Leistung is a Cordovan SME that for three and a half decades has been manufacturing highly complex respirators for intensive care, respirators for patient transport and anesthesia machines.
The arrival of the coronavirus in Argentina forced it to work “full” to triple production.
With a team of 70 people, the firm produces at a rate of 300 teams per year. But in three to four months, it will have to deliver 900 respirators to meet demand, especially that arising from the public sector, both in Córdoba and in the rest of the country.
“We work from Monday to Saturday and some Sundays too. In the last two weeks, there were nights that we slept four hours, “said Mauro Paiaro, Operations Manager.
Leistung has a plant in the Los Boulevares neighborhood, from which it exports 30 percent of its production.
It also has offices in Buenos Aires and Miami, United States.
In addition, it has another plant in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina (Brazil), where with 70 other collaborators it produces for the Brazilian market.
“The increase in domestic demand forced the suspension of exports from Argentina until orders in the country are completed,” said Silvina Grasso, general manager of the firm.
According to data from the health market, in Argentina there are between 5,000 and 7,000 mechanical respirators in operation, some with an age of seven to 10 years.
The recession caused that, every year, the public and private health centers bet to fine-tune the equipment before the temperatures began to drop.
“Three weeks ago, we looked at each other thinking about what to do. We had put all our attention into exporting. Now we have to put a lot of effort to respond to orders without abandoning our research and development tasks, because our projects take at least three years of work and you cannot stop, “said Laura Barretto, manager of Human Resources and Communication at Leistung.
Now the company receives orders from Iran, Italy and France, but has decided to prioritize domestic demand.
Most of the health centers and of the provincial and municipal governments are increasing the areas of intensive care, to avoid the collapse of the health system due to the advance of the coronavirus, a situation that was generated in countries of the developed world such as Italy or Spain.
“It is fortunate that Argentina has national production of artificial respirators. Many neighboring countries do not have it and today they are asking,” added Paiaro.