Hamilton Medical has partnered with General Motors to launch an all-new production line for critical care ventilators near the company’s US offices in Reno, Nevada.

Production in Reno will focus on the Hamilton-T1 critical care ventilator as part of a new contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Production of the first ventilators is scheduled for the end of April.

According to HHS, the agency agreed to a $552 million contract with Hamilton Medical to produce 14,115 ventilators by July 3, 2020. A total of 850 will be delivered by May 8, and another 4,404 by May 22, HHS said in a statement.

With global supply chains strained and ventilator demand accelerating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton decided to set-up an entirely new production line in the US and is now hiring several hundred workers in Reno, with employee training is underway.

“We needed a partner, so we turned to General Motors. They jumped in immediately. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Bob Hamilton, CEO of Hamilton Medical. “GM has donated their expertise, and their people work side-by-side with Hamilton Medical teams from Switzerland and Nevada. This is unprecedented.”

Since late March, the Hamilton Medical and GM teams have been working non-stop, establishing new suppliers for hundreds of parts and designing a new manufacturing operation.

“Since the global crisis began, Hamilton Medical has responded with urgency to help hospitals, healthcare workers and patients,” said Hamilton. “We are proud that with the new production facility, we can now supply even more life-saving equipment to the US.”