GEORGE TOWN: Semiconductor test-equipment maker Pentamaster Corp Bhd plans to start manufacturing ventilators to help overcome their shortage in the country.
Group chairman C B Chuah told StarBiz that the group conceived the initiative as a corporate social responsibility project, as well as a business project with growth potential.
Chuah said the group started designing the prototype in the second quarter.
“We are targeting to obtain the necessary and relevant certifications from the health authorities by the end of the year.
“If we can get the certification on time by year-end, it is possible to start production in 2021.
“Pentamaster can help the country overcome the shortage of ventilators.
“If we can supply, the country will not need to import them, as it is now costly to buy ventilators from overseas due to the weak ringgit.
“The global shortage has also raised their price, ” Chuah added.
Pentamaster plans also to export the ventilators to emerging markets that are short of the respiratory equipment.
According to Chuah, Pentamaster will leverage on its vast experience as an automated test equipment company to make the ventilators.
“We have the medical equipment manufacturing experience and the skilled manpower to produce quality ventilators, ” he added.
According to a Research and Markets report, the global ventilator market is expected to grow from US$2.4bil in 2019 to about US$12.1bil in 2020, as there is a massive surge in demand for ventilators as they are essential in the treatment of critical Covid-19 patients.
“The market is expected to stabilise and reach US$4.2bil at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.7% through 2023, ” the report said.
According to Chuah, the Covid-19 outbreak has sparked off the worst raw material shortage to hit the local electronic manufacturing sector.
“Our supply chain has resumed to normal, but the lead time is still long due to our suppliers having backlog orders to clear.
“Because of the severity of the outbreak, we have to delay shipment to our customers in Singapore, China, Taiwan and the United States.
“Our engineers are also having difficulties traveling to countries that have been seriously affected by the outbreak to install test equipment for customers, ” Chuah said.
In March, research firm IDC said a “significant contraction” in global semiconductor revenues is highly likely in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but technologies like 5G, IoT and high-performance computing could help the industry recover in the long term.
According to the San Mateo, California-based company, a 3%-6% decline in annual revenues for semiconductor companies this year is the most likely scenario, with a 54% probability, while the second likeliest scenario, at 24% probability, would have annual revenues decline 12% or more.
“The emergence of Covid-19 has brought with it travel bans and quarantines; massive slowing of the supply chain; uncertainty in the stock market; falling business confidence, and growing panic among the population, ” said IDC programme vice-president of semiconductors and enabling technologies Mario Morales.
Source From : The Star Online
By : David Tan