November 1, 2020

Manufacturing Parts in Just 5 Days: A Prototek Case Study

“350 units, 6,300 parts – manufactured and delivered in just 5 days”

“We want to thank Prototek again for their support during our ventilator push these past couple of weeks. We couldn’t have done what we did to bring this ventilator to market without all the hard work from your team.” Meter Co-founder and CEO Eduardo Torrealba

ventilator rapid covid19 deployment

Prototek helped Meter build the Rise Emergency Ventilator for rapid COVID-19 Deployment. Our Sheet Metal Fabrication facility was chosen to expedite parts on a critical timeline.


Meter LLC, an industrial hardware startup based in Boston and San Francisco, developed a new concept for meeting the global ventilator shortage. Meter’s team has expertise in hardware design and resuscitator development, and experience manufacturing tens of thousands of hardware products at scale. This device was designed to be affordably produced at high volumes to help meet current and future critical demands.

When it came time for production, Meter selected Prototek to manufacture parts for the ventilator. But their timeframe was short and urgent – just 5 days to manufacture and deliver to their Boston loading dock.

Prototek’s production planning team routed this rush job through its main sheet metal fabrication plant in New Hampshire. This facility features a separate Expedite Cell to manufacture time-critical jobs outside of general plant workflow.

Some of Prototek’s most experienced operators work in the cell, running single-piece and low-volume part flow from one machine to the next through every stage of production, including deburring, bending, hardware insertion, welding, and grinding.

With its own real estate on the production floor, Prototek’s Expedite Cell eliminates emergency teardown and setups at press brakes and other fabrication stations.

prototek manufactures meter rise ventilator shop

The layout of Prototek’s Expedite Cell enables easy part transfer to the next station, streamlining production of time-critical jobs without interruption or impact to daily customer workflow.

“Our Expedite Cell enables us to reroute time-critical jobs like these ventilator parts without pushing any other work out of the way,” says Prototek VP Operations PJ Swett. “There’s essentially no impact on other customer work throughput and delivery schedules.”

Once completed in the Expedite Cell, the ventilator housing parts were moved to the finishing department for application of a white powder-coat finish. In just five days, the Prototek delivery van pulled up to Meter’s loading dock and delivered 350 ventilators consisting of 6300 parts altogether.

“Our entire Prototek team is proud to see the results of our work come together as Meter’s new Rise Emergency Ventilator,” says Swett.

“Prototek is known for rapid turnaround and our ability to produce challenging, precision parts for critical applications. But knowing the urgency of getting affordable ventilators out into the field added a sense of urgency for our team.”

The Rise Emergency Ventilator is currently under review for an FDA Emergency Use Authorization during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

prototek manufactures meter rise ventilator

Meter’s order included finishing, and Prototek applied a white powder coat finish.

Since 1987, Prototek Rapid Prototyping, Sheet Metal Fabrication and Machining has made millions of parts for thousands of companies. Our parts help save lives, make us fly, explore new worlds, and drive the research that makes us thrive. What can we make for you?

Check out our Sheet Metal Prototype Guide for more information about Prototek’s Sheet Metal capabilities.