WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan tool and die company is helping to save lives amid the coronavirus outbreak

Die Tech and Engineering has been in Wyoming since 1984. They traditionally work to create molds or tools for different products, including car parts, high chairs and face masks. Its latest assignment is making parts for Ventec, a company that makes ventilators.

“We’ve made a variety of things over the years for the medical device industry but never anything for a ventilator,” said William Berry, owner of the company.

Coronavirus has exposed the shortage of ventilators across the country. As the virus continues to spread, the race to produce and equip hospitals with more devices is underway.

The business is now creating a tool for a piston that pumps air inside the ventilator. 

“We were asked to make it at 5 o’clock yesterday (Friday) afternoon. Our engineering team manufactured it through the night, and we’ve been manufacturing parts for it all day,” Berry said. 

Berry says making the tool for the piston could normally take up to 8 weeks. But in order to help save lives, they have fast-tracked the process. 

He says times like this show the importance of the manufacturing industry. 

If they wanted to make many of these ventilators, they would have to go to China, to Mexico, to wherever and somehow internationally source these tools. It would probably be weeks or months before they would have a production where this is in a matter of days,” Berry said. 

The company says they are currently waiting for a piece of steel. They say they hope to have the project finished and shipped soon.