NSK accelerates certification of ventilators for COVID-19

The Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0 employs a "frictionless" piston design

November 17, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

StarFish Medical Ventilator

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — StarFish Medical has called on NSK to deliver up to 7,500 Monocarrier linear actuator assemblies for use in their Winnipeg 2.0 Ventilator.

In early spring, the Canadian government announced Canada’s plan to mobilize industry to fight COVID-19, authorizing the immediate production of ventilators by a group of companies led by StarFish Medical.

Over the course of six months, a redesign of the original Winnipeg Ventilator was developed, suppliers were selected, and government certification was granted.

“The entire NSK Americas organization has responded with speed and precision in providing the engineering and manufacturing support that medical suppliers need in this period of crisis’s,” said According to Michael Stofferahn, senior vice-president, NSK Americas.


The Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0 employs a “frictionless” piston machined so that its diameter is only a fraction of a millimetre smaller than the diameter of the cylinder in which it moves along a central axis.

The absence of a physical seal or contact between piston and cylinder reduces the resistance to piston motion, making it possible to obtain very high flow rates, according to the company.

StarFish Medical engaged Toronto-based electronics contract manufacturer Celestica Inc. to co-ordinate the supply chain and its vendor network for manufacturing.

“As soon as we received the StarFish innovative and manufacturable design for the new Winnipeg Ventilator 2.0, we leveraged our engineering, supply chain, and certified manufacturing expertise to source critical parts and begin production of up to 7,500 units without delay,” said Kevin Walsh, vice-president, Celestica.

The Monocarrier rodless linear actuator series combines three core NSK Automation technologies: precision-ground ball screws, linear guides with K1 lubrication and support bearings.