By Erin Mansfield and Katie Wedell, USA TODAY NETWORK Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 28, 2020 CLOSEEATON, Ohio – At a family-owned manufacturing company on the western edge of the state, the indoor pickleball courts, normally a staff favorite during breaks, are empty because of social distancing, and everyone has their temperature taken when they arrive for their shifts. Bullen Ultrasonics, a 140-employee machining business, is running full-steam. The company is essential to the nation’s effort to build more ventilators, even if what it does is drill holes in small pieces of glass.The manufacturer offers a look into the lengthy supply chain to produce ventilators that help COVID-19 patients breathe when their lungs struggle to do so on their own. The lifesaving devices made at one ventilator company, Medtronics, require the coordination of more than 100 suppliers. The suppliers are in 14 different countries – including places struggling to respond to coronavirus themselves. Bullen plans to cut down the time it takes to make its next batch of glass constraint wafers from eight weeks to less than two weeks to meet demand from two unnamed customers that make pressure sensors, a key part of ventilators. Bullen has to make its own tools. The workers then use the


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