https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/02173626/An-Airbus-engineer-manufacturers-a-component-of-the-Penlon-ventilator-at-the-University-of-Sheffield-Advanced-Manufacturing-Research-Centre-AMRC-Cymru-in-Broughton-scaled.jpg
    Medical

    From game changer to life saver

    • By Editor
    • June 1, 2020
    • 3 minute read

    The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru is playing an essential role in helpingsave lives as a production facility for thousands of vital medical ventilators.

    Turning AMRC Cymru into a production facility for ventilators was suggested on the very day Boris Johnson first called on manufacturers to join the effort.

    “The idea of using AMRC Cymru was first put forward on Monday, March 16, but for the next week and a half there was a lot of confusion around what was being asked of us while the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium zeroed in on which design they would progress,” said Andy Silcox, Research Director at AMRC Cymru.

    The industrial consortium came together after the Prime Minister made a plea for thousands of ventilators to be delivered to the NHS within a matter of weeks. Under the leadership of the HVM Catapult, the consortium is focusing production on the Smiths Medical and Penlon ventilator designs.

    Andy said AMRC Cymru’s role in the ventilator project became real on Wednesday, March 26: “That was the day we were chosen to be involved in the manufacturer of the Penlon device. We are the venue for the manufacture of two key sub-assemblies: the absorber and the flow meter units.”

    Where once a single security guard supervised a handful of people entering the open access research facility, now a large security team in white tents screen the 350 shop floor workers using the building. A two-stage security process means each engineer must thoroughly sanitise their hands in the tents outside and then have their temperature taken by a thermal imaging camera. Anyone with a temperature above the average of 37.5˚C is not allowed in.

    Now authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in hospitals, following extensive testing, the Government has confirmed an order for 15,000 Penlon devices.

    “There are eight assembly lines for each sub-assembly, requiring 88 operators per shift. There are two shifts a day, with everyone working in four days on and off pattern. That means 352 shop floor staff; add in the office, logistics, security and cleaning staff and it takes the full complement to around 500.”

    Andy said the logistical problems alone would have been challenging enough, but became extremely complicated while adhering to strict health and safety guidelines: “Not only did we have to strip out an R&D facility to install 16 new production lines from scratch in less than a fortnight, we also needed to create an environment where 88 operators could work simultaneously while maintaining safe social distancing.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/02173626/An-Airbus-engineer-manufacturers-a-component-of-the-Penlon-ventilator-at-the-University-of-Sheffield-Advanced-Manufacturing-Research-Centre-AMRC-Cymru-in-Broughton-scaled.jpg

    From game changer to life saver

    The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru is playing an essential role in helpingsave lives as a production facility for thousands of vital medical ventilators.

    Turning AMRC Cymru into a production facility for ventilators was suggested on the very day Boris Johnson first called on manufacturers to join the effort.

    “The idea of using AMRC Cymru was first put forward on Monday, March 16, but for the next week and a half there was a lot of confusion around what was being asked of us while the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium zeroed in on which design they would progress,” said Andy Silcox, Research Director at AMRC Cymru.

    The industrial consortium came together after the Prime Minister made a plea for thousands of ventilators to be delivered to the NHS within a matter of weeks. Under the leadership of the HVM Catapult, the consortium is focusing production on the Smiths Medical and Penlon ventilator designs.

    Andy said AMRC Cymru’s role in the ventilator project became real on Wednesday, March 26: “That was the day we were chosen to be involved in the manufacturer of the Penlon device. We are the venue for the manufacture of two key sub-assemblies: the absorber and the flow meter units.”

    Where once a single security guard supervised a handful of people entering the open access research facility, now a large security team in white tents screen the 350 shop floor workers using the building. A two-stage security process means each engineer must thoroughly sanitise their hands in the tents outside and then have their temperature taken by a thermal imaging camera. Anyone with a temperature above the average of 37.5˚C is not allowed in.

    Now authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in hospitals, following extensive testing, the Government has confirmed an order for 15,000 Penlon devices.

    “There are eight assembly lines for each sub-assembly, requiring 88 operators per shift. There are two shifts a day, with everyone working in four days on and off pattern. That means 352 shop floor staff; add in the office, logistics, security and cleaning staff and it takes the full complement to around 500.”

    Andy said the logistical problems alone would have been challenging enough, but became extremely complicated while adhering to strict health and safety guidelines: “Not only did we have to strip out an R&D facility to install 16 new production lines from scratch in less than a fortnight, we also needed to create an environment where 88 operators could work simultaneously while maintaining safe social distancing.”