. April 2020