Oyster Bay native redirects Long Island City factory to produce thousands of ventilators

The first run of a new line of ventilators is coming off the assembly lines at Boyce Technologies in Long Island City.

News 12 Staff

Apr 24, 2020, 12:18 AM

Updated 1,541 days ago

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They used to make parts for MTA subway cars -- now an Oyster Bay native has his factory manufacturing ventilators around the clock.
The first run of a new line of ventilators is coming off the assembly lines at Boyce Technologies in Long Island City.
Just a few weeks ago, the electronics firm was making communications devices for MTA subways, but the pandemic moved Charles Boyce to switch gears.
"About three weeks ago, driving to work hearing on the radio about the ventilator crisis, it became clear that it wasn't going away," says Boyce. "I always said that we could make anything and realized that maybe it was our turn to step up to the plate and do it."
But building breathing machines was uncharted territory for Boyce. He learned by working with a team of MIT engineers, physicians and entrepreneurs.
The group put its heads together to develop the "Spiro Wave." The machines, known as bridge ventilators, are mainly meant to help less critically ill patients breathe.
With the prototype developed, the team accomplished in a month what would normally take a year or more.
Boyce's Director of Engineering Juan Belliard was in charge of retooling the factory. The Deer Park native says staff worked together to meet the challenge.
The FDA fast-tracked approval of the ventilators for use in hospitals. Boyce plans to produce 3,000 in total.
Those that are not used in hospitals will be placed in New York City's strategic reserve for use in future emergencies.
"I'm blessed to have a team here that believes in me, that will go above and beyond to do anything that's good for people," says Boyce.
The bridge ventilator costs about $3,300. The initial $1 million to fund production is being underwritten by the New York City Economic Development Council.
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