Industrial consortium aims to make 10,000 ventilators in weeks

Parapac 300
Parapac 300

A consortium of over 20 companies is aiming to up-scale production of a proven ventilator design to make 10,000 in the next few weeks.

The group, which includes a diverse range of industries, ranging from Formula One to aerospace, will scale-up a tried and tested ventilator design from Smiths Medical called the Parapac 300. The equipment is already used in hospitals and ambulances in the UK.

In just nine days the consortium, named Ventilator Challenge UK, has come together and planned how to scale up production of the essential medical devices. Increasing output of an existing device is seen as the quickest way to help the NHS in the coming weeks.

Component manufacturing as well as assembly will take place across the country at sites including GKN on the Isle of Wight, Siemens in Sudbury and the AMRC in Broughton.

The consortium also includes Renishaw, Haas Racing, Rolls Royce; BAE Systems; Ford; McLaren; Red Bull; Renault Sport; Mercedes; Microsoft and Unilever.

Andrew Reynolds Smith, CEO of Smiths, commented: “During this time of national and global crisis it is our duty to assist in the efforts being made to tackle this devastating pandemic and I have been inspired by the hard work undertaken by our employees to achieve this aim. We are doing everything possible to substantially increase production of our ventilators at our Luton site and worldwide. Alongside this we are at the centre of the UK consortium working to set up further sites to materially increase the numbers available to the NHS and to other countries impacted by this crisis.”

Other companies aiding the ventilator shortage are Dyson and Gtech.

Dyson yesterday announced its entirely new design which is intended to full an order of 10,000 ventilators from the government. This order is dependent on the device being cleared by regulators.

Gtech, a manufacturer of household appliances, has also made its new design public this week.

Nick Grey, owner of Gtech began working on the project after being contacted by Gareth Rhys Williams, government chief commercial officer on 15th March.

“We designed the ventilator entirely from parts that can readily be made from stock materials or bought off-the-shelf. This means that if government approves and wants Gtech ventilators they can be made by almost any engineering and manufacturing company” said Mr Grey. “Gtech could produce around 100 per day within a week or two providing we could find steel fabrication and CNC machining companies to help us make some of the parts.”

Gtech produced two more ventilators, submitting these to the government for assessment.

The company, based in Worcester, specialises in cordless vacuum cleaners and garden power tools.



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