The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down, making it difficult to notice positive developments. As of this writing, more than one-third of COVID-19 cases to date have recovered from the disease. As treatment procedures continue to progress and new pharmaceuticals are approved for use, health experts expect the recovery rate to continue to improve. Until then, recovery rates are primarily driven by the availability of health care providers and the equipment they require.
Many companies around the world have stepped up to increase the supply of essential equipment for fighting COVID-19. In some cases, manufacturers have converted existing production facilities for core products to the production of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical stocks. Of course, this has a ripple effect on the suppliers to these converted factories. Those suppliers must also ramp up the production of devices and materials used for the construction of the required medical systems.
Silicon Labs is helping with combating the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at a global level. For example, our isolation products provide safety for patients and noise immunity for sensitive electronic medical equipment such as ventilators that are helping to save lives in this pandemic. We are expediting our supply chain despite the challenges posed by lockdowns and work-from-home policies to make sure that our manufacturing customers are receiving products on time to build critical equipment. For instance, a Silicon Labs customer in Taiwan has tooled up its factories that otherwise produce power supplies for industrial products to help meet the demand for PPE. Besides face masks and protective suits, they are also producing life-saving equipment such as ventilators. The ventilators are sophisticated medical electronic equipment that must run reliably and accurately to provide life support to patients affected by COVID-19. Digital isolation devices inside the ventilators safeguard patients while shielding the equipment from extraneous electrical noise to ensure accuracy and reliability.
Another Silicon Labs customer based in China that produces programmable logic controllers (PLCs) for factory automation has retooled to manufacture PPE. PLCs are complex devices that automate the manufacturing process by reading sensors, processing data, and controlling actuators. Without PLCs, it would be impossible to manufacture PPE in the volume and with the quality needed to stop the transmission of COVID-19. Silicon Labs’ digital isolation devices are built into the inputs and outputs of PLCs to protect the sophisticated controllers from harsh electrical transients common on plant floors and to ensure they can operate reliably around the clock.
It’s reassuring to see the global community of employees, suppliers, customers, and distributors pulling together not only to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic but to make meaningful contributions that will “flatten the curve.” Silicon Labs is honored to provide high-performance, robust, and reliable isolation solutions to help medical equipment manufacturers and factories meet growing demand during this difficult time.