Thunder Bay

Bombardier Thunder Bay's ventilator production line fully operational

About 60 Thunder Bay Bombardier employees are back on the job - only this time, they’re working on medical equipment critical to helping people recover from COVID-19.

About 60 employees working on line for next three or four months

Between 50 and 60 employees at Thunder Bay's Bombardier plant will build ventilators along with 0-Two Medical Technologies. (Office of Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski)

About 60 Thunder Bay Bombardier employees are back on the job - only this time, they're working on medical equipment critical to helping people recover from COVID-19.

Bombardier has set up a production line to finish and assemble components for portable ventilators, working with 0-Two Medical Technologies — a Brampton-based company that makes ventilators — for the Ontario government.

Bombardier announced Friday that the production line is fully operational.

"Our North American supply chain is now up and running," said Helton Santos, vice-president of sales and marketing for 0-Two Medical Technologies. "It took some time and we appreciate how hard the team is working at Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant, along with all of our suppliers, to make sure we meet our commitment to produce these life saving ventilators for the Province of Ontario."

Bombardier was connected with 0-Two by Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski, the company said.

The company initially announced that it had been selected as a sub-manufacturer of ventilators on April 16.

Since then, the company said it has set up a clean room where the eight-station production line is running, trained workers, and manufactured parts for pre-approval.

The Thunder Bay plant is finishing housing components, assembling internal components - including display screens and battery boxes - painting, and performing electrical conductivity testing.

Final assembly and testing is being handled by 0-2, a statement from Bombardier said.

"We are very proud to be able to produce these medical devices which can aid in the fight against this pandemic," Dave Black, general manager of Bombardier Thunder Bay, said in a statement. "The Thunder Bay team are highly skilled and highly motivated to do their part in supplying these ventilators."

Earlier this week, Bombardier announced it had secured a contract to provide 28 BiLevel cars to two U.S. transit authorities.

Those cars will be manufactured in Thunder Bay, with delivery slated to begin in late 2021.

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